White Dog was almost as surprised as I was when Steve came back to bed this morning and announced that he had already emailed the office of his impending absence...that he was taking a mental health day! "What's say we pick up some goodies and have a breakfast picnic amidst the Cottonwoods at the Bosque?" he asked and White Dog was in his lap wiggling her approval in an instant. We lingered a bit listening to the birdies chirping in the nest outside the window and then dressed to go. White Dog pestered us to skip the dressing part and just GO! but both Steve and I thought clothing ourselves was time well spent.
White Dog was out of the door and sitting by the side of the car before Steve even clipped the leash on Quinn (who wasn't quite sure he wanted to give up his morning nap). Off we went on a warm, marvelously blue morning all of us feeling like we were slightly naughty for "skipping class." First stop, Flying Star for a blueberry cheese scone for Steve and an almond croissant for me (alas, they were out of croissants but gave Steve and plain one and an almond petite four with guarantees that if I ate both together that I would "get the same sensation." Delectable!) Next, it was a stop for our local roaster's rich dark roast coffee (with lots of cream); Quinn hasn't yet figured out how to use the travel cap sippy thing on the cup so he went caffeine-less (a good thing). Lastly, we stopped at Wendy's for chicken nuggets for White Dog and Quinn. It took every bit of White Dog's party manners and willpower to just sniff the bag she was protecting.
The forest was deserted and we were invited by the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves to stroll and breathe and enjoy...but first things first...we all shared breakfast al fresco savoring the moment and enjoying each bite. Then we walked the trail, White Dog and Other White Dog pausing to sniff and explore and sometimes just to stand still, listening. We all sat together in the fresh air and talked and laughed and let the beauty of the morning wash us all free of stress.
We got home shortly before Michael returned from school and all smiled a secret smile when he asked why White Dog and Quinn both looked so happy and tired.