Goodnight is growing up on me. She’ll be in seventh grade – I knew that, but because she’s at a school with K-8, they call it middle school. Were it another school, it could be called junior high. Yikes! Where did the time go?
Part of our field trip last Friday was to celebrate her youth before we both forget what it’s like to enjoy it. I’ll get to the Elf tree part of the story in just a moment.
As I mentioned last week, I planned to take her to the Mexican Mercado. We did that. It’s not too far from home and Goodnight enjoyed it. Neither of us speak enough Spanish to be fluent, but I can get by at the Mercado. I’m fluent in pointing and holding up fingers! Actually, I’m teasing. The folks there speak Spanish and English.
Goodnight and I split up as we walked around the market. It’s indoors and not too big for me to worry about us losing each other. I told her to check out the produce and pick some fruit that she would enjoy.
I told her to meet me at the bakery counter. I love standing there and gawking at the artwork in the display case. The rolls, the breads, the empanadas, the cookies are just beautifully done. We’ve been limiting our portions of sweets to Dinner by Alphabet nights when Goodnight is in charge of desserts (usually), so we didn’t buy any cookies to bring home, but we each bought an empanada. Mine had sweet potato filling and Goodnight’s had pumpkin. We saved them for later in our field trip.
We stayed in the area for lunch. Actually, near the entrance to the Mercado, someone cooks on an outdoor grill and people can get chicken or beef tacos there. That’s what Goodnight and I decided to do.
The Mercado visit and lunch didn’t take too long, so I wanted to take Goodnight to see The Elf Tree. I took her a long time ago, when Officer Friendly was still alive. I wasn’t sure how much she’d enjoy the visit now. These tween years can be unpredictable, but hey – I keep trying.
I told her about the Elf Tree as we drove. Sixteen years ago, a little ‘elf’ moved into a tree on the south side of a lake on the other side of town. There is a tiny door with an even tinier door handle in the shape of a lion’s head.
In the summer time, children write notes to the elf and leave them inside the door to ‘Mr. Little Guy’s’ home. MLG always answers every note.
I had secretly tucked a pen and notebook in my purse before we left for the Mercado, in case Goodnight decided she wanted to write a note.
She was a very good sport about visiting the Elf Tree. She didn’t remember it from our previous visit – it was too long ago and too close to her mother’s death to register in her memory, perhaps. So I’m glad I took her again.
The answers are left in a little bag to protect them from the elements and children can return to dig through the bag to find their personal replies.
She decided that she would write a note. I sat on a separate bench and enjoyed watching the grown-ups walk by and check out the Elf Tree and take photos. I asked a couple of guys if they wanted to borrow some of my paper so they could write their notes. In the photo below, you can see a glimpse of the lake. MLG has a great view!
I didn’t ask Goodnight what she wrote. I knew she would tell me if she wanted me to know, so I just sat back and enjoyed my granddaughter.
When she was finished with her note, she folded it up, opened the door to MLG’s house and left it for him.
When we left the lake area and MLG’s Elf Tree, we visited a beautiful rose garden . . . . a beautiful, BIG rose garden. What you see in the photo below is only one small corner. There were yellow roses and red roses in another direction. We could smell them as soon as we stepped out of the car!
It was a great Field Trip Friday! It came with a promise to return to the Elf Tree so Goodnight could hunt for her reply from MLG. We found a spot to eat our empanadas from the Mercado and then we headed home.
Part 2 of the field trip will be this week. Her reply will be there. No one takes what isn’t theirs. And there is a bird sanctuary in the vicinity that we’ll visit this week, as well.