It is raining on and off and we are at the mall. One of those nice outdoor pseudo small town feeling deals. I have to say that one of the reasons we bought our house was because of this place. I feel a little mixed about the choice. Yes we live in the burbs and there are not any genuine Main Streets to be had. But really, choosing to live next to a "nice" but completely manufactured center of commerce? Would it be better to live next to an ugly strip mall (no), or the mega enclosed double-decker mall on the other side of town (ugh!). Or should we be in the country, or no wait, in the city . . . OK I have to stop myself, because we live where we live and moving is not in the cards right now. So here we are walking along getting more of our stuff done. My little one has decided to splash in all the puddles and I am enjoying this sight.
After leaving one store I start to head back toward the car. I'm planning on loading up and driving to the next store. Well it is at the other end of the mall. Wait! What am I doing? We can’t walk the length of two football fields? Why is my first thought always to drive? Did I mention we live next to this place? As in a 15 minute walk and a 5 minute bike ride. How often to we walk over here? Almost never. And yes there are sidewalks. But we are such a car culture. We love our cars, I love my mobile living room as I call it. But to get from basically one side of a parking lot to the other? This is getting silly. And so what if it’s raining, we have gear, and my little ones feet are already sopping, driving, walking, or flying, she’s got wet feet. So I put my bags in the car and we head off to our next destination. I let little puddle jumper lead the way and she picks our route. Thank you Dora for getting her so into maps and journeys. Along the way we find two fountains to throw coins in. We hear some nice music (yes the outdoor piped in kind) that inspires a little dancing and we see several little birds enjoying the puddles too.
At the corner of a building my little one shouts “Holly! Holly Jolly Holly!!!” And there it is a nice full holly bush with perfect red berries. We did a lot of reading over the holidays and she really adopted the holly for some reason. Maybe because it is so fun to say when rhymed with Jolly. We stop and look. She tells me very seriously that the berries are for the birds not for us. And she also reminds me that the leaves are very pokey. After a bit we continue on our way through the manufactured small town. But I’m starting to appreciate it a little more. Yes, it was built all at the same time and, and yes you know the names of every store in here, but there is something real to be found if we just get out of the car and walk.