I spread our picnic lunch out on a red and white checked tablecloth:
Smoked Turkey slices
Pepper Jack cheese
flavorful cherry tomatoes
large handfuls of raw cashews
plump dried apricots
crisp and sweet Fuji apples
salty crackers with yummy jalapeno/garlic hummus
Hot coffee and tea
As we ate, we warmed ourselves by the roaring fire Mr. Santos made in the pit and listened to the flow of the Dosewallips river. Huge cranes walked and flew nearby. Sophia gibbered away in a British accent. Naomi wiggled and ate while standing up, then sitting backwards, then straddling the bench, then standing up again. Noah chomped away quietly and said with a full mouth several times, "Please pass the...."
Mr. Santos and I sat close on the same side of the table.
After a happy lunch, we went on a long hike. Mr. Santos led the way with his binoculars in tow. Now and then we would stop and wait while he stared through his favorite gadget. Noah insisted on pushing aside any thorny branches for me. He called me his 'princess' for the day. (I love having a son) The kids made little boats out of tree bark and watched them float away. We looked for river patterns in the banks and on the trees and in the grasses. We found deer tracks and followed them. We hunted for beavers at each little dam along the way.
Such a pleasant day! So simple, so relaxing - a real gift from God.