Marching into memory

The kids and I headed into town yesterday. I treated them to lunch at Wendy’s and an impromptu visit to the Ben Franklin. They could spend all day in the crowded aisles searching for treasures. The cashier was talking about the parade. I had no idea … but why not? We had 50 minutes to kill.

First we jaywalked over to Bud’s Farm Toys. While I shopped for nephew gifts my son drove tractors at the play table. The girls played checkers in the corner. Grandpas and dads filled the store, examining John Deere, Oliver and International farm implements scaled to fit little hands.

The toy store took up a good chunk of time. Next we headed to Betty Kay Bakery. We purchased a brownie, blondie, Christmas tree sugar cookie and a red frosted bell cookie. The turtle brownie went home to Farmguy.

Still 20 minutes until the parade, so we slipped inside the Welsh Horn antique store. The girls found a vintage set of Hardy Boys books. They selected four titles for a Christmas gift for their cousin. A postcard featuring a red fox was especially exciting for my little man. We had watched a wonderful movie about a fox the night before.

If you have children — or simply love delightful nature-inspired films, The Fox & the Child is a treat! Make sure to get the version narrated by Kate Winslet, not the foreign language version.

Eventually we seated ourselves on the curb, ate our bakery treats and waited for the parade. Crowds stood as the flag passed. Feet tapped as the marching band played us into the holiday season.

I stood there … on a 60-degree day in late November with my children making mad dashes for candy thrown from fire trucks and antique tractors and more … and thankfulness ebbed from every pore.

I would never have planned to take them to the parade. And I didn’t plan on the toy store or the bakery or the several hours’ worth of wasting time … but I’m so thankful it happened. It’s nice to let whim take over. It was a memory made — unplanned, unintentional and unforgettable for the kids placed in my charge.

“That was the best day EVER, Mommy!” my son said on the way home.

Yeah. It was pretty great.

Take a detour every once in awhile …

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

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