Pine cones were needed. And lucky for us there is a huge City Park two blocks from home. They piled into our trusted bike trailer / stroller, I put on the rain flap and opened the garage door to discover....rain. Quite heavy in fact. Having been stuck inside all morning, we plunged ahead. Well I guess that was me who plunged. They were nestled inside, under a blank, with a thermos of milk and pretzel sticks. We arrived at our park in a matter of minutes. I did the gathering, wanting to keep the mud to a minimum. I took the long way home to increase our time outside and the small amount of cardio that comes from pushing two tots in a stroller.
We stashed the pine cones on the kitchen counter to dry. In a few days well roll them in cheap peanut butter and then bird seed. Once they dry again, we'll attach some yarn. And voila, homemade bird feeders from my mother as well as my brother and his wife. Something simple to allow them to enjoy the winter weather, and give the kids a sense of gift giving.
No trek to the mall for us. And on a day when it rained in Wisconsin instead of snowed, with a forecast near 60 tomorrow, I felt even better about the decision. Rain on December 1st? Sure, it has happened before I assume. But we had an historically hot summer, a really warm fall, and now a mild winter. Not running the car seemed like a gift in itself.
Thanks for reading, and I'd love inspiration on other ways to celebrate the season of giving without the standard mall excursions.
M. Gustafson Gervasi, Dec. 2010 -- This is what our City Park (Garner) looked like two years ago on 12-21-10.
I doubt it will look like this this year if the weather pattern holds.
Yes, I actually find myself missing a traditional Wisconsin winter. How about you?