Tom Cotton is a great gardener and a great friend. A few weeks ago in Sunday School, we were discussing the creation. Tom mentioned a forest in town that gets a beautiful carpet of trilliums every spring. He told us they weren't out yet, but in a few weeks they should be ready. Then yesterday after class he took me aside to let me know that it was trillium time! He gave me directions to Montibeller Park in Pittsfield Township. He told me exactly how to find the trilliums, and encouraged me to be on the lookout for jack-in-the-pulpits as well.
So after church, the whole family, including Aunt Leslie, piled into Ruby, our 1993 Plymouth Grand Voyager, and went to find the trilliums. None of us had any idea of what a trillium looked like, but Tom had made it sound like there were just thousands of them, so I was hoping it would be pretty obvious. Dan said he thought they were a small blue flower, sort of like a violet or bluebell. The boys, of course, were super mad that we weren't going to the Arboretum as we had originally planned. They were threatening all kinds of anger if there wasn't a place to throw the frisbee. But this park had everything we needed: playground equipment, wide open spaces, grass...and a forest full of flowers.
Before getting to the trilliums, we found a tree that was surrounded by jack-in-the-pulpits:
Our anxiety about correctly identifying the trilliums vanished as we rounded a bend to see a vast carpet of three-petaled white and pink flowers:
The boys were quick to point out that Dan was completely wrong about the color being blue. Thanks, guys:
I wanted to stay there all evening, snapping pictures and enjoying the serenity. But we'd promised that everyone could do something they wanted to do, so our next activity was throwing Leslie's new football around a big grassy field. Adam spent most of that time on the blanket with Esther, who kept trying to feed him pieces of her string cheese:
I turned out to have no football-throwing genes, in spite of my dad's high school football career. Eli was much better, and Dan and Leslie were great:
I decided that since I couldn't throw anyway, I might as well practice using my left hand to increase my brain power (thanks for the tip, LL).
After football, it was time to try out the playground equipment. Leslie and Dan took turns holding Esther as they rode down the tall, metal, old-school slide. I enjoyed petting a cute little dog that looked like part chihuahua, part rat terrier. And Eli made us laugh by crawling through the monkey bars instead of swinging from them:
All in all, a very satisfying way to spend a Sunday evening. Thanks, Tom!