This morning as I was attempting to get 5 small people ready and out the door by 8am, I heard myself muttering (yet again), "we are never leaving this house again!!!!". No one can dress themselves entirely (maybe one can, with help due to distraction issues) and they usually pick time we need to leave the house to smear poop all over the toilet seat, draw on the walls and ask the same question 9 trillion times. The voice I hear coming out of my body would make any Marine Sergent sound like a purring kitten(Ok, maybe not that bad, but still harsher than I'd like). I would be a little scared, but my children are somehow...not. I even woke up early, showered and had high hopes of looking human for our special 'field trip' day. Of course, the shower and dressed was as far as I got. All the children were loaded up in the van, and after making them wait while loading up all the paraphanalia that goes with any excursion, I was not granted the opportunity to spend any extra time in the bathroom. Not even 5 minutes. (Try doing anything with lifeless hair to the sound of wailing and nashing of teeth. It creates a nice, tight ball in the pit of your stomach). I ran out with a limp ponytail, wishing to be someone I was not. Someone considerably more patient and good.
I finally crawled in the drivers seat, a purse, diaper bag, toddler bag, 3 lunch sacks, camera, coats AND a double stroller stuffed beside me in the passenger's side...with a quad stroller literally jammed into the back of the van.
Off we went. I dropped off my two little men at my dear Auntie's home and we headed out for what I called our 'big field trip' to Longwood Gardens. It is a good distance from our house, and thanks to my plan-ahead savy, we had .0001 liters of gas in the van. I was going to fill it up near our house, but figured that there was a gas station closer to my aunt's house. Well, there was, but in my haste to drop them off, I forgot about it. And so we drove through rural countryside for about 3 miles, with me sweating bullets as i prayed for God's mercy on me...I could not bear to call my "always-have-the-tank-half-full-husband" and tell him there was not even a fume left.
I'm not sure it was an answer to prayer (as there are such things as 'consequences'!), but we made it to a gas station. I had a snippy attendant inside, and I was snippy back. I told her I would only buy a small amount of gas there, and find the bulk elsewhere. Nice, huh?? Well, that's what you get when you have a harried, hurried mother who has a flaming case of PMS.
ANYWAY....look at what I had awaiting me.....
Around every corner was breathtaking beauty...
...and we were all able to enjoy this, thanks to my lifelong friend, Jennifer, and her daughter Grace, who have a family membership there!
Unbelievable. Built in 1925, this fountain garden took 2 years to build.
I think this picture could quite possibly be an award winner.
Stop. Smell it.
We passed this....
on our way to this....<>>
(the above establishment is many lightyears away from our 'season' in life. We wave, smile, nod and move on, not even an inkling of consideration in our conscienceness).
A Wall of Orchids
Somehow I thought these would be more.... limp.
Perhaps they water them with a little 'blue' fertilizer.
Jen had warned me that the children might get a tad wet...
...but I don't think she meant this wet.