Okay. So, I know we had a terribly hot summer. And I know I said I wouldn’t complain when winter got here–no matter how cold it got–because it would be such a relief from the however-many-days above 100 we had last summer. But I have been enjoying the unusually mild winter we have been having the last couple of weeks. I’m talking upper 50’s and low-to-mid 60’s! Especially, since this week is going back to cold and chilly again.
Because it was so nice last week, I made it a point to get out and walk during my lunch time at work, taking my camera along with me. These are just a few of the images I was able to capture.
Hope you enjoyed viewing these and it gave you some winter relief if you live where it’s been cold and blustery lately! Next time, I’ll post the pics from the other day I was out and about.
The weather has started getting colder where I live. Temperature drops into the 40’s nightly. Blankets get pulled a little tighter at night. Homemade soups starts sounding good for supper.
I’ve been watching the trees closely. I’m wanting to make sure I capture those colorful leaves as they turn for fall. It’s my favorite time of year, and I look forward to so many things about it.
I especially like the way it makes me want to slow down and cozy up at home. I probably watch the most T.V. during this time of year–which isn’t much for someone who is not all that keen on T.V. time. But I like curling up on the couch with a blanket on a Saturday afternoon and finding a good movie that I can escape into till I doze off while the warm sun casts a glow through my living room window.
There’s also Halloween. I was never big into “scary” and still am not, but there is one seasonal activity I enjoy. On Halloween night, there is a neighborhood close to where I grew up and went to school that does Halloween better than anybody I know or anything I have ever seen. They go all out and decorate to all kinds of levels. It’s a whole show, really. Several blocks participate and it’s so much fun to walk the streets along with all the other people who attend. I have some pics from last year that I’ll try to put up before Halloween. Looking forward to that.
Parking is crazy, but it’s so worth it. We always park several blocks away, having learned from experience that it’s not worth the trouble of worrying about whether or not you’re going to hit a small child crossing the street or getting stuck in the jam that always happens as you are trying to leave the area.
And let’s not forget Thanksgiving will be coming next month. I live for this holiday! It is my favorite holiday of all. Not just because of the food, but because my children help prepare the food with me and we get to spend so much time together talking and laughing and just being together. It’s definitely a great time for our little family.
Schools in full swing now. Conferences have happened and talks have been given. Everybody does their evening homework while waiting for supper and the smells waft through the house.
Walks outdoors are more enjoyable when the weather has cooled down from the hot summer days of a few weeks ago. Drives in the afternoon make me sleepy and calm when the windows are rolled down and the air blows through my hair. Dogs and kids have their heads stuck out the car windows as their owners and parents drive by me. I want to do the same.
Needing to get outside in the backyard and start cleaning up plants and vines so it won’t be so hard to get the yard ready for the cold weather. So many trees that will scatter their leaves all in my yard making a full-days work, sometimes two, of raking and bagging. Always have to be quick about getting that chore done or the days will get too cold to want to be outside working. Runny noses and gloves are not fun to try to deal with when you’re working.
Hoodies are the main attire around the house and to the grocery store. Sweatshirts with school logos are being pulled out of drawers. Slipper socks and house slippers take the place of flip-flops.
Fall may have just begun, but around here we are welcoming it in like an old friend that we’ve waited all summer to see. And we’re hoping it can stay a while so we can enjoy its company.
This familiar time of the year when the seasons change always make me more contemplative of life and all that goes on around me. I feel especially so now that one of my sisters has just come out of a fairly easy surgery and my father’s health seems to be getting worse. I wonder what lies ahead for me as the weeks go by, with my work and with my personal life. My thoughts are disconnected sometimes, and run through my head constantly as I try to take some time to do nothing but walk and enjoy the day. Because I don’t want to linger on anything too long if it’s even got the possibility of being slightly negative and to take me away from the time of the year I love the most.
It’s just life stuff, anyway. And all I can do is keep moving through it as it happens.
The sun is making leaf shadows on my curtain. It’s doing that flickering dance it does when the wind is blowing and moving them all around on the branches. Sometimes, in the sun, they look like shimmering jewels.
I took a walk along a nature trail. The sun was high and the temperature was warm. After walking alone for a while, I began to feel as though I was being led into a whole nother world…so I followed.
Where the road would lead, I wasn’t sure. So I just walked, curious as to what I would find.
There were tall grasses and small ponds.
A curved road said to keep going.
As I rounded the corner, I saw a broken tree and a bridge.
I came to the front of the bridge and stopped. Where was it taking me? What would I see when I got to the other side?
I started to cross over the bridge, when I heard a noise coming from the water below me. I peered over the edge and saw…
I spotted the one that had just splashed into the water as he went below the surface. I watched these two for a moment, and then continued on. When I got to the other side of the bridge, I stood still and quiet, and looked.
Being alone in a space like that stills you and causes you to slow down, no matter what you were feeling an hour or more ago. It relaxes you and makes you pause to be in the moment–you have no choice. The simple beauty is overwhelming.
I started to walk around the path led by the curve of the water and came across more color in the form of flowers and leaves and shadows.
I got to the other side and looked across. A different view…
I headed back around and was halted time and time again by the beauty of nature and the colorful shows it was presenting me.
I’m going back soon…and next time, I’m staying longer.
Ah…the start of the school year has begun. How do I know this? Well, because my own children have started their High School and College school year. …and because I have the park all to myself again.
That’s right, no more screaming and splashing sounds from the swimming pool during the early morning. No more dodging kids on bikes as I make my way around the park for the second time. And no more mothers gathered at the swing sets in groups of two and threes while their small children run up and down the slides and throw sand at each other in the sand box.
Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. And there are times when all that noise and activity is comforting. It lets you know there is life going on all around you every day no matter what your day has been like.
But, there are just times when I like to walk alone through the park and enjoy the solitude and peace that lies there in the midst of all the trees and grass, under the blue sky with the sun shining down on me.
My park is close to the house where I grew up, within walking distance. I still live near the same neighborhood, and I love walking through the park at any time of the year. There are lots of beautiful trees to look at as you walk along, big and tall, that provide a break from the sun as you meander your way around the area.
There’s also plenty of park benches for you to stop and sit a while, taking in all the fresh air and sun, or watch the senior citizens playing a game of tennis, or the kid on his skateboard who looks like he probably learned to skateboard before he learned to walk…
or the guy who brings his dog to play frisbee for the exercise…
or the kids trying to get in one last game of ball the day before school starts.
All I know is I am so glad to have such a beautiful park near to where I live that I can go to anytime I want to spend some time outdoors, walk for exercise, to sit and enjoy when I just want to think and feel alive, and to just have some solitude. Thank goodness for school!