• Rachel Anne Baer

Family walks

#childhoodwalks #childhoodmemories #romanroads #history #happymemories

Today has been one of those wet windy and raw New England fall days. A day to stay inside, which after seeing this weekend's weather forecast I had planned to have a cozy indoor day. A little bit of a sleep in, snuggled under the covers as I watch the leaves falling and the rain sweeping against my bedroom window, happy to be warm and dry inside.

Once up I pottered around, had a cup of tea, prepared supper in the crock pot, always a comfort on a day like today. This led to more pootling around, some cat cuddles, reading and by late morning I finally got to my work out, a necessary item on my to do list to retain my sanity as well as burning a few calories.

I was so happy I had made the time to get outside the day before. It had been the perfect fall day, breezy, cool but sunny. I made my way to Bluff Point a beautiful trail by the coastline and through the woods, it would be busy enough on a Saturday morning to allow me to walk there by myself and still feel safe. Sure enough the parking area was pretty full but once on the trail it was not crowded at all. The perfect place to enjoy the outside, the sea breeze and fall colors. I took my time, going at a steady pace but being sure to stop and enjoy my surroundings at various times. Along the way passing some old stone walls and wondering what stories they could tell of years gone by, what boundaries they had held and who had built them and walked beside them so many years ago.

I was reminded of when as a young child we would often go for what seemed like very long walks as a family. My parents, two brothers and I would go after Sunday lunch to run off some of our energy and I imagine to give my parents some time to talk. One of my favorite walks was along various stretches of the long old Roman roads that were positioned not far from our home. We would run along the trail, grassy now but well worn as it was a popular walking trail for families and dog walkers. We would race to reach the old ruins of a fort or look out point to the side of the trail, hiding inside and climbing on the the remains pretending to be a watchful soldier. My brothers would often be armed with home made wooden swords that my dad had created, or bows and arrows made from sticks or garden canes and a piece of string. Some of those arrows could reach quite a distance especially as my brothers grew in size. Sometimes we would pass people out riding their horses, always stopping to make way for them to be sure to give the horses plenty of room.

At the end of our walk before getting back in the car my mum always produced a diluted bottle of orange squash which she poured into child sized Tupperware plastic cups to quench our thirst after our activities. Often there would be a couple of biscuits otherwise known as cookies in the USA. My favorites were custard creams. I would separate the two halves, then spend ages licking the cream, enjoying the texture on my tongue and savoring it's sweetness.

It's funny how these memories popped into my head, I hadn't thought about our walks here for decades, these were certainly very happy memories of a young family out for a Sunday walk together, often we met other families along the trail and ran races or played hide and seek among the old ruins.

Do you have memories of family walks from your childhood? Where did you walk? Did you play as you walked? What birds or animals did you see along the way?

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