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.