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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

This past week has been one that I knew would need more than my standard relaxation rituals to lay to rest. A morning of books and hot tea on the front porch just wasn’t going to cut it, this time. And my trusty side-kick had spent far too many days in a row left cooped up in the house. We needed to get away, if only for a morning.

Being reluctant travelers, I decided on one of my spots close to home where two socially unacceptable females can wander untethered and leave their nervous energy lying somewhere in the mud; a place of my own that I haven’t shared with another human soul. It is a trail of the sort that leaves you covered in delicate webs, and you don’t mind because this means no one bigger than a spider has occupied this space in quite some time. It is a trail that ends at a small body of water, that leads to a bigger body of water, along whose banks I have discovered many tracks, but only once another shoe print besides my own. It is a trail unexpectedly beautiful, at times passing close enough to civilization that we can see the gleam of commuters on their way to another Monday morning. Do any of them have an idea that beyond that blur of trees there are entire fields of sassafras? Do they wonder if a kingfisher, bold and beautiful, will swoop unexpectedly from the trees, passing breathlessly close to the surface of the water, and cause their heads to turn because they can’t possibly look away? Do they suspect that here lies a path, a human-made path (which human, I will likely never know), and yet the beech trees that grow on top of those hidden ridges are not riddled with the initials of passers-by? That whimsical things can still be found here?

Selfishly, I hope these thoughts never enter their crowded minds, because I want this space for myself. And on days like today, I need it.

Bryn and I spent the morning meandering through the woods, stopping to meditate our senses on anything. We crunched through thickets. We got just a little bit lost. We examined shells and pebbles and everything that caught the light just so. We found things we weren’t expecting. We ran back and forth on our own personal beach. We got the shock of our lives when Bryn suddenly discovered that she could swim. We tramped home hours later, cold and dirty and sandy and smelling like a river.

We both had huge smiles on our faces.

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My break from blogging was quite refreshing, and I’m glad to say I’m back with a vengeance, ready to fill your summer days with all the garden photos and random nonsense I can offer.

I recently took a day trip to Shoals, Indiana, to do some hiking and to be mercilessly attacked by the ravenous insect population. When I wasn’t pulling ticks out of my clothing, I was concentrating on getting some shots of the interesting flora and fauna that thrives in the humid Hoosier backwoods. One of my favorite discoveries was this old bottle of water that had seemingly burst from the inside out, teeming with life. If you ever wanted spring in a bottle to save for those cold and dark winter evenings, this is probably the closest you will get.

Spring in a Bottle

Stay tuned for more exciting summer discoveries…

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Summer Do

I’ve seen a few summer to-do lists floating around in the blogosphere lately, and I thought it’d be a fun idea to make one for myself. After all, this summer isn’t ALL about scraping siding, growing veggies, and settling into my new job right? Right??!?

Hopefully this list will help motivate me to fit some fun and relaxation into my summer:

Summer 2012 TO DO:

1. Watch the sun rise. 

Catching a good sunset is easy enough, but you (or at least I) have to make an exceptional effort to do the opposite. I wonder at what beautiful spot my sunrise watching endeavors will take place…

2. Finish Gone With the Wind.

So far Scarlett O’Hara takes the cake as my least favorite literary heroine of all time. But, I’m only halfway through the book, so there’s still hope for her in the last 400 pages. If I’m not totally miffed by the time I read those famous last lines, I might even deign to watch the movie and see what all the fuss is about.

3. Go blueberry picking.

There’s a fantastic urban blueberry farm that I used to drive past every day on my way to my old job. All winter it has been taunting me with signs advertising promises of summertime pick-your-own blueberries. Since I never got around to planting my own blueberries this spring (sad face), I will be sure to doubly enjoy the fruit of someone else’s labor. 

4. Go swimming. 

Early this year I was fortunate enough to take swimming lessons with my sister. This was a Big Deal for us, because we are approximately 30 years old and had never learned how. There’s no better way to celebrate summer and last winter’s achievements by soaking up some sun and chlorine by the pool. Now if I could just find a pool..

5. Try 10 new recipes.

There’s no excuse, in the season of plenty, not to try my hand at some tasty new recipes. Any suggestions would be more than welcome.

6. Bike to work. 

I have a cool new bike. And I have a helmet. All I need is a bike lock and then I’ll have no excuse.

7. Have a picnic.

This one’s easy. Pack something delicious. Hike/bike/walk somewhere really pleasant. Sit down and enjoy it all! Perhaps that is too easy and I should challenge myself to have a picnic somewhere really unique.

8. Learn a new song on the piano.

It’s been a while since I sat down at the piano. It’s been even longer since I took the time and effort to learn a new song. Something tells me it’s about that time.

9. Throw a party. 

It’s not summer without a backyard festivity or two. Though for me, “party” usually equates with “family gathering,” which is perfectly fine by me. I might even get really crazy and attend a gathering of non-family members. Probably not, but it’s a possibility!

10. Ride an amusement ride.

According to wikipedia, “amusement rides are large mechanical devices that move people to create enjoyment.” I’ve never been a big fan of roller coasters, but that shouldn’t stop me from bringing out my inner thrill-seeker. Perhaps this year’s State Fair will find me squealing on a Tilt-A-Whirl or two. 

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Regardless of whether or not I achieve all my tasks (and achieve in successfully blogging about them), my one hope for the summer is to enjoy myself as much as I possibly can and to make some wonderful memories to help keep me warm when winter comes again. May all your summers be as relaxing, thrilling, productive, and enjoyable as you make it!

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Some things that make these winter days worthwhile:

1. Snow Pants!

2. Magical Fruit Soup (yum.)

3. Kids So Sleepy

4. Negative Thinking

5. Fresh Reading Material

6. Finding recipe clippings stored in my Grandma’s Joy of Cooking. These almost sound worse than boiled hot dogs.

7. Colorful Graffiti

8. Sculptures by Nature

9. Pretending to take a picture of something in the foreground while someone is doing something weird in the background.

10. Flowers in February! (and realizing that I haven’t managed to kill off Florence)

11. More Sleepy Kids

12. Finding hidden trails in unexpected places…

13. Gorgeous views in the middle of the city.

14. And, of course, more sleepy kids.

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