Some friends from Dunedin came for a visit on a weekend in March. We took them down to the riverbed for a picnic. It was a perfect late-summer day, and the children enjoyed playing in the water, as usual.
It was a wonderful day!
We decided, to make Sundays a bit more special while we’re on lockdown, to have a picnic by the creek down the hill from our town. We built a small fire and roasted sausages and marshmallows, and then played in the creek with Simon’s kayak and a couple of boats the boys built. When everyone had their fill of the water, we went across the creek and did target practice with Simon’s air rifle, aiming toward a sand dune. We really enjoy having this safe, private place to be outside! It’s within walking distance of our house, and the water is shallow enough there is no danger even if a boat flips.
Miss Joy loves boat rides! I apologize for so many pictures, but I couldn’t decide which of these to leave out.
Here are a few video clips I put together from our afternoon at the creek.
Our family Christmas tradition, since moving to the Southern Hemisphere where December is the beginning of summer, is to go on a picnic. Usually, we go away from home somewhere that we don’t often get to, such as the beach. This year, no one felt like going away. We took votes, and all but two of us voted to stay home! We decided to go down to the riverbed below our village and have a cookout beside the creek that flows into the river down there. Gayle and the two little boys went down ahead and started the fire; the rest of us went down when we were ready. The big boys loaded their barrel boat onto the trailer and took it down. We let them off at a place where the creek and road meet, and they loaded our food and other things into it, as the easiest way to get it all to the picnic site. Esther and I then drove on to the parking spot while they floated and poled downstream. Here they come around the bend!
Mr. Sweetie broke his arm last week, so he has it in a sling. It’s a greenstick (or hairline) fracture an inch or two below his shoulder, so they didn’t put a cast on it. He’s looking forward to not having to wear the sling next week! It hasn’t slowed him down much, though.
Simon took his air rifle along, so after lunch he boated Esther and I across the creek and we got to try shooting. I never hit the target, but felt better later when he said that he had discovered, after we went home, that the scope was a bit off.
Mr. Sweetie turned 10 yesterday. He wanted to celebrate with a fire down at the river, and roast sausages and marshmallows. We invited some friends to join us, but because of an emergency on their part, we ended up just having our family. We weren’t sure we could even do it, though, until the last minute, because it’s been rainy all week and was threatening this morning. About 11:30, Gayle and the boys decided to give it a try, and went down to the riverbed to start a fire. We’ve just gotten back, at 2:00 pm, and it’s still not raining—we got away with it this time!
I didn’t get any pictures while we were roasting our sausages. Once we were finished with them and the children had started roasting marshmallows, I remembered I had a camera! The marshmallow roasting was the amusing part, anyway. One boy declared that he couldn’t catch his marshmallow on fire. He roasted them slowly and perfectly. The next thing we knew, his marshmallow was on fire! He did do one perfectly for me. Another boy deliberately caught every one of his on fire. He’s too impatient to do them slowly.
Miss Joy seemed to enjoy her first cookout. She looked around, and slept for five minutes, and looked around some more.
Mr. Imagination charred his marshmallow, then worked at picking the charcoal off.
Several people put roasted marshmallows on top of their chocolate cupcakes.
Despite the early-spring chill, Mr. Diligence wanted to go swimming. He put on his togs and leaped into the creek—and came right back out again, shivering!
Several of the boys went up the creek with their sausage sticks to try to spear eels. They didn’t get any.
The last step before leaving was to douse the fire, which these two did, gleefully!