Sunday, May 15, 2011


I share my Activity Days responsibility in my ward with a woman named Jeanette.  She is positive and wonderful and infinitely patient, and I thoroughly enjoy being associated with her.  And with 12 girls in our group, it is definitely a necessity to have a co-leader.  We are similar in a lot of ways.  We both have 10 year old girls in the group.  We both have four kids.  We're about the same age.  We share interests in a few things and talents in some similar areas.  But we're also very different.  For all the fluffy, time consuming, artsy stuff that I come up with; Jeanette brings nature, simplicity, and practicality.  

  Haunani = hot glue and sparkles  

 Jeanette = healthy snacks and zen   

But that makes us a good team, I think.  We balance each other out.  I plan the ridiculously complicated sugar egg projects that require two weeks to plan and two hours to execute, and she plans the relaxing hikes at Connemara that require a phone call to schedule and mosquito repellent and a box of granola bars to execute.  Either way, the girls have experience with something they might not otherwise have done, and really, that's all that matters.  

Yesterday, Jeanette and I took four of our Activity Day girls on a hike in the Connemara Conservancy.  
 It's this amazing little preserved piece of nature that is less than 2 miles from our houses.  
Connemara Conservancy was founded in 1981 with an initial gift of 72 acres by Frances (Montgomery) Williams on the border of Allen and Plano called the Connemara Meadow Preserve, or simply, The Meadow.
Ahead of her time for the area, Frances became concerned that her family's land was in jeopardy of succumbing to the almost unstoppable "urban sprawl." By protecting the Meadow forever, Frances gave us the gift and opportunity to experience and understand Texas as it was, as it would be without us, and as we'd all want it to be. The Meadow will forever remain in its natural state as an open window to the environment where we live. (
Connemara was surprisingly spectacular and inspiring for me.  I may have mentioned before that I'm sort of an indoor girl.  The thought of hiking into a field of ragweed wouldn't normally be on my list of things to do on a Saturday morning.  But this hike (like most of the hikes I get talked into) was thoroughly enjoyable and I'd absolutely love to go back again...without the box of Kleenex and pounding headache that accompanied me on this trip.  (Today is Day 6 of this completely miserable experience!) 

We left at 8:30am on the most gorgeous Saturday morning I can remember in a really long time, for a two hour guided hike through the 72 acre meadow.  

Initially when our guide said two hours, I thought, "TWO HOURS!  Did they really manage to squish a 6 mile hike into this little space?"  
Shortly after we started, I realized it wasn't going to be a two hour BRISK WALK, it was more of a two hour WANDER as we stopped and appreciated every single flower, tree and bug in that 72 acres.  

It was an incredible experience to look at things the way that guide looks at things.  

He doesn't just see a meadow of overgrown grass.  He sees native Texas grasses from the 1700s.  He sees what the original Texas pioneers looked at when they walked across that prairie.  

He doesn't just see a pecan tree.  He sees 150 years of farming that occurred long before all the subdivisions and highways happened.  

He doesn't just see a wildflower.  He sees a food source for the flutter of monarch butterflies that migrates to the meadow every year.  (Did you know that's what a group of butterflies is called?  I would have thought they were called a flock.)    

Connemara was a great way to spend a beautiful spring morning.  The girls loved it.  I loved it.  And we all love Jeanette for taking us to places off the beaten path.  


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful place, and what a beautiful description. You are a writer sister!
    Thanks so much for sharing!