We were a walking family while we still lived on a busy main road in the noisy city. Even in the dead of winter I would bundle up the children, packing the smallest two at the time into a double stroller with eighteen inch wheels.
Out across the snowy sidewalks we went, crossing the roads at the stoplights with our little caravan, making footprints in the powder across the park. Slushing through the parking lots and across a few more streets until we came to a favorite coffee shop with a sign that said small children left unattended would be given an espresso and a puppy to take home.
They loved us there, them with their colorful modern hairdo's and modern thinking.We'd shake the snow off our hats, stomp our feet at the door and burst in to the warmth like frozen things, rubbing our hands to encourage re-circulation.
Around a little table we'd gather with our steaming, frothing mug of hot cocoa, sipping and chatting until warmth flooded us beneath our winter attire. Back out into the snow we'd go, retracing our prints homeward.
I don't miss living in the city. These wide open spaces have spoiled me. Sean and I mention how close the neighbors are here and laugh remembering the spitting distance between our house and the next in the city.
We waited a long time and looked a long time and schemed a long time and prayed a long time to be able to live here. The oldest of ours barely remember those winter walks for hot chocolate.
I'm hoping the sun on their faces, the taste of fresh berries out of the fields, being chased by a rooster, holding soft feathery ducks and stacking wood with their Mama are things they never forget.
I don't doubt that we might live in a city again in the someday of our lives and so I savor this bit of life so much.
I love being able to wear rubber boots as I muck through the garden digging carrots. I love that there is a rooster to chase and swing at when he chases my kids.
I love that no two sunsets are alike and each one is in its own way extraordinary.
I love that our friends come to visit, some thinking we're crazy with our little menagerie of poultry and that this never been a country girl plucks chickens and gives birth at home, but still loving the peace of being here.
I am sure family walks will continue to be a part of our family's identity, whether it be through fields after the rain or through slushy parking lots in a blizzard. I have so much to be thankful for.