Trudy and the boats

Last week, (or was it the week before?) I settled down on the couch with my kids to read Time of Wonder, long one of our favorite books.  Just as fall brings a big storm in the story, we had only days before experienced our own big storm, so it seemed an appropriate and timely read that morning.

Later that day, we worked on a project from volume nine of Alphabet Glue, inspired by another Robert McCloskey book:  One Morning in Maine.

A tiny fleet of acorn top boats with paper sails was created and then set on the mantle, waiting for the perfect day to take them sailing.  I think these little sailboats could be inspired by Time of Wonder as well.

On a recent warm day we decided that the weather was perfect for sailing.  We didn’t have time to leave home, so we headed into the woods behind our house.

The beech trees are so lovely right now.

The creek that runs through the woods is a small one, and filled with leaves this time of year, so we headed for the spring.

The word “spring” when used in reference to a spot where groundwater bubbles to the surface brings to mind the image of lovely clear water for me.  But, that isn’t the case for our spring.  It’s actually kind of nasty.  But that hasn’t stopped it from being a favorite destination for our family for many years now.

We carefully set our boats into the water and watched them bob and float.

As they began to move out of our reach, sticks were grabbed and used in an effort to coax the boats back to shore.

A few were saved, but the majority of our fleet floated across the spring.  While the big kids contemplated the best way to rescue the boats, Beatrix tested her shoes “To see how waterproof they were.”

Trudy decided to test the water as well…

Before we could stop her (not that we really tried,) she was bounding in and out of the water and splashing the murk and mud everywhere.  We all screamed and cried that we had to save the boats while at the same time becoming more concerned with our clothes!  Trudy is not very aware of where her body is in space when she is excitedly running around, and we knew that she was going to collide with us and cover us with smelly creek mud.

“Daddy’s going to be maaaad!”  we all agreed.  Trudy is an indoor dog, and this romp in the spring meant that Jonny would have to bathe her.

If you look closely, you can see a couple of the boats under her leaping body in this photo.  Obviously, the end of those sailboats followed Trudy’s wild rumpus over them.

She would pause for a moment, and then start racing wildly about again.  It was definitely a good day for Trudy.

Because it’s great fun to try to escape from a wild wet dog, the kids shifted their attention away from the boats (most were history) and onto reaching safety from Trudy.

Three boats survived to sail again someday, maybe in the bathtub next time.

Trudy did get a bath, and Jonny wasn’t mad about it.  We’d all had so much fun, how could he be?


  1. Those are the cutest little boats that I ever did see!!! Found your blog through a post on Pioneer Woman that my sister sent me (she also sent me the post to these cutie patootie boats) and I’m hooked! 🙂

  2. I adore those boats and even though it is winter, we’re going to have to make some for the bathtub. Love your photos and your commitment to motherhood. Have a wonderful week and can’t wait to keep following your blog!

  3. Oh… thanks for the smile this morning. What fun in the forest. My kiddos seem to be attracted to some of the least lovely places in the forest as well… and there is always water involved.
    Love AG and those little boats.

  4. O thanks, that post was so enjoyable! Dogs and kids make a lot of great fun.

  5. Ginny,
    I love these pictures of your adventure.


  6. Hi Ginny

    have you heard of/read this book

    It is written by Jane McClosky and talks about life with her Dad
    I checked it out of the local library ( we are in Maine). By reading this book we also discovered the Homer Price books that he also wrote but that I had never heard of.

    We also made the boats about a month ago, sailed ours in a roasting dish on the kitchen floor. I think we went a little heavy on the tacky stuff.
    We found that plastic bottle caps work really well and that all kinds of small toys can then go sailing it them as well.

  7. This is the nicest blog post I’ve read in a long while. Your photos are great, the kids with the boats , I see they enjoy what they are doing. And Trudy enjoys perhaps the most! Thanks for your story and the photos!

  8. What gorgeous photos, brilliant post!

  9. Trudy looks so very very happy!!!!
    <3 Jessa

  10. Beautiful story, so inspirational! and so enjoy your excellent photos. Look forward to reading more on your blog. What a treat!

  11. What a lovely story. Wish I was a kid again. I wanna make acorn boats now and I’m 64.

  12. Trudy’s face in the last picture says it all! “well, of course he wasn’t mad. Wanna play?”

  13. Wonderful pictures of your active family. I just love visiting here and seeing your pictures.

  14. Those are awesome pictures of Trudy jumping about in the water. We have a dog that LOVES the water so we get frequent showers while hiking and he laying in the creeks and then shakes after.

  15. Those are 2 of our favorite books as well 😉 We’ve named our home Hickory Hill because we live high on a mountain in TN covered with hickory trees, so our boats are made of hickory shells. Lovely photos!

  16. As a someone born, raised…and who currently lives in Maine – Time of Wonder and One Morning In Maine are particularly special book. Lovely post. Thanks.

  17. I want to come and live next door to you! 🙂

  18. I am a newcomer to your blog, and have enjoyed looking through some of your old posts. Great photos, and very peaceful. Thanks for sharing your life.

  19. I love the curled-up tail. So cute.

  20. Love the little boats. I like your new header photo too, though for a moment it completely threw me and I thought I was on the wrong blog.

  21. how funny! and the pictures are absolutely gorgeous….. perfect lighting!

  22. One Morning in Maine was one of the favorite books when my oldest was little. We spent a lot of time with a couple last name of Condon, so we used to change the name in the story. He was a good one to sit through hours of reading. I miss those story days…not enough to be ready for grandparent reading, but enough to smile when people mention them, and borrow kids from time to time. We’ve passed on a lot of toys and clothes, but the books are here for me as much as them.

  23. Those boats are adorable! I love the shots of Trudy splashing about in the water and the kids perched on the fallen tree to escape her.

  24. those pictures of trudy are wonderful. <3

  25. What a special, fun day for all involved!

  26. How fun! Trudy is such a character!!!!

  27. That’s such a fun thing to do Ginny. It’s getting a little chilly here in Michigan so maybe we’ll make some for the bathtub. I love looking at you and your beautiful family.

  28. What a gorgeous day! Trudy looks like she had a wonderful time… xo

  29. Love the photos of Trudy! Pure joy!

  30. Love those tiny little sail boats! And the dog…so funny:) What a great afternoon for you all!

  31. That crazy dog! I love Bea testing her shoes. Perhaps galoshes next time 🙂

  32. Holy extreme gorgeousness there!

  33. Love Trudy’s sense of happiness in life! When we walk our dog Frodo we have to be careful he doesn’t collect burrs in his fur. They are absolutely the worst stuff to comb out!! Great little sail boats 🙂

  34. Yay for Trudy! Dogs and children have so much to teach us about living in the moment and making the most of life! Looks like you all had a memorable day, and those boats are a precious idea.

  35. Great pictures and what a fun day in the woods in FALL.

  36. maddalena70 says:

    Hello Ginny,

    I am Maddalena and I am writting from Italy and I am new hear.

    I love your story and the pictures are superb! Beatrix is so sweet, she remember me of my big one Matilde that is 7 years old and who would have done the same thing in the same situation.



  37. I think Trudy and our German Shorthair, Amy, would make great friends, they are a lot alike.

  38. What a wonderful story! And a lovely memory as well – for you and your kids.
    Have a good day!

  39. Those little boats are neat!

    It certainly looks like Trudy had a fantastic outing with the family.

  40. For us, it seems some of the sweetest memories are made when my best-laid “Momma plans” go a little awry. What a fun way to spend the day!

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