For the last couple of days I’ve renewed my interest in our trails. The Japanese call it forest bathing or Shinrin Yoku. It’s healing to be out in nature, to walk along forest trails, to observe and become one with the earth.
I do believe what they say, “Location, location, location is true.” My location is nature. It’s what truly inspires me and activates all of my senses.
On my walk I was greeted by this turtle. He or she peeked out for a picture. I always think of longevity when I see a turtle. A good sign for my first day back on the trail. The turtle also symbolizes determination and is slow and steady–all good things to consider if I’m to make a habit of daily walks and overcome my laziness.
One of the last things before ending my 1.7 mile walk was this redbud. At least I think this is Redbud. Please correct me if I’m wrong. It grows all over our hills.
Out walking on our trail yesterday. Afterward saw The Girl on the Train. I read the book some time ago and only remembered bits and pieces, but the movie brought it back to me. My husband and I were the only ones in the theater. I guess Sunday night is the time to go to a movie.
It sounds like a report for school, doesn’t it? I guess the title of those is usually, “My Summer Vacation.” We are just getting into summer and the fun has only just begun.
It was supposed to be a quiet three-day weekend getting work done around the farm. I guess it was for the most part, but there were some minor events.
We opted to stay home, away from crowds, as we only less than two weeks earlier returned from North Carolina to babysit for our grandson. He’s nearing 2 ½ now and a handful, but we live to see him. My husband, whom he calls Opa, dreamed about him last night. All the grandparents live far away from him, so it is hard. I might be bragging in saying Opa is his favorite grandparent. It’s reasonable to assume, though since he plays with him almost 24/7 when we are there.
After the visit, we came home via Virginia Beach to celebrate our 12th anniversary. We splurged and stayed at the Hilton. It would have been perfect had it not been for the noise. There were tents sit up on the beach almost in front of the hotel. Shouldn’t they warn you about such things when you are making reservations? Outrageously loud Christian rock music played well into the night. It was so loud that closing the balcony doors, putting on the headphones that supposedly drown external noise out, plus turning on the television just as an experiment still didn’t squelch it. There was a tent that said, “Pray here.” I don’t think God could have heard anything. We stayed up as late as we could after they had packed up just so we could hear the ocean. The next morning we went down to the beach to meditate. At 7 AM more music started up. There is an amphitheater next to the hotel. Luckily, the next night, being Sunday, perhaps, was music free, and we got to hear the ocean. But this is really not about our weekend, is it?
Well, a bit of it is. That part happened while in North Carolina. There is a house close to our daughter’s that we always drive by, and in front sits the most beautiful rock wall. I just love rock. For quite some time I haven’t really been happy with the rock wall in front of our pond, mostly because of the concrete that was overwhelming the rock. So, this was going to be our weekend project, that and some plans to make the pond even bigger.
On Saturday morning my husband got the tractor ready, the big wagon attached, so that we could go out into the woods on the trail and collect rock. He got some really huge stones. Therefore, I just walked. There was no way I could lift rocks of this size.
I was just hoping, praying, for no mishaps. Maybe I should have been down in the prayer tent on the beach. My husband seems to think the tractor is his answer to Evel Knievel’s motorcycle. The things he does on that tractor really stresses me out. He thinks it’s funny. I don’t find it amusing at all. My stress threshold is much lower than his. We spent a good deal of time, maybe an hour, trying to get the wagon full of rock back up this steep hill because the tractor slid, and the wagon got wedged behind a tree. Prior to that while on level ground a tree had grown up along the trail, and the wagon had got caught. The solution was to cut down the tree. It was small. Then on the way home, there was yet another incident in which a Cedar tree just a little bigger than the small one also had to be cut to get the wagon through. Note: Neither of us feels good about cutting any trees down. They will be collected later to be used as firewood. The tractor and wagon full of rocks along with us finally made it back in one piece. And, towards the end of the day, the wall had progressed a good way.
After all the stress, and it was mainly my husband’s idea, we drove a fair distance to Starbucks. Right beside Starbucks, one of my most favorite places is Home Depot, one of my husband’s favorite places. We needed cement to put behind the rock wall.
The next day consisted of using a scoop on the tractor and going down to the creek to gather up creek gravel. This is most perfect for mixing with the cement. The first trip went okay. I lagged behind on the second trip. After a while I trekked back down to the creek to find my husband once again stuck in the creek. Well, he wasn’t really stuck, but he couldn’t get back up the way he came. There is a ledge he has to get over, and it was just too wet to do it. He kept digging himself deeper and deeper into the mud. So, we went the long way around, me following on foot. Except for capping, now with the creek gravel and cement the wall was nearly finished. We spent a quiet evening at home. We had some wine.
On Monday, there was more work on the wall. By mid afternoon we took a break and went out for Mexican food. I had a margarita. On the way back we stopped at a greenhouse that sold koi. I wanted to put koi in the pond. They were about six inches I think. So, we bought a variety of five along with some fish food and a couple of water plants. The total cost was sixty dollars, really reasonable I thought. There was something déjà vu about that whole experience. From time to time I feel that I am remembering the whole event even though it is supposedly the first time it has ever happened. For some time I have felt like I have been going through time loops. But then that is a whole different story.
So, we have the fish in bags of water on our way back home. I am cracking into green tea mints, which used to be my favorite mint. I say used to be because suddenly I find I have something other than the mint in my mouth – bits of a tooth. It wasn’t really tooth, but rather porcelain or whatever the dentist used to repair a similar incident around ten years ago – the same tooth. Luckily there is no pain. I am putting off calling the dentist, but I will by next week, as I have to go in for a cleaning anyway. I probably shouldn’t blame the mints. I should blame the prayer I said just a few days ago. I finally broke down, and said, “God, would you please help me lose weight.” Well, I wasn’t really doing anything proactive on my part regarding this prayer, so I figure God intervened by maybe chipping my tooth. I was resigned to not eating, or mostly only drinking. That lasted for about a day. I am letting it be known now, that I am withdrawing that prayer, as I have found ways around the eating situation since I’m not in any pain. I’m a firm believer in prayer and I don’t want any more incidents. On a brighter note, I have fixed some great soups all week.
So, I will continue with the koi. We put the koi in the pond. The water is a little murky. We don’t see them after the first day. I spent a good deal of time on Tuesday looking for them and putting some food in that just got waterlogged and sank to the bottom. I noticed the absence of frogs in the pond. I asked my husband if there could be a turtle, to which he said no, just like he says no, when I ask him isn’t that hill to steep and slick to go down with the tractor? On the next day, we are out in the yard. I am doing yoga in front of the pond. I look up and see something between the pond and pergola. I ask my husband, “What is that.” It was a rather large something in the grass. Sure enough, it was a turtle. In the pond there is a white fish floating on the top. It has some bloody holes in its body. The other four fish we still can’t see. I’m figuring the turtle swallowed them whole, and the white one tried to make a run for it.
My husband gets a snow shovel to lift it into a water-filled bucket, a huge tub rather, deep enough that it can’t get out. By the next day after work, he takes it down to the creek on the back of the tractor. I see him walking back. I ask, “Where is the tractor?” He says it’s close. He had run out of gas. Yes, the tractor does have a gas gage on it. I would bang my head against the wall but I already had a headache from the wine I had drunk at dinner (second night in a row). I know there are a lot more serious problems in the world. So, I will be thankful for the small problems I have.
So, that was basically our Memorial Day weekend, the beginning of our summer vacation. I did think about naming this, “My Memorial Day Weekend or my Descent into Alcoholism.” I just want to let you know drinking is really rare for me.
Footnote: I would have added a picture of the fish, but, well, they didn’t make it.