If This Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right

I feel pangs of guilt.  

Am I a terrible Mother and Grandmother?

Family Day

When our two daughters were very young, Sunday was always Family Day for us.  Nowadays, the kids call it Sunday/Fun Day.  Same day.  New name.

We carved out Sundays as a day we would spend together as a family.  We would go swimming, cross-country skiing, or hiking, depending on the season and the weather.

We would often take our girls on long Trail Hikes.  Nowadays, we call it Forest Bathing.  Same walk.  New name.

  • We would have fun, relaxed family time.
  • They would learn to appreciate nature.
  • We would all get some exercise and fresh air.
  • The goal was simply to be together.

 

Hiking With Very Young Children

It all sounds like a great idea.

For the first fifteen minutes.

How do you keep young children walking on a long hike, having fun, with minimal complaining?

My husband and I can only carry a thirty to fifty pound child for a short period of time.  We want to tire them out, not tire us out.

One Sunday, a spur of the moment decision resulted in the

               Birth Of A New Adventure! 

We Will Search For Licorice Trees 

Thirty-five years ago I packed some licorice candy strings along with healthy snacks in my knapsack for one of our hikes.

I began to discretely hang licorice strings further ahead on our path.  I did have an accomplice to distract the girls and keep an eye on them.  My complicit husband.

Finding the licorice trees did energize the girls and now they were running along the path.  They would squeal with delight when they found licorice strings hanging on a tree branch. 

              Long hikes became a lot more fun for the entire family.

 

Fast Forward Three Decades

My two daughters were recently reminiscing about our Sunday adventures when they were young girls.  They began giggling about the licorice trees.

I found out they believed for many years afterwards, licorice strings grew on trees.

A fleeting pang of guilt.  Am I a terrible Mother?

 

Last Sunday, A Funday

My husband and I took our two granddaughters for a hike last Sunday to a pretty area called the Kinsol Trestle.

I told four-year-old, Abby, and six-year-old, Sadie, to keep a lookout for licorice trees and licorice strings. 

They both gave me a puzzled, curious look. 

Sadie brought up a good point.  They had no idea what to look for?

Until they came across rainbow-coloured licorice strings hanging over a tree branch.

 

The Rest Of The Afternoon

Sadie and Abby searched high and low for this rare treasure growing in the forest.  For the rest of the afternoon there was no stopping the two of them.

We finally had to insist we turn around and head back to our vehicle.

Promises were made to return in the Spring to continue looking for this tasty treat. 

Our granddaughters did not question the existence of licorice trees.  They looked up at me with trusting eyes.

Is this wrong?  Have I gone too far?

A fleeting pang of guilt.  Am I a terrible Grandmother?

 

Perpetuating The Myths

Licorice trees belong in the category of the Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  Fictitious, imaginary characters and fantasy brought to life by adults. 

I do have fleeting pangs of guilt when I bring these stories alive.

I also hear the squeals of laughter as Sadie and Abby run along the trail.  I see the joy and delight in their eyes when they find the licorice strings.    

My husband and I share a secret, knowing smile.  A moment in life where we are in this together.

                  Sharing memories.  Creating memories.

At The End Of The Day

We return Sadie and Abby to their parents late Sunday afternoon. 

They were bubbling over with excitement sharing the adventures of their day.  They also shared their bag of licorice strings with their Mom and Dad.

As we were leaving, Sadie yells out, “The Best Day Ever!”

                              

If This Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right 

Sadie and Abby will eventually find out the truth about the licorice trees.  I suspect they will giggle when they reminisce about their Sunday/Funday adventures.  

Three decades from now they may take their own children on a forest hike looking for licorice strings.  They may want to share the joy and delight of a new adventure.

They may want to spend a fun, relaxed Sunday, simply spending time together.

                              “The Best Day Ever!”

 

 

Have you played games to make long hikes fun for children?

Did you believe in imaginary characters when you were a child?

