“You Can Call Me ‘Batman'”

You never know what you’re going see when hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Beautiful rock formations,

felled trees gathering moss …

… or lichens.

You might even meet a small boy in a Santa hat going to his friend’s birthday party at the Octagon Shelter (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression).

When I admired his attire, his mother prompted him to say thank you, which he did.

His next words, however, required no prompting.

“You can call me ‘Batman,'” he said.

When I answered that I’d be sure to do so, he then informed me he had a cousin called “Superman.”

I couldn’t help laughing as his mom rolled her eyes and mentioned what he really had was an imagination.

It had been a while since The Engineer and I took a winter hike, and today it felt good to be in the woods. We took the opportunity because I decided to have a day off from visiting Mom after having quite the Christmas celebration with her yesterday.

Since we won’t be around on the day, Darling Daughter and Partner, my Big Brother and Nephew, and The Engineer and I took pizza, pistachio panettone, and presents to party with Mom. (Sorry, I got caught up in all that alliteration and just couldn’t stop myself!)

We also took sheet pizzas, cookies and other goodies for the nursing home staff. They work so hard to make Mom’s life easier and more comfortable, and we thought they’d enjoy a little treat.

It was such a good day and felt great to see Mom enjoy herself (along with the rest of us).

Afterwards, Darling Daughter and Partner drove to our house for an evening of lasagna, gift exchanging, and Scrabble.

In recent years, we have been pulling back on gifts, with socks and chocolate featuring quite heavily in the lineup. This results in us being able to use and/or consume these tokens of affection, and I find myself enjoying the season more as a result.

We also watched England lose to France in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, but the less said about that, the better. ;-%

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