Last night I got a burr in my bonnet about going to see the cranes, something we’ve literally never done with the children, but I decided that this was the year, the week, the day that we were going to make it happen.
This morning we got the kids eating breakfast earlier than normal and all psyched to go and then?
The van was dead in the garage.
A friend said this is a good PSA for our stay-at-home-ness…we’ve driven so little in the last two weeks that our car died.
But seriously – CRAP!
After much effort and many minutes later, we finally got the garage cleared, the van jumped and then jumped again (and again – it was dead, dead, dead), and then the stuff back in the garage, only to discover that our battery was going to take time to wake up certain features like the locks and automatic doors, making for loading of the actual children to go on the actual field trip TRICKY.
Solution? Clown car pile in of all five children climbing in over the back bench seat to get to their assigned seats in the van itself.
Way to be flexible, Welschies! Literal and figurative!
So, we finally left the house only to discover driving through town that the fog was really REALLY thick this morning. We couldn’t even see lights in approaching intersections, so how were we going to see cranes in fields?!
After driving around town for a long while to let the battery get good and charged, we headed back home only to realize as we pulled on to our street that the fog had indeed lifted. Hooray!
A quick pit stop (with heavy complaining from just one child about having to leave again) and we were on our way north and west in the direction of Alda, NE in search of the Sandhill Cranes.
Of course, once we got north of town we realized that the fog hadn’t lifted everywhere, but by golly, we were NOT turning around again, so we carried on and made it to our desired country roads where yes indeed we did find the cranes and maybe the fog even kept us in luck of good viewing even after our super late arrival.
The kids, even the sour one, LOVED it. We watched them dancing and walking and stopped a couple times to roll down the windows to listen to them call to one another. It was beautiful on so many levels.
We kept driving until we reached a little walking lookout area and there were no other people around, so we got out and could hear SO many bird calls carrying over the water, even though we couldn’t see any in the direct area. After a little more walking, we loaded up again and headed back along our route for a few more views before heading all the way home.
I wish I had kept a list of all the exclamations the kids made in watching the cranes, because their awe was pretty solid, but I’ll just keep the general feeling of time together and connecting with nature, instead, in this crazy but necessary time of social disconnect.
But hey, we survived our first home-school field trip, even with a dramatic start! And we even made it interdisciplinary with our conversation and some on-the-road sketches! Go team!