 

Postscript: 

About the Kinsol Trestle:  The Kinsol Trestle is also known as the Koksilah River Trestle.  It is one of the highest wooden railway trestles in the world. It provides a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River. (Weblink)

Your visit:  If you come onto The Island  Vancouver Island Link   and visit the Kinsol Trestle, be on the lookout for licorice trees.  Please keep the rainbow-coloured licorice strings our little secret. These trees are very rare and we hope to find some licorice strings in the Spring on our next Trail Hike. 

Warning:  We make sure the girls do not touch anything or put anything in their mouths they find in the forest unless their parents or grandparents have given their approval.  They have received strict warnings in the past to not touch any mushrooms.  We do have poisonous mushrooms on The Island.

127 thoughts on “If This Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right

  1. Sounds like a fun idea to me and no it’s not wrong, no more than Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. When they grow up they’ll have the same great memories as your children do!!

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  2. My husband used to take our boys for walks to the “money trees”. He had dropped bits of spare change from his pocket around the base of a few trees in a park near our house. They were delighted and put it in their piggy banks when we got home. Not as tasty as licorice trees! And a little harder to explain…I don’t remember how he did explain it though!

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    1. You definitely made me smile, Margaret! I wonder what your boys would tell you now about their experience? I sometimes think how children don’t really overthink it. Thank you for visiting and sharing your story. 🙂

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  3. Hi Erica/ Erika, Your granddaughters’ smiles say it all. Their joy is obvious. Vancouver Island is such a beautiful place with so much nature to explore. I think this looking out for licorice trees is going to be one of your family fun traditions. I’ll look out for the licorice strings next time I’m there 🙂

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    1. Natalie, Thank you for your lovely comment about Vancouver Island. I shared this story on Facebook yesterday and my daughters reinforced how much fun they had. Licorice trees are rare around here. I will help you look for them next time you are here. 😉

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    1. Hi Donna, I suspect it was a still a little chilly for the licorice strings. The trees are very rare and we hope to find some in the Spring. 😉You know first hand, Donna, how there are many treasures on the Island. xx

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  4. Somehow through living an ordinary life we realize we have created extraordinary moments of a life well lived. Such a beautiful ritual and wonderful memories you are creating and I expect these will last and be carried on for several generations. I love the idea of a licorice tree!

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    1. You said this beautifully, Lynda! You are an amazing Grandmother and very creative. Even just hanging out together is fun. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to seeing you again, soon. 💕

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Jill. I thought it was a story worth telling and I had photos from our hike. My daughters were reminiscing again, yesterday, how they had a great deal of fun as children. They plan to keep the “licorice strings” adventure a part of their families. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful week! 💕

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  5. This is a delightful story and I am sure that in some alternate universe somewhere there are licorice trees. Just because we have’t seen them here YET doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Wonderful photos, too. You’re rocking this grandma thing.

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    1. Ally, Coincidentally, I was just listening to a podcast yesterday where a highly respected Physicist (beyond my brain capability) 🙂was talking about alternate realities and quantum physics. Who knows? Thank you for your kind comment. The grandma thing is truly a privilege.

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  6. Pure delight Erica – you’re the best grandma! Those liquorice trees are so pretty – I would have yelped with joy (discreetly) if I’d seen them! Or maybe not! I agree with Ally Bean – that alternate universe is such fun to explore. Thanks for a great post that has me smiling and have a great week 😀

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    1. Hi Susan, I was just mentioning to Ally, how I was listening yesterday to a highly respected Physicist talk about alternate universes and Quantum Mechanics. Beyond the capability of my brain 🙂 Very interesting. My daughters gave me more feedback yesterday on how much fun they had on these hikes when they were children. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment. You have a great week! 🙂

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  7. What a heart-warming story! I loved it Erica. Children believe what we say and it is fun to find whatever you hide anywhere…ah… the delight on their faces makes our day and adds so many joy to our own lives. You are a loving grandma dear friend. Hugs to you for those adventures. Thanks for sharing precious pictures. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful comment, Balroop. My husband and I have as much fun as the children. I feel very grateful I have children and grandchildren in my life. Joy and smiles are all worth it!

