"I just realized I have met you before!" she said. "I saw you smile and realized it was Kiley's smile, and I knew you were her dad."
Yes, my father and I have the same smile. We have the same puffy cheeks and the same puffy eyes, and the same squinty smile. In fact, I look a lot like my dad, although my dark eyes will always reflect my mom.
It was a wonderful couple of days spent with my dad this weekend. He drove hours just to visit for a little more than one day. When he got here, I almost didn't know what to do. Usually, people who want to visit just enjoy shopping, but my dad certainly wouldn't enjoy that. I rattled off a few ideas, and when I mentioned asparagus hunting, he looked intrigued.
Apparently my dad has never been asparagus hunting. He said my grandma would point it out on the roadway when they were kids, but they never stopped to get it. So we put on some boots and long sleeves to protect from ticks and headed out with a knife and plastic bag.
First, we had to find some asparagus so I could point out to him what we were looking for. Walking along one road ditch where I knew some asparagus was, we found two stalks that were just right for eating. Not bad at all.
Then he spotted some across the road, where I hadn't looked before. This first patch garnered a small handful, and continuing along the steep slope by a farm field we found more and more and more and more. In fact, we had so much my small hands couldn't hold the bundle, so Dad tied the bundle up with a piece of grass.
After a few more stops, we ended up with more asparagus than I had ever seen come from the wild.
It is so fun to find wild edibles like asparagus. Not only do you not have to pay for it, but it's also an enjoyable outdoor activity. We spent time in the sun. We got to bond. We have a shared experience and felt accomplished.
I'm all for technology, but having my job in conservation, I have learned a lot about the importance of slowing down and spending time outdoors. God provides us with so much outside our houses and away from our technology. He provides us with food and with opportunities for memory-making.
I saw a meme on Facebook the other day with a picture of two children standing in front of a lake. The picture said, "They'll never remember time spent in front of the TV."
You know what, that's true for children of any age. I certainly appreciated the time I spent with my dad outside that day, and I created a memory that I will have forever. I may be my dad's grown-up kid, but I'm still his kid, and I appreciate that he spent that time with me making memories.