One that we stick with is an annual leaf walk. Not that we don't go on walks otherwise, but for this one, our whole purpose is to gather the coolest leaves. The kids started talking about this walk as soon as they saw the leaves changing.
I, on the other hand, was a little bummed. Not that we didn't have pretty leaves, or an awesome place to go, but I just knew it wasn't going to have the beauty of MN with it. That's when I realized how much I missed the land - the overall geography of where we were. For whatever reason, the MN land captured Mike and I - between the lakes, the greenery, the fields, it felt a little majestic to me. And for Mike, the endless rolling hills for cycling were like a dream. We both had such a connection with the land, that upon leaving it, it's like we've left a good friend. Which brings me back to the leaf walk. And how it wasn't going to be the same as what I'd come to love.
It's then that I had a choice. I could let the memories overtake me and turn the whole experience into something negative, or I could live in the present moment.
The present moment is so much better. Once we got there, I jumped into the right gear and we had a blast. The kids were hilarious. Running races, trying to pick up the most leaves, looking for wild bunnies. They couldn't have been happier.
Looking at these pics reminds me that memories and traditions are what you make of them. No matter where you live (and Nebraska isn't that bad looking after all!).