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    1. You bring up a good point about the electronics, Deb. They still like going out with us and this may change when they are teens. For now, we will appreciate our “adventures.” Looking forward to some adventures and shenanigans with our rowdy group this Summer 🙂

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  8. I remember up north the trees only had red or black. Vancouver island is special with rainbow. The thrill of licorice tree discovery never grows old.

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    1. The girls shared some great comments yesterday on how. much fun they had as children looking for the licorice trees. No black or red licorice strings on The Island. It might depend on where the trees are able to grow. It stays pretty temperate around here.💕

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  9. I love it. I wished they grew here. Many years ago the BBC did a spoof April fool story about the spaghetti harvest with strings of spaghetti growing on trees. A lot of older people still remember it.

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      1. I just looked it up, Janis, and it was broadcast April fools Day 1957. It has been brought up a number of times since then. I think you and I are almost the same age. I haven’t looked at the video yet. I suspect it all looks very realistic. I was very careful making sure I remembered where the licorice strings were hidden. We also have bears on the Island and I wasn’t sure whether bears like licorice. 😉

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    1. This is hilarious, Anne! Now that you mention it, I faintly recalling hearing something. I will google this. These licorice trees are still very rare around here. Thank you for visiting and sharing your comment.

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    1. Anabel, I just looked it up. April fools day, 1957, three minute hoax by the BBC current-affairs program Panorama. I recall hearing about it a few years ago. I had forgotten about this until Anne mentioned it. Therefore, you are not an older person.🙂. I agree on the smiles. It was that trusting look in their eyes that made me pause for a second.

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    1. My daughters read this story yesterday and they were telling me how much fun they had. As you know, Deb, we have as much fun with them as they have with us. I was thinking today how I cannot get away with this for too long. There is really a window of opportunity and this age, 4 and 6 is perfect. I look forward to reading about your new little one and all of your little ones. 💕

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  10. Malcolm had a lot of fantasy games that he played with Morgan when she was little. To this day she remembers them all fondly and swears she believed his middle name was “Wisdom” just because he told her it was. I think it is important to encourage fantasy and imagination in children and it is a gift that is so easy to give. Your granddaughters are precious and their smiles say it all. Nominating you for Grandmother of the Year award!

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    1. It is interesting, Suzanne, what our children remember from their childhood. It is often something very simple that had a huge impact on them and created fond memories. Very funny on Malcom’s middle name! I did feel a little guilty when Sadie (the 6 year old) looked up at me with trusting eyes. Thank you very much for the kind nomination. I am grateful to have them in my life. xx

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    1. Thank you, Teagan! I did feel a little guilty when they stare up at me with trusting eyes. My daughters reassure me they had a lot of fun with this when they were children. It was actually a challenge to be discrete. The girls did not want to leave and they were certain more licorice strings were still in the forest. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful comment!

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    1. It will be fun to see what is on your list, Joanne. My daughter lives 8 minutes from the Kinsol Trestle. We have been there many times. I think the parking lot to the Trestle is about one kilometre, a very easy walk. A few years ago a friend and I walked along that river for quite awhile. Also fun. I may do it again this Spring to check out the trail. Some wineries in this area, too, where they serve lunch. I should scout out. It is a pretty area with history. Not necessarily spectacular.

      Many options. I think it depends on the length of hikes, the type of area/scenery/sites you would like to visit. I have some personal favourites. I know you do a lot of research. You can contact me any time, Joanne, if you have some questions beforehand and just my opinion. Fun times ahead! 💕

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      1. I don’t have much of a list at this point. I’m a little paralyzed by what I don’t know.

