We have these incredible neighbors who deserve a blog post (if not series) of their own.
Al and Shirley have been homesteading in our valley since I was in elementary school. Now in their 60's they heat their home largely with the sun, haul their water, and raise their own food. Add to this the fact that they spend much of their winters and nearly ever waking hour in spring hours battling invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard and they're a pretty inspiring team on many levels.
But that's a story for another day.
For today we'll stick to a post about their horse Pearl and the bobsled ride we enjoyed with them yesterday afternoon.
Al called a couple of weeks ago to see if we were up for a ride, but the snow soon melted and we missed our chance (or so we thought). But then on Sunday night a few more inches fell and the phone rang again. Were we up for it? It was our last chance for this season, so we jumped.
A quick schedule rearrange and we cleared our afternoon, made some hot cocoa, and headed a short mile up the road to meet Al, Shirley, and Pearl.
The sun was shining, the weather was mild, and there was fresh snow on the trail. A perfect day for a bobsled ride through the woods if every there was.
Al and Shirley hooked Pearl up to the bobsled and we were off.
Within the first few minutes my teeth were dry from the huge smile that was plastered on my face. We rode through the woods and along the creek for miles, with only the sound of the runners on snow, crunching hooves, sleigh bells, and of course Al's stories. It was magical.
Pearl is getting older and hasn't done much pulling this season, so we paused halfway to give her a rest and enjoyed some hot cocoa beneath the trees.
And I thought to myself, 'What a perfect and unexpected homeschooling day!"
Because sure, we could have stayed around the table working on our spelling and math. That's what we had planned after all. Or we could toss the books aside and head out for one last adventure in the fleeting snow.
I'm certain we made the right choice.
Thanks Al and Shirley.
And most of all, thank you, Pearl.
Tomorrow we'll do math.