Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

You know we like to take walks, right?  I surely write about it enough in this space.  Our love of being outdoors is one of the many things that attracted L1 and I to each other over 16 years ago. . .  We are constantly renewing our love of being in the bigger world, though we often lament the fact that it doesn’t happen enough.  Enter in the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, which we read awhile ago now.  The take home message for us was the importance of getting kids outside for their own well-being.  He cited research about how kids with ADHD and other issues show much better control/a lessening of symptoms when outside compared to inside.  We have found this to be accurate with L3–sometimes it seems that only the sky can contain him!

Golden Day 3

Golden Day 14

When the weather this weekend was so perfectly golden and my babes were so perfectly stir-crazy, we took ourselves to the Bay near our home.  We chose this walk because we can get there without a car, since L1 was gone with it both days over the weekend.  Kids and dog alike were so happy to be out and about in the world.  Why do I forget this when they’re asking to watch a movie or antagonizing each other? It was a walk full of exploration and exclamation and enjoyment for all of us.  Last we went the kids & the dog were swimming about in the Bay.  This time they had jackets and rain boots on and stayed on shore (mostly).

Unravel 2-3

Golden Day 10

Looking back at the pictures of it all (see more in our photostream!), I am reminded how lucky we are to have such a place to explore so close to home, and how much we always want to share it with those in our lives, kids and adults alike. One minute we’re in the fields behind our local YMCA, pools & playground in site, the next we’re surrounded by trees and rustlings, and the sounds of water flowing. It’s like stepping into another world completely. So dear friends, if you have yet to take this little journey with us, I hope we are able to take it together some day, no matter the season, as we love it year round.  For those of you whom I will probably never meet face-to-face, I hope you, too, have one or more magical places of adventuring near you. 

What is one of your favorite places to be out-of-doors?  Please share what it’s like!  If you can link to a picture of it, all the better!


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So Glad I Waited

All summer long I watched  some stems growing tall and strong in one of my flower gardens.  I thought they looked like sunflowers, but they also looked a lot like the weeds I pull out of other nearby beds.  I held off pulling them out of the ground.  I waited, and waited, and waited some more.  One morning recently as I watched L3 get on the bus I noticed there were buds and blooms on most of the stems.  Flowers, at last!

Worth the Wait Flowers

So now as most of the rest of the gardens are going dormant for the long season of rest ahead, these bright petals are bursting forth, a reminder of why it’s good for me to continue to cultivate patience.  There are some areas in my life I find I am able to be patient and others, well. . . let’s just say that I might be 34, but sometimes I feel more like a 3-year-old.

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We often traverse the sidewalk that goes past our home & the local businesses.  The kids love to scooter & bike down it, Jasper gets in his mission-mode on his leash, & it’s easy because we don’t have to drive anywhere and can return home quickly if necessary.

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 1

Here’s a little secret: I often disdain this walk, thinking it isn’t “good enough” because our feet are pounding pavement rather than a woodland path. Yesterday when we set out for our walk I decided to change my mindset and recognize how much I do enjoy this walk despite, or perhaps because of, its suburban sights and sounds. I’m so glad I did because not only did I recognize my pleasure in the path we took, but was able to *see* some of its beauty in a here-to-unrecognized way on my part.

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 6

These apples aren’t in anyone’s yard, nor are the grapes below, so we have plans to go back and pick some before they all rot on the ground. How lucky are we to have this a short walk from our front door?!? The red apples will add nice variety to the abundance of green we have in our own yard.

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 7These smelled so very good!

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 5

L4 and I spent sometime examining and sharing with each other the area of the sidewalk near our home that is covered with acorns and oak leaves.

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 4

Though I’ve noticed it before, yesterday I finally stopped to take a picture of the flowers someone planted beneath the speed limit sign. It just made me smile, to think of someone making beautiful the industrial metal of this traffic sign.

Beautiful Ordinary Walk 3

What have you seen with new eyes lately?

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Early Morning Pond

Our camping trip was fantastic, but much too short. Both kids kept saying so over and over. Our Adirondack days were filled with the beautifully familiar and the sweetly new. We ate, we laughed, we adventured. We even stayed dry during a rain storm our second night (unlike 2008!)