        I have a bias for rugged, ‘wilderness’ type trails rather than the groomed ‘superhighway’ type trails which tend to be too peopley for my taste. I’m aware that I’m not likely going to find many ‘wilderness’ trails on the east coast, so generally speaking, give me rocks, trees, and/or water and I’ll be happy 😊

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        1. Joanne, I may have mentioned a couple of areas I think are worth visiting/hiking. Juan de Fuca trail area, to Botanical Beach and East Sooke park. Many trail heads and good day hikes all leading out to water. More wilderness type trails. I have a good friend who is a great hiking partner. We will try to revisit these areas and check out the best trail heads.

          I hope you are still on the mend. I know we will stay in touch.🙂

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          1. Thanks for being the advance scout! Having said that, I discovered a long time ago that in the end, the destination isn’t really the point – it’s the company.

            I’m confident we are going to have a blast regardless of where we go and what we do 🙂

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            1. Awwee, you are very sweet, Joanne, and I agree. You will have more of an idea where you want to explore as time progresses. I know it will be fun to plan some meet ups/hikes/explore/adventures. 🙂

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  11. The fact that your children remember this activity with giggles and smiles and your grandchildren report it as the best day ever is all the validation you need! You have them out in nature physically moving and interacting with family, I think that’s wonderful!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely, thoughtful comment, Christie. We have a lot of fun with them. They are also at the perfect age where they pretty well believe everything we tell them. I did feel a little guilty, although, my adult daughters reassured me, all good. Thank you for visiting, Christie!

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  12. Oh my goodness, Erica!!! I love this story!! I want to go back in time and have licorice trees for my children! I know that I’ll definitely have them for my future grandchildren! I’m already thinking about my next trip to see my nephews. One of them is still young enough to totally appreciate this kind of adventure. Any “treasure” hunts that I created for kids were some of their favorites. My daughter still talks about the birthday where I had a series of clues and the girls followed from clue to clue until they found the prizes. 🙂 You are creating beautiful, lasting memories!!

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    1. You are right, Amy, about the age of the children. Four and six is perfect. Possibly a fun event for you and your nephews. Fun for the entire family! 🙂 These licorice trees are very rare. Many years ago, the trees up North had red and black licorice strings. The trees on the Island have the rainbow-coloured strings. Still rare to find.

      Your daughter and her friends would have had an amazing birthday. Like you say, making memories. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Amy. Have a wonderful week, shining your light!💕

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  13. We used to take out kids on long hikes in the woods when they were younger too. Now they tease us about the “forced death marches” we did but all of them are now hikers. Any day that the grandchildren call the best day ever is a win! 🙂

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    1. The “forced death marches” is hilarious, Laurie! My daughters did give us that death march look, too, when they were younger. You remind me how one of my daughters were say ‘we are now at the point of no return’ when we were half way into our walk. They are also avid hikers and campers now. Thank you for visiting and sharing your comment.🙂

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  14. What a fantastic tradition! It all feels right to me. Growing up with myths give childhood a flavor- love is fun and memorable. My kids, nieces and now the grands believe my parents basements have alligators- another story.

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    1. The “alligators” is hilarious! Possibly a story worth sharing one day. We have as much fun as the children when we go on a hike. The licorice trees are very rare around here.🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  15. Erica, you’re the best mother and grandmother! 😀 I love the sound of your Sunday/Funday and what an inspired idea for the day out. You mean, liquorice trees don’t exist?! 😀 Now I’m disappointed! For many years I believed in spaghetti trees from the famous April Fool – made perfect sense to me!

    Sadie and Abby look gloriously happy and delighted with their discoveries – precious family days out. I’m envious of your surrounding nature, the walkways look heavenly and what a wonderful way to spend the day, Forest Bathing! I’ll do some of that at Easter – the summer houses in Sweden which my mother owns there are set in the midst of the forest and it is such a blessed retreat/haven! When my son was younger we took long walks through the forest and to encourage him halfway round my mother had bought an angel statue and we would always stop to talk to her. When he was a little older, we had to walk on as my son chatted with the angel by himself. Wondered what those conversations were about?! It made sure the walk never became tedious and later we had with a snack break at a stunning viewpoint bench overlooking the lake.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful day here, the photos are fantastic and I love the post! Here is to many more Fundays with your family! hugs xx ❤️

    ps. Erica, just to let you know I’m posting your review of ‘Oskar’s Quest’ this Thursday 5th along with the photos. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Annika, I looked up the spaghetti trees video. Very funny. 🙂 I felt this story was worth writing down, even as a keepsake for my daughters. And I had the new photos with our granddaughters. We have as much fun with the girls as they do with us. I did feel a little guilty when I saw the trust in their eyes. My daughters reassured me how they had a great time on our hikes when they were young. Now, they still hike and camp.

