Yesterday was the hottest day of 2019 thus far in the Valley of the Sun. At its peak, it was a sizzling 97 degrees. (Year-round residents who put up with temperatures nearing 120 degrees in the summer listen to my complaining about yesterday’s temperature and snidely comment under their breath, “When it’s 97 degrees in July, we put on a light cardigan.”)
So I’m not sure why I thought it was a great idea to introduce my 5-year-old great niece Lilly to the game of geocaching on a day when you could toast a tortilla on the sidewalk. “What’s geocaching?” she asked. “It’s a game where you hunt for hidden treasure,” I told her. She grinned, and got a shovel with which to dig for treasure and a ziplock bag to hold all of the money we would find. I didn’t have the heart to break the news to her that the most we would find is a tube containing a little piece of paper to sign that would require no digging.
We went to the area at which I thought the geocache was located. Given my terrible sense of direction and my inability to accurately judge distances, it was not surprising to find that the geocache was further away than I thought. Nearly a half-mile walk, in fact. A half mile is doable, but not with a 5-year-old carrying a shovel and a plastic bag in temperatures creeping dangerously close to 100 degrees. Lilly’s face was getting more and more flushed and she was caring less and less about pirates’ booty.
Suddenly I had an idea. While Jen was visiting, she and I found a geocache very close to Lilly’s very own house. We could find that one pretty quickly even with my directional challenges. I wouldn’t necessarily have the satisfaction of finding a new cache, but Lilly would.
“There’s a geocache right by your house,” I told Lilly. “Do you want to go find that one instead?”
“Does a bear s**t in the woods?” answered Lilly. Not really. But she made it clear she thought that was a dandy idea. And so we did, and in mere minutes she found the treasure…..
When I geocache with my grands, our tradition is a to finish off our adventure with a trip to the nearest Sonic for a limeade. Well, the truth is I have a diet limeade and my grands have a milkshake. (Hey, I’m the nana, and they’ve just found a few hidden treasures and deserve a reward.) I suggested to Lilly that we go to Sonic for a limeade.
“Some candy!” she countered.
We met in the middle. She had a blue raspberry slushie with Nerds. I had a diet limeade.
And she took a few selfies, which actually don’t look that much worse than most of my other photos…..
And made plans to go geocaching another time when it’s a bit cooler.