Babes on the Rock Edge

Family on Bald Mountain 2010

Site on High
The kids made friends with the kids in the neighboring sites that surrounded us and they all had their own grand adventures (frog catching in the dark, any one?). In short, the trip was everything we hoped it would be and more. Though we have some lovely pictures, more often than not the camera was put aside so we could simply be. No pictures of jumping off of rocks into the water this year (though it was grand!) and only a glimpse of our site. The photographs just can’t capture the smell of campfire or pine needles so pungent in the air, nor the feeling of heart-swelling gratitude that we were able to fit this last adventure into our summer before school begins.

Sunset on the Pond

What end-of-season adventures are you having?

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Brown Tract 09 -13

We head out soon to this beauty, the great Adirondack Mountains of NYS. It’s going to be such a short trip, but we were determined to squeeze it in. Soon I’ll be pitching our tent, canoeing, hiking, hunkering down by a fire, and seeing the velvet black studded with more stars than we can see at home. This region is huge, gorgeous, ethereal, and forever in my heart. If you ever want to see more of its beauty, check out Julia’s Adirondack Mama blog or her collaborative blog with Heather, We Deserve This. Your heart, too, will be snared by the region.

One last tidbit: if you haven’t already been, go check out the Autumn Edition of Rhythm of the Home and the generous give-away that is happening on the ROTH blog.  Both will surely knock your socks off. 🙂

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Bellamy Stairs

Every visit to NH is bittersweet.  There are happy times with dear friends, there are memory traces from the life we once had there, and there are the signs of time passing and “progress” marching on in our old hometown, even as there are where we now are planted.

Bellamy Woods 4

Across the Creek

Today, while looking for something completely different, I found an old journal entry of mine from August 2002 about Bellamy Woods, where we went for a walk during our visit.

After our walk we played on the swings for a time, in quiet & peace as we watched twilight descent after the soft, warm hues of sunset. During that time I discovered the simple pleasure of swinging, feeling my body work and move through the air like that. . . joy wasn’t the right word to describe it, that word seeming too intense. I’d always known that I enjoyed to swing, but I hadn’t ever stopped to pay attention to how it felt WHILE I was doing it.

I might tell my twenty-six-year-old self that I was feeling harmony.  But that might just be my thirty-four-year-old-self interpretation. (Thanks for all the birthday wishes, everyone!)

Dragonfly SwingingIt looks like 8 years later, I still feel the same way. And I wasn’t alone, either. 🙂

What echoes of your own past have you noticed lately?

More pictures from our trip here.

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Basket Full of Goodness

Out in the garden this morning, I had this epiphany about one of my own seasonal rhythms. During the summer, when the garden is bursting and I’m in the thick of picking, weeding, and exclaiming over what is growing, I fall in love with growing our own food all over again. Then I start contemplating doing more, providing more for our family than we currently do. Wondering what it would take for us to be more self-sufficient in regards to our food. I tend to obsess over it for the rest of the summer, have long discussions about it with L1, make some plans, then fizzle out come September and a new school year. If I get some things planted in the cold frame I call it a good year and then fall into the rhythm of the colder seasons, including being busy with grading and planning for my classes.

This year we’re going to go a little further with the self-sufficiency idea. We have a lot of reading to do. And I have to come to grips with being patient, content with the planning stage that we’ll be in for a time, and know that we continue to move toward the direction we have been for the past several years.

Things we’re thinking about:

  • How much & what do we need to grow
  • Grain for us–a totally new realm of growing & harvesting!!
  • How is the yard going to be transformed more (L1 is all over this)
  • Planning more cold-season growing.

Once again, I know this will be a long-time in coming, and there will be many items we won’t do for ourselves.  But it’s fun and exciting to daydream about it and building more of a community around it.  (I think about you, Jessica, and having your friend down the road with the garden space she can share!)

What rhythm do your thoughts take on at the height of summer (or winter, dear southern hemisphere friends!)?

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