      The Summer houses in Sweden sound amazing, especially when they are a retreat/haven. Wow, about the angel statue. It would be interesting to find out about the conversations. Yet, I understand the privacy. Almost a sacred spot.

      Thank you for your kind, thoughtful, supportive comment, Annika.💕 I look forward to reading your March 5th post. I look forward to reading all of your posts!💗

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  16. Erica, I just love the whole post. You are a wonderful mother and grandmother.
    It is important for children to have some magic in their lifes. The liquorice tree is
    a great creation. So imaginative.
    I used magic along the same line for my children and grand children, I think they pretended
    to believe a while after they figured out the tricks.
    I think we enjoy it as much as the children. 🤗💕.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam, Thank you for your very kind comment. 💕 I did feel a little guilty when I saw the trust in their eyes. I also saw a sparkle in their eyes when they came upon their first licorice strings. Like you say, it was magical. Licorice trees are rare around here,🙂 and I can still hear the excitement each time they found the licorice strings. You are right, I enjoyed it as much as they did. 💗

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    1. I had a wonderful time, Eduarda, when you and I hiked this area and we went along the river. I would love to do that again. Plus other hikes. We always have a great time! Licorice trees are very rare. I think we have a short window of opportunity with them to search for the strings. They are at a perfect age right now. Hmmm…yet, my daughters thought the licorice trees existed even when they were much older. Keep a lookout, Eduarda, on our next hike 🙂💗

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    1. Interesting about the book on family rituals, Lydia. I would appreciate the name of this book, if you have a moment to share. I felt a little guilty when I saw the trust in their eyes. We all did have a fun time. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.🙂

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  17. This is a really lovely post Erika. It brought back memories of when I was a child and my grandfather would give us a cup of salt to catch a rabbit, telling us if we put salt on their tails they were easy to pick up. I’m embarrassed to say that I was an adult before I woke up to him. #MLSTL Sharing

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    1. I love your story, Jennifer! You made me smile. It is interesting what experiences children remember from when they were young. Thank you for reading and your kind comment.

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    1. I felt a little guilty, Michele, when Sadie (6 year-old) looked up at me with trusting eyes. She is also the one who yelled out “best day ever.” Yes, fun memories for all of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful comment.

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  18. I think imagination and make believe are a wonderful gift we can give our children and grandchildren – as long as everyone knows it’s a little bit of fun and not a lie to cover something malicious. I remember a long family drive where our daughter (who was about 5) was getting bored – so we had her looking for koalas in the trees (we don’t have koalas in our State) it kept her distracted for about half an hour and that was all we needed. My husband still laughs when we remember that story. I loved the family licorice tree story that you now have x
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Very funny about the koalas in the trees, Leanne! Whatever it takes to keep small children happy on a long drive. It also keeps the adults happy. It is definitely a privilege to have children and grandchildren in our lives. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughtful comment. xx

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  19. Hi Erica what a lovely way to spend time with your grandchildren and create beautiful memories. That is the most important thing isn’t it? I think the licorice trees are just another example of expanding our children and grandchildren’s imagination. Life is difficult enough when the grow up so fueling their imagination with delight and helping them stay active at the same time is definitely not wrong. I loved this Erica and I might even steal your idea for my grandsons. Thank you for sharing and being part of the #MLSTL community. You live in such a beautiful part of the world. xx

