“Spring” Outing

It’s Spring now, officially. That calls for some getting outside and special activities!

Of course, I’m on crutches post-surgery, so that limits our options a bit. But there’s always an excuse to give up, stay home, and do nothing. As tempting as that might be, sometimes convalescing means getting out and enjoying fresh air.

We packed up the kids into the van and drove off for parts unknown – at least to us.

Yes, it’s “Spring,” but it was also a chilly 34 degrees yesterday afternoon when we went out. (I was planning on posting this all day today, but I spent quite a while with a two year old wrapped around my face, so I was further delayed – not such a bad thing!)

It was snowing in the morning yesterday, thankfully none of that stuck around long. Three more potential excuses shot down! “I don’t want to be out in the cold, I don’t want to be in snow in a cast, I don’t want to slip on ice while on crutches…”

We headed through the base after some errands, and I snapped a couple pics of the Offutt parade ground. Most of my co-workers won’t care, because they’ve been to Offutt at one point or another. But many of you will never have that chance. So here’s a pic:

Offutt parade grounds
The line of trees along the road next to the parade grounds. I need to get a picture in Autumn!

There are several houses on base that have stood for over a century, dating back to the early days of Fort Crook. At the parade ground pavilion, there are pictures of Army infantry and cavalry formations from the 1900s, with these houses in the background.

Offutt historical housing
One of the houses near the parade grounds – over 100 years old!

My wife loves the architecture, so we snapped a couple pics.

Historical housing on Offutt
More Offutt history – now converted to visiting officer quarters.

From there, we headed off base and got onto the highway, heading east into Iowa. Jami’s family had a tradition of stopping at the border of new states and taking a picture at the “Welcome to (fill-in-the-blank)” sign. Unfortunately, we crossed a bridge on Highway 80 over the Missouri River, so there was no chance to pull over and snap a picture. But here’s Judah enjoying the ride:

Judah
Judah smiles at his big sister as she entertains him on our trip.

Going fifteen minutes down the highway into a neighboring state might seem like no big deal, but for our family, it’s a new concept. We spent eight years on the small-ish tropical island of Okinawa. The freedom to drive around the States is almost overwhelming in comparison!

We took note of a few places to visit in the near future, enjoyed some Blizzards from DQ, and checked out songs from the new Passion and United albums. (I may have also taken advantage of technology to claim a bunch of gold from auctions in World of Warcraft.)

Once we got home, Jonathan went to his friend’s house, and the rest of us walked (crutched) down to the park in the bowl behind our house. It’s enough of a walk that our neighbor even sent out her daughter to tell me I’m crazy for crutching around that far.

Deborah has been excited about playing basketball with her friends, so we took the opportunity to check out her skills.

Deb practicing three-pointers.
Deb practicing three-pointers.

Judah got out and ran around, and Justin rode his scooter around the court.

Justin on his Cars scooter
Justin on his Cars scooter

I even took a couple shots. Ok, I took several. It’s surprising how much you need your feet for support.

Grasshopper, a.k.a. Grasspooper
Our dachshund, Grasshopper, enjoying the outing

I chased Judah a bit – even on crutches, I can catch him on cement, but he beats me on the grass.

Off with a dash, Judah makes his escape.
Off with a dash, Judah makes his escape.

Dinner time arrived, so we trudged back up the hill to end a very busy day. It may not have felt like warm spring and sunshine, but it was still a great excuse to get outside.

The hill as we headed back home... coming down was easier!
The hill as we headed back home… coming down was easier!
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