When the cool autumn air blows my way, there is one place in the world I simply need to go - the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Truth be told, it holds a special place in my heart any time of the year, but the fall harvest season seems to pull at my heartstrings the most. It's a bit of a second home for me and has been a place for making memories for most of my life. From summer horseback riding camp in Granville Ferry, to university days at Acadia, to my wedding in Grand Pre, the Valley has been a constant for me. Luckily, my parents moved to the area three years ago and there's always a vacancy at "The Inn" at a very fair price!! Last week, I found myself in need of a dose of Valley air. With Hubby away for the night, the wee ones and I packed up the old car and headed to Nanny and Graga's for a quick, but fun-filled adventure.
Every now and then, I find myself in a situation so perfect and wonderful that I want to freeze time. Ironically none of these moments ever fall into those cliche "greatest days of my life" categories. Though key moments such as my wedding and the birth of my children were incredibly joyful, they were also filled with anxieties (and great pain in the case of the later!!). These moments of perfection, where I find myself in a state of calm contentment and joy, are rarely pre-planned and just seem to unfold naturally. In the last few years, these special times seem to occur when watching my children experience pure joy, wonder and amazement over the simplest and most natural things. Chi-Chi's first time pond skating last winter comes to mind. A family walk this past summer along the sand bars of Youghall beach was another such perfect moment in time. Our recent visit to a local pumpkin patch also falls into this category. My parents and I took Chi-Chi and Muffy pumpkin picking at Willowbank Farm. Since we were visiting on a Friday, we had the pumpkin patch to ourselves. We went home with a trunk load of pumpkins, much more than anyone could possibly need. I simply didn't have the heart to stop Chi Chi's enthusiastic harvest. He was hauling them on his shoulder back to the car faster than Graga could load them! After the picking, we strolled along the edge of farm fields for a nature walk. It was a blustery day as Chi-Chi and Muffy ran, squealed and danced in the whirlwind of falling leaves. Children provide such a fresh perspective on the simple joys in life. I'm so lucky to be able to spend so much of my time with these two sweet boys who open my eyes to simple pleasures on a daily basis.
Our fun didn't end at the pumpkin patch! Once we arrived home, I went into Montessori Mama mode and set up a great practical life pumpkin washing station for the boys. This was a batch of very dirty pumpkins I tell you! The next day, Daddy got in on the action and helped fashion a cute family of pumpkin people to greet visitors on the front step. We've still got lots leftover for Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns.
So, with the Thanksgiving Weekend nearly upon us, I'm in the mood for a bit more Valley air. Of we go again for another dose of beautiful surroundings, great company and my mom's fabulous turkey dinner.