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    1. Hi Sue, Sadie and Abby are at a perfect age, 6 and 4, to look for licorice trees and strings. It will be interesting to hear their version when they get older. I did feel a twinge of guilt when I saw their trusting eyes. My daughters reassured me how they had a lot of fun when they were children. You are right about fueling their imagination and staying active. Thank you for your kind comment on our part of the planet. Australia has many beautiful areas, too, and we may visit one day. xx

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  20. Absolutely delightful. If this is wrong, I don’t want to know!! One of my daughters was torn about having Santa/Easter B./T. Fairy visit her daughter because she said in doing so she was propagating a lie. I think that’s the right word – propagating. Anyway, she remembered being devastated when she learned the truth about the trio. But I asked her, when she was debating what to do, if the joy those 3 musketeers brought to her childhood outweighed the thought that I lied to her about them. After some back and forth, she and her husband have had Santa visit and the 3 Kings after Christmas, and the Easter Bunny in the spring. Cia is not yet of tooth-losing age but I hope the Fairy visits, too.
    I adore this so much. You are a delight. Your grands and your own babies will never forget those memories. Best Day EVER!!
    When my other daughter was in middle school and struggling some with being a preteen. I insisted she accompany the family on hikes. She was VERY reluctant. I promised her a TV and recliner was waiting at the top of the mountain, and hike she did. We still tease her about that now.

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    1. I think you work at an Elementary School, Leslie? You may sometimes hear stories and questions from the young children about the imaginary characters? Interesting how your daughter seems to have worked out a compromise to include the stories in Cia’s childhood. Very funny on the story you told your preteen daughter to keep hiking! In the long run they will thank us for the time together. Thank you for your kind words about the story. You know first hand, Leslie, how much fun spending time together is for all of us. xx

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  21. Dear E,

    This is wonderful and whimsical and speaks to creativity, fun and joy mirrored by grandparents to their grandchildren (and children before them).

    Can I be your grandchild ha ha? You are a phenomenal Grandmother!

    This reminds me of a story: my husband and I also took our kids on hikes when they were young. Our middle son was lagging behind (on purpose) and being a bit stubborn. My husband snuck up ahead and hid behind a tree. When our son, who was only 5 years old at the time, caught up he heard strange owl sounds coming from behind the tree. He took off like a shot out of a cannon. I have never seen a little boy run so fast! Suddenly he wasn’t lagging behind.

    Every time we go by that curve in the path with grandchildren, we tell the story of how slowpoke Uncle Ryan took off like an Olympic sprinter!

    Okay not the same thing as colorful licorice trees but it just goes to show how delicious memories can feed us decades later!

    (Now, this begs the question – was my husband a bad father for scaring a 5 year old? I’ll ask my 37 year old son and report back😂)

    Great post!!

    Love
    Susan Grace

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    1. Thank you for your kind, supportive words, Susan. Very funny about your husband imitating an owl. Or was it an actual owl?🙂 At least it wasn’t bear or wolf sounds. We do have bears around here, and I started to get a little hung up on making sure I remembered the hidden locations for the licorice strings. I didn’t want bears getting all excited and craving licorice. I did keep count and made sure all were found.

      Wow, Susan…….”delicious memories can feed us decades later!” You are good!! Thank you for your comment, and yes, report back on how your son is doing today.🙂💕

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  22. OMG Erica, what a precious post of a magical time with your grandaughters! You are a FABULOUS gramma! How creative and sweet. This whole post made me feel warm inside. You have made memories for your little grandchildren for a lifetime, as your children’s own memories illustrate.
    The licorice trees may be rare, but grandmothers like you are rare as well.
    LOVED this!!!!
    #MLSTL

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    1. I did feel a little guilty, Nancy, when Sadie (the six-year-old) looked up at me with her trusting eyes. We all did have a ton of fun. Thank you for your very kind comment! It is a privilege to have the children in my life. It is also a privilege to have you in my life! xx

