Rising before dawn one day last week was done willingly and with intent. Clothing had been laid out the night before and the children's breakfast prepared to take with us on the road. Once ready for the day, Jesse and I ate our scrambled eggs and drank our coffee. Soon after Ella and Roone were awakened, mostly with ease. They dressed at a reasonable rate, we said good-bye to Jesse (who was off to work) and then started off on our adventure. As the sun began creeping higher in the sky we drove through heavy fog on a route mostly free of the morning rush and found ourselves at a lovely spot in southern Johnson County. The fog, although potentially dangerous for driving, provided a wonderful sheen through which to view the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on that morning. The view of Ella above gives you the idea that as we started our walking it was quite chilly; but as we moved, with the sun rising and fog dissipating, we shed gloves and neck warmers. Although we'd been here in Winter and Summer, an Autumn walk through the gardens and hike through the woodland garden had eluded us. Until that day! The sweet smell of the woods, the blanket of the leaves to walk on, the bright colors turning, cool air refreshing. I had begun to think we hadn't availed ourselves of enough of these walks this season, and so took half a day to do so! And of course, no one regretted that we did.