Terry left at literally the crack of dawn, and unfortunately my internal clock and the general morning person in me does not allow for sleeping past the time I'm used to getting up each day. I had about an hour of solo time before my fellow morning buddy awoke just before 7. Snuggles and breakfast followed, and sure enough, he was ready for a nap at 8:45. I think he was still catching up from Saturday. During my intoxicating elixir that is morning coffee, I chatted with A, wondering if we could get the dogs and boys together for a play date. The Gabs desperately needed a day with her bff. G woke just after 10 and off to the usual fields we went---only to find that we forget youth soccer takes over in the fall at these fields, and frankly, we just don't trust our pooches to stick close while we chase our active toddlers. Fortunately A has the most amazing piece of land just right down the road, so off we went to her place.
The morning was crisp, colorful, and just one of those days where you inhale deeply and take in the fresh Maine air that surrounds you. I love this time of year. We released the hounds and off they ran; dodging branches and rocks, kicking up leaves as they went bursting through the yard, down by the river, so happy to see each other.
G took a little bit longer to warm up. Sure he's been here tons of times, and his buddy N was quick to be busy. Finally, enticed with a couple of soccer balls, he toddled his way down to where N was. N's dad is a master at building things. He's built his own shed, a dog house for Buckley, and the latest is another little structure that will eventually be a greenhouse. It's clear N loves the outdoors and is comfortable around his dad's construction. Soon the boys were like two little carpenters, picking up pieces of wood, stacking them here, tossing them there. It was a riot to see them look so busy, so official, and so darn cute.
It's hard not to compare them to a year ago when they were still these little chubby blobs that were just about learning to sit up on their own. Now they are clearly little men. I love watching how they change and grow.
With the dogs frolicking in the background, the boys continued to play until we decided to take them for a wagon ride. N has an awesome two-seater Radioflyer. We piled them in and walked down the dusty road as the dogs trailed behind us.
Soon enough it was past noon and time to head home for lunch and naps. And by naps I mean one for G and one for me. After being zonked out for two hours, he woke up and back into the car we went. Up the road in Bowdoin is a fabulous apple orchard and pumpkin patch. Rocky Ridge Orchard is a beautiful stretch of rolling hills that at this time of year is so picturesque. The foliage is bursting in brilliant colors and it's clear that people enjoy this spot for an apple picking as well as pumpkin patch adventure. Not to mention, they have an ah-mazing bakery. Sandwiches, pies, cream tarts, apple cider, apple cider donuts, you name it, they have it. Plus a variety of other gifty items for the last minute shopper.
At first, G was not into being placed among the hundreds of orange globes. He was totally unsure and wondering why we were there. Then it hit me---he had not yet had his afternoon snack. So armed with a molasses cookie, we sat and took in the surroundings. As he watched others weave in and out of the pumpkins, I think he realized he wanted to be among them.
He tried pushing. He tried pulling. He tried picking up. He's nothing if not persistent.
|Not into the sun in my eyes, mom!|
Moving away from the pumpkins, we entered the giant barn , filled with fragrant hay, an old-fashioned rope swing, and a tiny tractor made for tiny tots. My favorite, however, was the growth chart that was tacked to the barn. G was perfectly cooperative as he stood there, just under three feet, against the chart awaiting me to snap the perfect shot. I kept thinking what a lovely tradition to try and capture every year and watch the progression of growth.
We had our fill of touching the bumpy gourds and smooth squash. While we didn't actually buy any pumpkins this time around, (waiting until Terry returns from his latest venture), it was still a delightful way to spend the late afternoon. Walking back to the car, we gazed at the late day sun beginning to set beneath the trees. A fall sky is spectacular, and this one was no different. We watched a horse-drawn carriage giving wagon rides to happy orchard-goers, the clippity-clop of hooves echoing in the afternoon breeze. Hopefully the weather will cooperate next weekend for us to go again and this time come away with some pumpkins to carve and decorate. And maybe, just maybe, we'll have to get another cookie.