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    1. Thank you, Deborah, It was one of those spontaneous events to keep the group moving. Funny how we often recall the little things in life. A treat to take your Grandson out for a walk on some of your gorgeous hiking areas! Thank you for your thoughtful comment.💕

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  23. If your wrong, I want to be wrong along with you. 🙂 But really, I think you and your guy are ALL RIGHT. What a fun time – I wish I’d thought of it! My guy and I take each of our grandkids on Sunday hikes too (we take each one individually – each one loves his/her “alone” time and all the attention from their grandparents). We began this when they were around three, and now at 7, 10, and 11, the hikes have become further and more challenging. Great Meadows (bird sanctuary), over rivers and dales, huge hikes around famous old New England cemeteries. Each walk begins with a stop at the café for some hot chocolate and a croissant or muffin, and ends at another café for lunch. So. Much. Fun. Too late for the licorice trick, but I think that’s brilliant.

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    1. Pam, I LOVE your idea of a one on one date! The dynamics and discussion are often very different, than when they are with their siblings. Like you say, alone time and attention. You have some fun and beautiful areas to explore. The time together, priceless! I also think the licorice trees have a short window of opportunity. I really like planning a fun date together! Thank you for sharing.🙂

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      1. One of the things I do (with each grandchild individually) is bake. Even the youngest at 7 can break an egg perfectly! I didn’t get that good until I was 45! 🙂
        Thanks for your message about amazon.ca. Unfortunately, my publisher has no control over Amazon. Very frustrating for her (and me!) Hope the books arrive sooner rather than later. My e-mail is pam.wight@colettawight.net. Would love to connect!

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        1. I thought I would mention the hiccups when ordering to you, Pam. I am sure many Canadians would love to read your books. I am one of them! And, yes, I love baking, and eating 🙂 with the children!

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  24. Hi Erika- I love the idea of the licorice hunt!
    And best day ever – whew – that is the ultimate complement
    And back in our hike days we sometimes used a checklist of what we were tying to find – had a few of them over the years depending On age

    And recall some my boys helped make – we made a chart and they drew the item we were hunting for –
    A spider web
    A ladybug
    An ant
    A bird
    A Fern
    Find 3 Leaves (as they got older we had one hike chart with specific leaves but early on just finding a few different types)
    Find water
    Rock
    Etc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An excellent idea, Yvette. Sort of like a scavenger hunt. The licorice trees have a short window of opportunity. I LOVE your suggestion! Very doable, yet challenging and fun. Thank you for reading and your lovely comment. I hope all is well in your part of the world. (An aside: I just received the elibrary book “Brain Wash” same author as Grain Brain. I am curious to read)🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I thoroughly enjoyed the post and hiked along with you. I heard about you on Annika Perry’s blog and new book now in two languages. Hiking with young ones whose legs sometimes tire is challenging. I enjoyed it anyway. Your photos are beautiful too. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet you, Mary Ann. Thank you for your lovely, kind comment. With many of the challenges presently in our world, I wanted to share something good, fun and heartfelt in a post, especially for my adult daughters. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to visiting your blog.🙂

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  26. What a “feel good” post, Erica! I was smiling together with your granddaughters as they hopped and skipped along the trestle and found the precious licorice trees. I think the guilt feeling is happening because you think too much about it. Look at those happy kids on Sunday Funday! Totally worth it. I also liked the way you composed this post – well-written, entertaining, fun, and circling back. Loved it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind, supportive comment, Liesbet. 🙂 Many challenging stories about life right now in the news and on some blogs. I wanted to share something positive and fun. It is also a special memory for us and our daughters. I hope all is well with you and I look forward to staying connected. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  27. When they hand out medals for resourcefulness you’ll be right up there, Erica. 🙂 🙂 We’ll be looking after a 7 year old soon and I’m pretty sure this will work on him. Or maybe lollipop trees, if there’s enough time.

