Sunday, January 24, 2016

An "arctic" adventure with the grandchildren

I have lived in the Grand Rapids area since 1971 and until this week, I did not know this park existed! Well, I would drive by it now and again; but the entryway is SO uninviting and it just looks like there is nothing at all to be found. So I never once visited it. Was I ever mistaken!

 Thursday, on my way from work, I was taking an alternate route, and drove by the entrance once again; but THIS time I decided to stop, park my car, and do a little exploring. I am so glad that I did. Thursday, however, was an extremely grey and bleak day. I took a bunch of pictures, but never posted them because they were just SO bleak.
But yesterday afternoon, the grandchildren were allowed to come over and it was a perfectly perfect winter afternoon. I connived and finally convinced my small tribe to take this arctic adventure with me, promising them "magic" along the way. 

Isn't this a lovely picture? When I look at it, my heart is so full of peace and joy. I have been lately listening (constantly) to Fernando Ortega's beautiful renditions of some old hymns. He does a wonderful version of "This is My Father's World" (which has always been a favorite of mine--mainly for the phrase I chose to use in this picture! All is not lost! God is still in control!!!).
 Anyway, once the kiddos were in the woods for about 10 minutes and once they were finally finished with TRYING their hardest to start a snowball fight (I pooh-poohed the notion because I so badly wanted to get to the "good stuff" further down the trails ... WAY further down the trails ... and I didn't want everyone to be soaking wet the entire afternoon).
It really didn't take more than 10 minutes before the children entirely engaged with the woods. That's what I LOVE about the woods! I love to take these kiddos down trails in the woods and just WATCH what happens. It is always a beautiful sight to behold.
Their passion in these few pictures was the collection of ice: thin, thick, whatever ... and the biggest chunk they could carry! 

 And then they would take their ice and heave it into the little pond and watch it float away. Christopher picked up a chunk of ice that had a little plant growing in it and declared that he had "made an island" which he watched very jealously in case anyone should bomb it with their ice chunk.

There was a very brilliant sun shining yesterday ... one of my very favorite thing about the woods is the delightful shadows ... they almost seem ... alive! I just love them. 
This park is named: Donald J. Lamoreaux Park and it is off Coit Avenue not that far from where I live actually. There is an abundance of wonderful trails, some of which lead all the way down to the Grand River (pictured below). 

 The kiddos had all kinds of fun testing out the ice on the mighty Grand ...

 Matthew felt it was his calling and duty to make sure everyone had a nice firm walking stick.
 Emma found a dead little tree along the pathway which she was determined to make into a walking stick for herself ... but ... as dead as it was, it would not yield to any of our efforts to free it from the earth below it.

Matthew is a real scream out in the woods. He is such a neat little kid. We had a lot of fun together just rambling in this gorgeous setting. 

 I know. These are a LOT of pictures. But isn't it just deliciously beautiful?
 We ended up winding our way back to the same place we had passed earlier in the afternoon. So the children had another chance to "ice hunt."

 I just love to watch them explore out in God's great outdoors.

Well. I obviously love this spot as I have taken dozens of pictures of it ... I love reflections and shimmering water and sparkling snow ...

No comments: