Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Inside and Outside

Temperatures reached 88°F here yesterday, and since I had started my walk too late in the afternoon, I managed just three miles in the blazing sun before feeling too sick and shivery to continue.  (I passed at least three women pushing babies in strollers and more than a few runners, though, so I have to wonder--as I always do when the tempeatures are this high--if I'm just not sturdy stock.  Babies!  Runners!  In what felt like 90+° heat!  Goodness.)  After returning here for a rest in the air conditioning with an iced tea, I felt good enough to head out for The Walk:  Part II , but by then, it was almost time for Mike to get home from work and I still had to run out for groceries for our supper, so three miles my tally remained.  The days have been glorious this past week, and the nights have been windy with rumbling thunder and lightning like flashbulbs that we see even with closed eyes while we try to fall asleep.  (I just remembered Eddie Rabbitt's 1980s hit "I Love a Rainy Night" and looked it up online only to learn that he died on my birthday back in 1998.  I don't remember hearing about that at all.  Cheers on yet another stormy night this week to Mr. Rabbitt.)  One of this week's walks included the seeking and finding of one of  the country's only remaining wood-bricked streets.  If one of the sweet old brick homes on this little cul-de-sac were available and I had the means to make it happen, I'd be packing moving boxes right now, let me tell you.  It's a charming spot in the city, and examining the wooden blocks that make up its street has been one of the quiet pleasures of this week.  

I have been deliberately and most-obviously cutting back on the time I spend online--you all are in my thoughts and prayers even if I'm not in your comment boxes and email inboxes lately  --and recalibrating how I spend my days so that there is a better balance of fresh air and miles walked and quiet time (reading, napping, writing, puttering around the apartment, etc.) and social time.  Both my personality and my paid work always find me somehow taking care of others, and I am feeling healthier and more content now that I've made taking care of myself more of a priority this spring.  Laundry-doing, email-and-comment-sending, and letter-writing have temporarily fallen by the wayside as I get into new routines and better habits in other areas.  As I've said before, this self-nurturing bit seems to be one of my most-revisited life lessons, and although it's now taken me almost my entire first forty years to figure it out, at least I'm figuring it out.  :)  I had the sweetest dream a few weeks ago that I decided to drive down to my grandparents' house for a surprise visit.  Grandma and I greeted and hugged each other so joyfully, it still makes me smile.  "Oh!  I should do this more often!"  I squealed when I realized how happy this impromptu visit was making us.  "I should have been doing this all along!"  While she and I were catching up with each other in the kitchen, I looked out the window and saw Papa building a giant bee box in their side yard.  (He was a beekeeper [in real life].)  That was really all there was to the dream, but the feeling of it and my gratitude for it have remained with me almost a month later,  both because it was a rare happy dream of my grandparents and because it gave me a taste of the peace and nurturing I've been cultivating here, one steamy mile and one steamy bowl of oatmeal at a time.  


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Val ~ What a delightful post filled with love, joy, thankfulness and so much color. You live in a lovely area and I liked seeing bits of it. Loved those street or sidewalk pavers and especially that photo of the two of you at the end.

Have a great day ~ FlowerLady

La Table De Nana said...

It's that time of the year when we want to share so many joyful photos:)
Val..I love those rare dreams..and I know the sweep of gratitude that fills our whole being when they happen..So rare though!

Keep u the good work!
Proud of you.

Nellie said...

What lovely photos, Val! I am not cut out for the heat of summer, either. I know my ancestors didn't have the benefit of air conditioning, but I had no problems adjusting to it at all!:-) xo

Lisa said...

Did you paint the back of that chair? I love it.
I didn't know there were ANY wooden streets in this country or anyplace! I always think of cobblestones as the old way. The area sounds very nice, and I completely understand why you'd move there in a minute.
Good luck with your exercise plans!

Val said...

Thank you, Lorraine, Monique, Nellie, and Lisa. :)

And yes, Lisa, I painted the chair. I'm not thrilled with the way the Daffodils or verse on it turned out, but I'd have to sand it down completely to get a flat surface to start over on if I decided to repaint it, and so far, I haven't gone to the trouble. I like the colors together, just not the flowers or look of the words. We'll see. Thank you. :) This is one of the chairs Stuffed steals all the time, so I hardly sit in it anyway. :)

joe said...

Running when it's 88.... that's just crazy

Tina said...

Great to have you writing again, Val. I love reading your blog. I so enjoyed reading about your dream.


The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Hi Val,
I am so glad I stopped by to visit today.
I enjoyed sharing your adventure and very interested about the wood brick road.
I love you sense of color combining such a joyful surrounding! Sweet kitty too!
Many Blessings, linnie

Val said...

Joe, I know. I can't imagine.

Tina, thank you so much. :)

Linnie, thank you. 'A sweet surprise to see you here. :)