North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

March 14, 2013

Danielle Cater: Make the most of these sunny days

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — If you didn’t get out and enjoy the weather last weekend, you missed quite a nice break in the cold.

Since we live in Alabama, we may be wearing scarves and toboggans one day and a swimsuit and sunscreen the next. So if there is ever a break in the clouds, you’d better jump on the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

My family has been blessed with a little house on the Warrior River, and I plan to spend most of my summer weekends basking in the sun at the end of a fishing pier in those waters. This weekend was the perfect time to go out and get the house ready for spring. So we loaded up some of the kids, tossed in some grandparents to share the fun with, and took it out to the river for a little down time on Saturday.

Nothing makes a getaway better than sharing it with friends and family. There was no part of my body that wanted to get into those frozen waters, but we did get a little fishing time in.

There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a mountain woman than casting a baited hook into muddy waters in search of the biggest lunker in the lake.

In the same regards, there is nothing that makes you feel more like a sissy than standing on the edge of a pier and casting an 18 inch Barbie fishing pole with live bait into those same waters. Of course, with my fishing expertise, I did manage to hook myself in the arm twice and tangle the line around the reel so badly that I wanted to break the whole rod over my leg — but I refrained because of the presence of innocent children. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had been on that pier by myself, wrestling with that pink rod and reel. I’m pretty sure God would have struck me down for the thoughts I had toward that reel.

After that not-so-relaxing fishing time, I decided to rest on the couch and regain the little composure I had left.

The next day we headed back to the realities of the real world and our real house, but not without a quick stop at the park for more fun in the sun, and then some ice cream with even more play time. All parents know the joys of the first sunny day of the year. The only problem is that we never know exactly how to dress children when the weather first turns. Of the four girls in our family, we had one with a pink tutu and tights, one with sweat pants, one with a workout skirt and high heels and one with shorts and fuzzy boots.

Yes, I let my babies dress themselves on fun, weekend days and no, I won’t repent of it. Kids have their own sense of style and they should be allowed to explore their fashion options. I wouldn’t let them wear that to school or church, necessarily, but for fun days at the park and McDonald’s — I can’t see the harm in that.

After the excitement of the day was starting to wear, it was time to head home, but not without one more little adventure. We lit up the fire pit in the front yard and roasted hot dogs and danced to music as the night wore on. Since we had an extra hour of daylight, this was the perfect weekend to explore the great outdoors.

When the babies were fast asleep and the fire was barely glowing, it quieted throughout our neighborhood and the fun, weekend activities came to a close.

If every day was like our weekends, we would be so tired and worn out that they wouldn’t be any fun. But when we experience a week of work and school, it’s great to have a fun-filled weekend surrounded by the ones we love the most.

Make sure you make the most of your weekends this spring and summer, because we know that winter comes all too quickly, and then we will stand at the windows and wish we had days like these. Turn those wishes into realities.