Posted by Jim:
This past Friday after our granddaughter Anna had stayed overnight, Karren was absent about 4 hours to take care of some family business, and I was sole guardian keeping Anna occupied. It was a just-right spring day as we played in the back yard. I pushed her on the swing as usual, and then suggested a walk.
We did the quarter mile back to a neighbor's property, which is presently unoccupied, and continued beyond to their woods. I remembered a bridge that had been built across the small, winding creek among the low hills there, and asked Anna if she would like to walk across it. Of course she would-she likes bridges for some reason. We had to pick our way through and around the trees and undergrowth, but she seemed delighted with the place.
Then when I asked her if she'd like to take off her shoes and walk in the water, she lit up. I have to believe no one had ever asked her that before. The water was shallow in most places, and Grampa was careful to guide her around the deeper pools, but she walked back and forth examining everything that caught her eye, including the crab claw some marauding raccoon had probably left behind the night before.
It was quiet except for the sound of birds, the splashing of little feet, and the subdued chatter of a four-and-a-half year old. We played a bit of Billy Goat Gruff around the bridge, changing turns to be the troll, and she even got me to take off my shoes and socks and wade with her. Let me tell you, that water was cold, but she didn't seem to mind. She was one happy child back there in that magical place in the woods.
I went back next day to take these photos as a reminder of a morning I’ll never forget just for seeing how delighted Anna was.