“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)…” ~ poet e.e. cummings
It’s mother-daughter bonding time. The empty nest is two-thirds full this week, adult children arriving home to roost for just a bit.
Middle daughter, beautifully tan (tanning being a feature she inherited from her father, not her mother), journeyed back safely from her vacation with friends at the beach. Oldest daughter, who lives in another state, arrived home late Sunday night to spend the week with us.
Since my middle daughter isn’t due back at work until Wednesday, we enjoyed some “just us girls time.” We were occupied on Monday “helping” middle daughter pack up the rest of her kit and caboodle for her upcoming move into an apartment in the city. By helping, I mean her sister and I pretty much just sat around on her bed and watched her do the job.
But an amazing thing transpired while we all sat in her soon-to-be empty bedroom. We spent the entire day together – mother and daughters. And we talked. And we discussed. And we laughed. And we may have even cried a little, I’m not sure.
So many stories to convey. So many details to divulge. So many questions to ask and answers to enlighten. Advice to give; thoughts to share. We enjoyed a good old-fashioned heart-to-heart talk which lasted most of the day.
Talks like that are good for re-connecting our binds that tie. They are nourishing food for each other’s soul. It was a day for reflection and dream sharing. Those moments we were blessed to share are ones we will carry in our hearts forever. In other words, time spent together as mother and grown up daughters: priceless.
While yesterday was a day for engaging our hearts and minds, today was a day for engaging our bodies and minds – a day full of activity! I must preface this by saying that oldest daughter has a fascinating hobby – geocaching – that she has been enjoying with friends for about a year, and she introduced her sister and me to this adventure today.
If you are unfamiliar with geocaching, here’s a quick lesson. You use a hand-held GPS to travel and hike, using coordinates acquired by a computer site and transferred to the GPS, to locate hidden objects. It’s kind of like hide and seek meets a treasure hunt. The “geo” in geocaching stands for geography, obviously. A “cache” is a hiding place used for storage, concealment or safekeeping.
So someone hides a cache, which can be any kind of waterproof container, with little trinkets or whatever inside and a log book so that finders can enter their names and dates they found said cache. The “treasure” is then logged into a website with its location and clues on where to find it. (The picture below is us finding our first geocache!)
Geocachers then go a huntin’ and when they find the cache, they log in the details and add comments or more clues. They can take one of the trinkets in the cache but should leave something in its place. Apparently, there are caches hidden all over the world, and around 500 right here in the area where we live.
So our daughter, who is pretty proficient at this outdoor “game,” took us novices on our first geocache trip. It was hot and humid, but we had a blast searching and hiking and finding a few of the caches. One was near state game lands where I know black bears have been sited. With each step into the woods, I kept expecting to be alarmed by a black bear lumbering towards us, but happily we found the cache and departed safely.
The highlight of the day was leaving this trackable “gem” (see left). Oldest daughter found it in a cache in her southern state and wanted to leave it here in a northern state for someone else to find and transport to another location. Sounds kind of cloak and dagger, doesn’t it?
Our last search of the day proved a little daunting and frustrating, yet a little comical too. The geocache was hidden near a creek and there was a steep terrain down to the water that Mama wasn’t convinced was safe for her not-so-agile body.
So my girls ventured down the rocky slope and then…into the creek! They searched and searched and searched some more. Across the creek, up and down the creek, looking willy-nilly wherever the GPS sent them.
Meanwhile, Mama was sitting under/alongside the bridge, when some “muggles” approached her. Definition of muggles: people who come upon you while you are geocaching and wonder what the heck-fire you’re doing.
We parked my car nearby on the side of a pretty wicked turn in the road, so I turned on the emergency flashers, so people would notice my car and not run into it. Two inquisitive young men drove by in their pickup truck, saw my flashing, empty car, and observed me sitting and kind of trying to hide under the bridge.
They pulled along side me, rolled down the truck window and asked, “Everything alright there???” I popped my head up like that whack-a-mole game, face red from heat, humidity and exertion, sweat dripping down my face, and said, “Oh yes, we’re just geocaching.”
Uh huh. To which the men replied, “You’re what??” First of all, they couldn’t see the “we,” only me, because my girls were down in the creek under the bridge. Secondly, they obviously had no idea what I meant and looked at me like I was from outer space or at least thought I was. Let’s just say those nice young men learned something new today.
I sent them on their merry way with a hearty, “Thank you for stopping and asking anyway!” It was actually heart-warming to realize that there are a few good Samaritans left in the world who will take the time to stop and check to make sure a stranger is not in any danger. Well, I thought it was endearing until my daughters laughingly declared, “Mom, they probably thought you were jumping off the bridge!!”
Tired from our 5-hour-long adventure, sweaty, dirty and a little muddy, covered in bug spray, we did what any gals with muster would do. Went home, showered, changed into girlie clothes, ate dinner out and went shopping!!! And tomorrow we geocache yet again to find a trackable travel “bug.”
Mother-daughter bonding day: priceless.