Even though we still have some luxuriously warm days, and the fall colors have lingered late this year, making up for having summer stretch into October, the shorter days have compelled us to give up our most delightful outside activity. We had thought of many ways and times to go out with the kids; we had made many resolutions. But some things must wait until they just happen.
And what happened, and happened, and happened again was that we could pack up a supper on our chiropractor night and stop by a park on the way home. Somehow if we were already out (and the chiropractor is a sacred appointment with us), stopping somewhere else was not such a burden as the thought of packing everything up when we were already comfortably at home. We tried city parks and county parks, parks with bridges, parks with forest trails and parks with teeter-totters big enough for the whole family.
When it was too hot to eat out (I tried it once at ninety-five and was ill the rest of the week) we went to United Dairy Farmers (which D1 persists in calling Nine-Ten Dairy Farmers), ate our packed supper at their tables and then split a double-scoop ice cream cone to thank them for their trouble. When it was too hot or too dark, we went to the library and played at the train table. By fall, D2's legs had grown long enough that he could handle most of a mile hike, though he persists in the fear-of-slides stage.
I was full of good resolutions this spring to keep the ducklings outside for at least three hours every day. I have fallen far short of that except on the rare occasions when a very beautiful day has coincided with me feeling unusually good. But we have had a lot of fun outside this year. Our own backyard is getting more entertaining--it has some lovely dirt piles now, and a little hole that holds a pond after rain, and increasing areas of it are being converted into vegetable garden. Although I am not fond of the concrete pad left from a torn-down garage, it does make a handy place for riding bikes and cooking imaginary meals.
I never have figured out what to do about the mosquitoes, though. They continued unabated until frost, even though there was a drought and no standing water anywhere where they could be breeding.