Springtime Reflections

Springtime Reflections

I love spring; it’s my favorite season. It’s beautiful, colorful, scented, and hopeful. The feeling that the air is warming, the sight of the lengthening days, affects us all. Spring fever is a reality. Mother Nature is reinventing herself, and as tenants of her domain, we wish to do the same.

Spring is a time of year (rivaled only by autumn) when the weather and temperature are pleasant, for the vast majority of days. Spring has something autumn does not: hope and promise. Autumn is the time of year where the Earth takes off her makeup, takes a shower, and gets into bed, leaving us with her often-cruel younger cousin, winter. Spring is the awakening of the Earth, and the time during which she gets ready for the day, which stretches before her full of possibility.

Spring cleaning is an excellent practice for starting fresh. It’s good to get all the dirt, dust, and general grime out of the house when winter is over. But don’t stop there – clean your car, or downsize your wardrobe, or throw out the things you kept because they might be important and turned out not to be. Doing a deep clean before the real heat sets in will allow you more freedom, because all the cleaning to be done for the rest of the season won’t have to be as in-depth.

Spring is a wonderful time of year, especially for those of us without allergies. If you are one of the fortunate allergy-free population, take advantage of the warmer weather to enter the domain from which you were barred for so many months: the outdoors. Feel the warmth of the sun with the lingering chill of winter in the air. Smell the grass being cut and the flowers in the breeze and the oncoming rain. Look at the growing verdancy, the blossoming colors, the little animals tentatively leaving their holes to go about their business. Take pictures. Touch flower petals. Breathe. Enjoy.

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Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

Hello all!

Today was the first day in a very long time where the temperature was below seventy degrees. I wore leggings and boots and a thermal shirt. My hair was down and I didn’t feel the need to pull it up away from my neck.

I don’t know about you, but I actually enjoy summer and the heat of it – until I’m done with the heat, and then I am DONE. And I am currently DONE.

So, imagine my delight today when it was almost cold! I am in the fall spirit, y’all, even though it’s supposed to get back up to the eighties tomorrow for the foreseeable future. I thought I’d compile a list of possible things to put on your fall bucket list. Let me know your favorites, if you try any, or something I may have missed!

Go to a pumpkin patch

Take a ghost tour

Go to a farmer’s market

Sit by an open window and enjoy the crisp air

Go apple picking

Watch your favorite fall movie (mine is Hocus Pocus!)

Learn to crochet

Cook with butternut squash

Take a fall foliage drive/walk

Make chocolate chip pumpkin bread

Bake your favorite pie

Bake cookies

Volunteer at a food pantry

Read outside

Play catch

Read a mystery novel

Take Polaroids

Decorate for Halloween

Think of all the things you’re thankful for

Hope you enjoyed! Have a happy fall, y’all!

Climbing the Mountain

Climbing the Mountain

On a beautiful Saturday morning, sunny and warm, my boyfriend, my dog, and I packed our respective bags and drove to Danbury, North Carolina. The drive was pleasant, on country roads surrounded by the green and golden fields of late summer. I snapped a few pictures of the adorable dog sitting on the passenger floor between my legs, and my boyfriend, Ben, ever the romantic, decided to participate in his favorite activity, finding the balance between angering me and amusing me. He took on a silly persona, and would not let it go for the better part of an hour. By the time he tired of it I was actually getting sick of it, or maybe he’d noticed the beginnings of my actual annoyance.

After an hour of driving the car went through gates made of painted wood and mountain rocks, the traditional entrance to a national park. The drive partially up the mountain was winding and shady; trees stretched high over the road prettily.

Looking out the window, I admitted, “I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it.”

“You’ll be able to do it.” Ben assured me. I petted Brie.

Once we entered the parking lot by the trailhead, I noticed a sign advertising a farmer’s market from eleven to two. We decided to attend on our way back.

After a quick bathroom visit, during which I waited in line much too long and knocked over the “Caution: Wet Floor” sign on my way out of the bathroom (Hello, my name is Grace, and it’s spelled I-R-O-N-I-C), we headed to the trailhead.

The beginning of the trail was paved, then quickly became gravel. The path rose and fell at extreme angles. My calves burned on the way up, and some muscles I’d been previously unaware of in my feet were aching and burning from the effort of attempting to cling on to something, anything at all.

I stopped every once in awhile to take a picture, and Ben, who had Brie on a leash, stopped every once in awhile for her. We steadily made our way up the mountain. Suddenly, there were long, wooden stairs ahead. I groaned internally, but we climbed.

“Stairs are so much worse than just walking uphill.” Said Ben.

“Yeah. Whoever designed this trail and put these in should be fired.” I responded. “Are we done yet?” I panted further upward.

“Almost.”

But after the stairs was another monster. I looked up, and all I could see was rock, up and up and up, for awhile. My breathing became shallow and quick, and my heart began to sprint. They were almost vertical, these large, mostly flat rocks loosely in the formation of stairs. Luckily, Ben noticed my panic.

“Come here, off the trail.” He said, stepping over to a rock-seat off the path with Brie in tow.

I was still in my spot just off the path. “No, no, I should do it.” I looked up at the steep steps. “I should do it now before my courage fails me.”

“Love, come on.” His voice was gentle and coaxing. “Come sit a minute.” After I continued to hesitate, he said, “I need a rest. Come join me.”

I slowly made my way to the rock. I sat and petted Brie in anxious silence. “I’m just scared of coming back down.”

“It’s okay, love, it’s okay.” Ben pointed out a middle-aged couple slowly and steadily

working their way up the stairs. “See? They’re doing it, at their own pace. You can do it. You can go as slow as you like. As slow as you need to go.”

“I have a problem with looking at the whole of a situation, instead of the smaller, more manageable parts.” I took a deep, slightly shaky breath. “But you’re right. I just have to do it one step at a time.”

“Exactly. And as slowly as you need.”

“But what if I get in someone’s way?”

“Then you’ll step off the path for a moment.”

I was silent for a few seconds. “I’m going to hate myself if I don’t do this. I’m going to hate myself if we’ve come this far only to turn back. And I’m gonna hate myself for not finishing it.”

“So finish it.” He responded, not unkindly.

“Okay.”

We climbed up the stairs and were rewarded with a small alcove of boulders with a decent view. I took Brie, and Ben climbed over to a boulder that jutted further out into the air. We rested there for a few minutes.

After a much easier, much shorter hike, we came through some trees and boulders to a panoramic view of the other mountains and the valley below. We sat on a ledge, myself far back, but the more adventurous Ben with his legs dangling from the rock, and ate the sandwiches we had packed, and I was glad we’d done it.

 

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