(Shall we play some relaxing music for this relaxing afternoon? Yes, let’s.)
Rusty and I are sitting on the front porch, a Caribou Cooler within arm’s reach and dozens of chipmunks rustling through the front yard with their cheeks filled with our tree’s falling acorns. I think they’re in Heaven and Rusty is either really enjoying them or really hating them. He’s on guard dog mode it seems, hoping that one day he’ll come face-to-face with those little dollies. (Momma won’t let him – I once tackled him in the mud while wearing PJ’s to save a baby bunny from his wrath. I’m a friend to all the animals in my yard.)
I love this time of year. Can you tell it’s getting near to autumn just by the way the sun hangs in the sky at this time of day (it’s 6pm right now as I write to you)? I can. Or what about how blue the sky looks lately? I always notice how much bluer the sky is in the fall – maybe it’s because of the reds and oranges contrasting the blue? I don’t know, but the other day I looked up and felt a thrill knowing how close we are to nesting season.
So, naturally I begin to think about how the summer went. Did I get a lot accomplished? Did I take advantage of the weather? Did I cook summer-ish meals, taking advantage of farmer’s markets? Did I just sit and enjoy life as it went by or did I rush through it? Did I avoid doing things out of fear, like avoiding the beach because of wearing a dreaded swimsuit? Did I watch enough sunsets? Did I take Rusty on enough walks? Did I say ‘yes’ to more adventures with Paul?
Although I’m not completely happy with how I spent my time this summer (I can always use more outdoor time and can always use more ‘not caring what people think’ attitude to enjoy the beach and can always be more spontaneous when Paul asks if I want to go on long bike rides), I’m super happy that my friend Stacie got me out of the house at least once a week to take long, leisurely walks.
Sometimes I get too comfortable in this house. Working from home and painting all day in my PJs puts me in a bit of a rut; although I love my peace and quiet, I do realize I need to get out of my comfort zone every now and then so I don’t permanently stick to the walls of my house. So, almost every week this summer Stacie and I met at different places to enjoy an hour walk. It wasn’t much, but it’s something I’m going to miss as she goes back to school, working in one of the libraries I left at my last job.
Sometimes we went to a busy shopping area to walk, sometimes we walked through woods where we couldn’t hear the nearby traffic, sometimes we walked around a sailboat-filled lake enjoying the bustling city, and sometimes we walked through romantic gardens. (I like to tell her she takes me on more romantic dates than Paul does. :))
On our walks we chatted about the cares of life, dreams getting accomplished, family outings, daily life adventures (like when Stacie wasn’t being careful and took a scissors to her poor fingers), and more. It was only an hour or so a week, but it was a moment in the week I most looked forward to. It was calming, refreshing, it got me to talk to real people (Rusty isn’t a person, no matter how I argue it in my head), and it pushed me to go to places I’ve never been before. It was always an adventure, even if the walks took us just down the road from our houses.
Now that school is starting and Stacie is becoming more limited with her time, I’m hoping I can still do the walks on my own without her. She was my motivation – now I only have to answer to myself and to be honest, I’m a bad influence on myself. :) Perhaps it will have to be something that is on my actual schedule, blocked out once a week on one of my days at new locations and Rusty can be my new walking buddy. (He’d like that, I’m sure.)
As autumn creeps nearer, I hope you’re enjoying the preparation of it all, enjoying the last pieces of summer (hello State Fair!!), and I hope there are tiny bits of your week that bring you joy like my walks brought me. Cheers, friends!! :)