Stress Relief

Yesterday was the perfect, Louisiana day. The weather was gorgeous, and the temperature was just warm enough to toss on a pair of shorts, but cool enough to spend the entire day outside without breaking a sweat. Also, the Jurassic mosquitoes have not returned en mass yet. Definitely a recipe for the ideal weekend, especially when we know the blistering, bug-filled heat of summer is just around the corner.

My husband and I had already enjoyed a wonderful date on Friday night, and we stayed up way too late drinking cocktails on the porch with my aunt. Despite the fact that we were dragging from our 2 a.m. bedtime, we were determined to make the most of our Saturday. With all of the work-related stress we’ve experienced in recent weeks, not to mention testing at the kids’ school, our whole family has been a little frayed around the edges. So, we rounded up the kids, grabbed the ice chest and headed for the lake. Let me tell ya, a day of unplugged, meandering family-time in the spring sunshine was exactly what we all needed.

At first, we tried to fish:

And I believe try is the operative word here. Not that I minded…I love hanging out on the dock…something about the warm cypress planks on my bare feet makes me a happy girl:

After about thirty minutes of zero luck, we abandoned the fishing idea, and spent the rest of the afternoon walking, exploring and generally meandering along with no set goal.

The boys walked along the lakeshore, and found shells, sticks and rocks…which of course let to a contest of who could find the coolest shell:

They also found flowers, bugs and a bird’s nest:

We stumbled across the nest by accident, and though we kept a careful perimeter, a mama-bird still gave us a good squawking, ruffled feathers and all. We also got to see some unusual wildlife:

And that was hilarious! Every time the boys would laugh, the turkey would let out a resounding “gobble,” which, of course, only resulted in more laughter.

After walking the shoreline for hours, I considered letting them explore the woods:

But sandals plus woods would probably equal a bad idea, so we passed on that notion.

By the time we made it home, we were tired and sandy, but I think everyone felt better than we have in weeks. I am always surprised how days that are unplugged, unstructured and unplanned can be the best days of all.

Now, if I could just bottle that effect for those Tuesdays-from-hell…

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