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  28. I think you were doing such a fun and kind thing for your children and grandchildren. I do remember tempting my daughter with food to continue walking when a 3 km walk turning into a 9 km one, when we took a wrong turn…. we were all exhausted by the end. But it was not as fun for her as a treasure hunt for treats would have been. And the reward is the looks on your kids’ faces. Worth it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amanda, Your daughter did amazing going from a 3 km to a 9km. Difficult to keep spirits up especially when it is unexpected. We have as much fun with the children as they do with us and they teach me something new every day. Thank you for reading and sharing your lovely comment.

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  29. Erica, you are a wonderful grandmother!

    Your story reminded me of a childhood memory. Do you remember crackerjacks, with the two components of candied popcorn and peanuts? I remember having crackerjacks as a rare treat when my brothers and I were quite young. One day, I took a handful of crackerjacks and placed them on the branches of a little evergreen tree in our yard. I told my younger brother a story about how crackerjacks grew on trees. He didn’t believe me until I pointed out the crackerjacks on the tree. He was so excited, finding them and eating them. However, I had reason to regret my story a few weeks later. I found my brother standing beside the same little tree eating the spruce buds off the tips of the branches. He insisted they were crackerjack peanuts, even though they tasted “different.” I came clean and told him I’d made up the story to trick him but he didn’t believe me! To this day, I wonder if he still believes that crackerjacks grow on trees? So, it’s a good thing you have the rule not to eat anything in the forest unless parents or grandparents have approved it first!

    Jude

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your story is hilarious, Jude. I can see your brother’s point. Glad it all turned out okay. The licorice strings were rare and placed far apart. I also kept track of where they were. I didn’t want a licorice liking bear attracted to this area in case we left some behind. That Sunday seems like it was a long time ago. It is hard to believe it was less than two months ago. A surreal world right now. Thank you for my smile, tonight. We will stay connected.

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  30. What a wonderfully creative way to get the kids interested and enthused and I do love that you have now made it a family tradition and taken it on to the next generation. It’s not much different to having kids believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth fairy is it? Fabulous post, so enjoyed it.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Peta, for sharing your thoughts. It was fun to write this story and it is a keepsake for my children and grandchildren. It is difficult to believe this hike was only about two weeks before our world completely changed. It was so easy to go for a free spirited walk, enjoying each other and our forests. Every park is closed now. We are all staying inside our homes. Our neighbourhood is eerily quiet. All for the right reasons. I hope in future months we can go searching for the licorice trees again.

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  31. I love it, Erica. I hope you were tongue-in-cheek about questioning whether you’re a bad mother/grandmother. Licorice trees are fabulous and I’m glad they grow in your area. Fostering wonderful imaginations and adventures is a precious gift that kids remember for their lifetimes. My grandson’s visits are full of magic too. We hide pirate coins and gnome gems in our forest which is loaded with magic. He’s always up for an outdoor adventure and never notices that he’s tired. And adorable pictures of the “Best Day Ever.” Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, Somewhat tongue-in-cheek with a sprinkle of guilt. It comes with the territory of being a Mother, a Grandmother, a Daughter…..

      This licorice tree adventure happened a couple of weeks before the world changed. It makes me feel sad now, yet happy how we did make time for fun, and creating many ‘Best Days Ever.’ Definitely social distancing, social isolating now, which means no grandchildren visits. Still count our blessings how everyone is healthy.

      Your comment made me smile. What fun to find pirate coins and gnome gems! I don’t know who has more fun, us or them? These are the memories I hold close to my heart and cherish right now. Thank you for reminding me of a special day. I am hopeful we will have adventures together again, although it may not be for awhile. Diana, I wish you and your loved ones stay well. Take care.💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Mark, and sharing your thoughts. It is ironic how the day we spent searching for licorice trees was only about two weeks before everything changed for us. I will hold those moments very dear since I don’t know when we will ever be able to have a fun, free-spirited day like that again. The Kinsol Trestle has been closed the last two months.

      You are facing all of this, too, Mark. Some places are opening up this week with restrictions, of course. Once the Park opens up there will likely be an abundance of Licorice Strings growing on the trees. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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