Wind in the Willows

comments: 48

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Ohhhh, I want to go back. Three days at the river. It was short but felt long, in some ways. You follow the sun, there, moving chairs and blankets to stay in shade or face the river, from morning until dinnertime. The day passes in quiet arc of meals and trips down to the river and trips back up the hill to get out of wet, sandy swimwear and rinse off the sunscreen. Bald eagles circle lazily above. Ducks splash and dive and surface. It's absolutely incredible to be in a place where there are no roads, no cars, no other people. Where there is complete freedom to do whatever you want, for as long as you want, for Amelia to just wander around and find things to do, or not do. For me to be able to hear her wherever she was, even when she was out of my sight, building fairy houses or stacking dominoes or taking a bath. At dusk, the crickets come out and their chirping is the loudest sound around. Each night, after Amelia went to bed, Andy and I sat around eating bowls of cherry ice cream and watching a Christmas movie on Amazon. I don't know why we watched that but it just felt like a vacation thing, and required nothing from us in any way. I read (I did not finish my book, nowhere near) and knit (I ran out of yarn) and none of it bothered me one bit. I spent countless hours just watching the river roll by, and watching the light change, and watching the birds. The air smelled like mud and green things. Amelia saw a snake in the brush — twice — and screamed the house down. Andy pulled her up and down and across the river in her raft, going ashore often to explore, looking for the beaver carcass they found last year, finding a beaver den, finding crayfish claws, gloopy seaweed, snail shells soft as fingernails. Families of ducks flew up and down the river roadway from morning until night, landing with a collective sploosh. We rolled around on quilts on the grass and took long showers. We all slept so late that we missed the mist rising off the river in the mornings. We cooked and ate and let the house get so messy you would've thought ten people were living there instead of just us, just us three. It was just wonderful.

On the way home, we stopped off at Amelia's new school for her first meeting with her new teacher. As the teacher led her around her beautiful new classroom, and introduced her to the class bird, and showed her cursive letters and told her she was going to learn how to write them this year, Andy and I sat off to the side and whispered quietly to each other, talking about the room and the teacher and Amelia and everything, and feeling so full of hope and nervousness and pride and a thousand other emotions I don't know how to name.

48 comments

Looks like you hand a wonderful time, Amelia is as delightful as ever. What have you done to your foot. Do stay well. I have followed your blog for years and in 2015 I used the places you recommended for a road trip to Oregon. Seeing your photos makes me long to be back again. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse of your lives

Oh, thank you thank you thank you....for the words and photos and love! Beautiful...just everything!

Finishing summer with Wind in The Willows river days... brilliant. I know that you live real lives, with real bumps and challenges, but what you make of your real lives, how you glean the beauty, sample the best of days and moments, is endearingly storybook-like. Thank you for opening up pages of your story, for giving us a taste of the wonder and narrative of joyful living.

What a wonderful way to end summer! Amelia sure is a beautiful little girl and so sweet!
Thanks for letting us peek at your vacation.

Glad that was time to enjoy s'mores! It's a lovely Summer image. Summer came and went pretty fast. We have seen a few eagles around our town and that made all of us happy. This river spot is incredibly beautiful!! Love the dresses Amelia is using. I imagine you made them. You should have some little girl's dress kits for us to make. Thank for sharing lovely photos of your Summer days!

It sounds perfect. :)

How perfect, it sounds idyllic! That is one very happy girl I see in the photos, indeed one very happy family. Thanks for sharing!

Always love to see what you and the family are up to and camping sounds wonderful - I can't believe you saw two Bald Eagles! Incredible! Relaxing sounds incredible too and to just do nothing! We fill our days up with to-do lists and so much to get done - why torture ourselves? But, I have to have my lists. Maybe running out of yarn was a sign - ha, ha. Summer flew by too fast, but I can't wait for the fall season and cooler weather to begin! Wishing Amelia a wonderful school year! Great pics - as always!

What a lovely life you have created for the three of you. And, there are fairy houses and then there are fairy houses. Whoa.

Patrice Sieler says: September 01, 2018 at 08:15 AM

The comment about school and the stomach tightening, reminded me of my experience and my child is now forty. Funny how much hope goes into the first days and really never stops. Amelia is a lovely child, may all the blessings be with you.

How exciting to spot two bald eagles in the midst of your idyllic river days!! Thanks for sharing the wonder of it all and the anticipation of the wonders ahead in the new school year. Have you had new/more injury to your foot? ...praying for healing for you xxx

Sounds perfect,start to finish. Heaven!

What a happy child. Made me happy reading this and seeing your riverside holiday pictures.

I so look forward to your River vacation photos/blog every year. One can really see Amelia transforming...LOVE that in spite of time, she is still very much the little girl with an imagination...Props to you and Andy for that!!!...Not an easy feat in these days and times!!!...Treasure each blessed moment!!!

What a beautiful and relaxing way to finish the holidays. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time with your beautiful family. xx Susan

I enjoyed each and every image and I could sense the delight you all had there. I could do with a quiet week by a creek like that. Enjoy the fall that is coming on. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

There’s just something about getting your family beside water, abandoning schedules and technology, appreciating nature and the pleasure of sleeping long and eating well...and watching a family of ducks go up and down “the river roadway”. Loved this this post for the glimpse into your life as well as the evoked memories of our family trips to lakes or beaches. Hope school goes well. Loved that Amelia will have a class bird and learn to write cursive, which is disappearing from school curriculums but proven to be a relevant skill for cognitive and motor development. Kudos to Amelia’s school and teacher! Have a lovely weekend!

What a beautiful family you have! You and Andy provide Amelia with such love, protection and the most amazing childhood imaginable.

Dearest . . . thank you.

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! I'm sad that my own family hasn't had a vacation this year, since buying a house has occupied most of our time and money this summer, but at least I can live vicariously through your lovely pictures. :)

Jackie Ruster says: September 02, 2018 at 10:38 AM

You always capture the little important things in your posts,Alicia. I,m a big fan of the peace and love you describe.Blessings to you and your family!

Maria St John says: September 02, 2018 at 11:37 AM

Aaaahhhh. Sounds so refreshing and wondeeful. I love those needed breaks. The Lord bless you and your family starting the new school year.

It all sounds so wonderful. What beautiful memories you are storing up for your family.

oh my goodness those river pictures make me hungry for a water holiday. beautiful beautiful photos and what a little lady amelia has become...how did it happen so fast?

it really is something, seeing a child slowly grow up and changing schools and all of this. What a treasured 3 days! I am so glad you shared them here with us.... God bless your new year, school and all these things!!!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.