It was a cold and snowy day when my fingers flew over the keyboard to create and launch that initial labor of love. I just went back and did a word count and that first post was 2,195 words. Well, brevity has never been my strongpoint as my regular followers will attest to.
In many ways this blog has been a present I have given myself. It is a gift that keeps on giving because it is a daily affirmation that yes, other people out there in the world share the same little joys as me, and furthermore that they enjoy reading about them.
Six years – where did the time go?
I like things easy and uncomplicated these days.
As I have grown older, I’ve come to realize that it is the small delights in my life that give me the most pleasure. My world suddenly became much smaller when I got laid off, then eventually hired back, but working from home. While I enjoy my at-home gig, I was eager to get out into the world and leave the confines of the kitchen where I work at the table. But query … how does one get out and explore and still adhere to a business work schedule?
So, I began a walking regimen in 2011 to get some exercise, after I realized, except for gardening, I wasn’t walking many steps a day and my job was too sedentary.
My friend Marge encouraged me to start a blog to write about what I saw in my daily treks around the ‘hood, but the earliest posts were devoid of pictures and there was only so much you could write about pounding the concrete sidewalks and streets.
Luckily, I discovered Council Point Park in 2013, a few months after beginning my blog. I would go on to discover other parks along the way, but, I keep returning here because it always feels like home.
Very few people know that it was my dream to become a veterinarian because of my love for animals. But my grades weren’t good enough in math and science, so I abandoned that dream the first year of college. I liked working on the college newspaper, as well as the camaraderie of the news staff. So I switched gears and writing became my focus instead.
For me, getting out and walking in a natural environment sets the tone for the day. There is a spring in my step, a lightness in my heart … it is very real. A foray into nature for me is like stepping back in time … I was seven or eight years old, running through the meadow with my friends, dipping our jam jars into a creek to get pollywogs. These were the simple delights of childhood. So enjoying the goodness of nature brings out the kid in me. That’s a good thing because the harshness of day-to-day living is a real kick in the pants sometimes, isn’t it?
I am happy to read your comments when I write about the antics of Parker or Grady, the “aws” over pictures of baby robins taking their first flight, or a sly cardinal that swooped down and grabbed a peanut from the trail, a duck trying to wrangle a wiggling fish … and there are your oohs and aahs over beautiful sights like crashing waves at Lake Erie Metropark or icy boulders along the boardwalk at the Detroit River. I’m so happy to share these treks with you.
Everyone needs to have a few indulgences. Like Dave’s Killer Bread toasted, with a pat of real butter and slathered with chunky peanut butter is one for me. Or those instant cappuccinos – a little bit of heaven in a big mug. And my latest find, is Pepperidge Farm’s new “Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Toffee Milk Chocolate Cookies” … it is not so good I discovered these when I’m not walking every day.
But, indulgences aren’t just about food and drinks … after years of snapping off the radio when there was too much gabbing, loud and obnoxious commercials and songs I didn’t know anymore, I have discovered a new radio station. It’s a delight to be able to sing the songs I know by heart for decades, even if I can’t a carry a tune. These songs transport me to my 20s and me walking around with my headphones clapped tightly over my ears. I’d be working in the yard, or doing chores in the house, singing away at the top of my lungs – I couldn’t carry a tune then either. Finally, I can turn off the all-news station more often because the state of the world gives me no great joy … too often it’s a world full of pettiness, hate and divisiveness.
Good things come in small packages.
And then there are small treasures like Parker and Grady and their assorted pals.
This morning I walked outside, grumbling about the snow as I opened the screen door, knowing tonight’s freezing rain and wintry precip event will certainly gum up the roads and the pathway for the short-term. I turned the corner and there was Grady, up on the ledge munching away, while a male and female cardinal were noshing a peanut apiece on the porch. I kicked myself for not having the camera with me.
Yesterday at the Park, two squirrels, running from opposite sides of the trail, collided into each other, sending the smaller one bouncing against my shin. It was like a cartoon scene as if his eyes should be Xs and stars would appear around his head. My sweatpants were heavy so he had a soft cushion, but since he looked a little dazed and confused, I bent down and asked “are you alright?” Five minutes later he was bopping around and eating peanuts.
This past year has been the most fun since I began the blog. I’ve enjoyed sharing my tales from the trail – the critter encounters, especially. I’ve enjoyed interacting with each of you as we’ve laughed at the squirrels’ antics, or oohed and aahed over photos of baby robins when they took their first flight. We’ve smiled at goose drama while hissing and honking at their mate, as well as their fierce love for their young ones. Truthfully, these geese, for all their histrionics, are faithful to their mates for life, and, though their goslings may be bigger than they are, the geese parents protect their offspring against us mere mortals with a fierce love that will stop you in your tracks.
Walking and blogging are the best things I’ve ever done for myself, and, as fellow bloggers, I know you understand that passion … thank you for sharing your passion with me as well.