October 27th, 2013
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.
Anyway, I digress.
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a compelling storyline and a talented reader who keeps me hanging on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fabulous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit virtuous. I’m reading and exercising! In fact, I am pretty much on track to finish 100 Kindle, traditional and audiobooks this year as part of my Goodreads goal.
This morning I had to fumble a bit before getting Audible up and running. (Thank you iOS 7 for making me add a password.) While I was mashing virtual buttons on the minuscule screen without benefit of my reading glasses, I ran/walked several yards, not looking at the first thing except that tiny screen.
Suddenly it hit me. Smoke. Specifically, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.
Now, I’m not big into fireplaces with smoke because of sensitive sinuses and a strong tendency to get painful sinus infections when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of outside smoke from someone else’s fireplace a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot chocolate and take a nap!”
It’s a smell with dozens of associations from childhood and from the happiest (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accompanied by the nature music of my feet brushing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.
“Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)
I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yellow, brown, green and every color of fall, punctuated by the occasional, fearless rose, salvia and celosia.
If I could bottle up that fantastical combination of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.
Alas, no one has figured out how to capture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, photographers, musicians and perfumers still try.
But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appreciate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to anyone willing to pause in their run/walk through life and appreciate it.
September 25th, 2009
It is a season of changes. Not only is the weather cooling, life is changing here.
Benjamin, my only child (my baby!), has gone off to college at The Citadel. He is the third generation on his dad’s side to attend college there. When he graduates, he will wear “The Ring” with his dad, uncles, great uncles and cousins. He knew what to expect going there. He is well-prepared for the challenge. And he seems to thrive on the manly camaraderie of the place.
That still didn’t stop me from crying for pretty much the first week while he was gone. The tears were drawn from a combination of missing him, worrying about him and being disoriented by the new direction of my life as an empty-nester.
I have stopped crying now, but am still trying to navigate a life with a 50% reduction in the number of men I need to take care of on a daily basis.
In other changes, Harry has left private practice and gone back to work for the government. The book I was co-writing this summer, Grocery Gardening, is finally off my desk. The six new baby chicks will be laying in about another month–leaving us with 10 – 12 eggs a day to dispose of. And I have major new work and writing assignments to keep me busy.
Oh, the garden?
I can’t say this has been my most productive or meticulous garden year. There were so many distractions and challenges that kept me out of the garden. Still, Mother Nature was forgiving for just this year. The work from past years has paid off, as perennials continued to bloom, flowers to re-seed and the overall bones of the raised beds, fences and arbor to hold it all together. I don’t think I can continue this type of neglect next year and still hold my head up as a gardener though.
Now, as weather cools and all these darned changes slow down just long enough for me to catch my breath, I am enjoying being out in the garden, putting in fall vegetables and tidying up for the winter to come.
I’m actually looking forward to winter now. I have a fancy new cold frame to put together this weekend. I’m setting up the light garden in the basement to grow microgreens. Cooking projects, sewing projects, writing projects and, of course, visits to The Citadel and Ben’s visits home are going to keep me busy.
Overall, I’m still living the good life. It’s a life of transitions, but it’s a good life.
(You can click on an image for a larger version of the photo.)