The weekend was coming to a close all too quickly, as they usually do. The projects around the house, the errands to be run, the people and places to see ~ some components of the list had been crossed off, while others were patiently waiting to be completed. Isn’t it nice of the ironing to wait for me? Seriously, if “Cinderella chores” had feelings, the stack of ironing in my house would feel like the little lost child that no one wanted to include in a game. Again, the ironing was going to be put on HOLD. Being Sunday and all, isn’t there a limit as to how much work one should do versus spending quality time with family? “Sorry, ironing… I’m off to run one errand and enjoy a brisk power walk with my husband. I’ll have to catch up with you another time”, was the thought that scurried through my mind. I don’t think the stack of clothes minded too much…. it just laid there.
Hubby and I departed the house, leaving the two high-schoolers; a senior and freshman, to do their homework (too much – another topic/another time) and our dog, Scruffy, to bark at the passing cyclists and the irritating overpopulation of squirrels. No doubt in my mind that the Scruffster was going to end up in his crate before we returned home.
This particular Sunday was the last one of February, so here in the Southeast we were cruising to our one and only errand for the day, with the top down, windows down, wearing shorts and t-shirts. Now me, being a Midwestern girl for 27 years of my 50ish life, well, let me just say that I’m STILL not use to this amazingly pleasant weather so very early in the year. Personally, I enjoy the cold weather and the invigorating affect that it has on me, both physically and mentally, as opposed to the draining feeling that slams me down in the summer. This fantastic weather that we were experiencing on this day, albeit very rejuvenating, reminded me of the fact that the summer-drain is right around the corner. Spring in the Southeast lasts about as long as several blinks. It’s a very quick prelude to what I call, “Humidity-Hell”.
After our one errand, which amazingly didn’t take very long at all, we were on our way to the trails for our power walk. We had decided upon the very serene trails that wound around one of my favorite neighborhoods in town. Not only are there great trails for walking and running, but this neighborhood/community is like a small town within a small town, if you will. They have a health/fitness center, grocery store, pizza place, ice cream shop, stationery store, banks, and did I mention ICE CREAM? Well, Sunday was all about walking and talking and just enjoying time on the trails with my hubby… we will do ice cream another time.
Our walk began fast, fast, fast and as I started telling my hubby various tidbits of the week, I noticed that my talking was fast, fast fast. Up and down hills we went fast, fast, fast. I was bound and determined to continue talking while walking up what seemed like Mount Pisgah. As I talked through all of my huffing and puffing, walking faster and faster to keep up with his larger strides, I could only focus on the hill in front of me that appeared steeper than the one we were currently climbing. Thank God that the one in front of us that appeared insanely steep was someone’s driveway, making it off limits to us. “DO NOT TRESPASS” shot through my mind, and I was more than happy to oblige.
From that moment on, being done with my spiel about the prior week, all I could seem to notice were the steep driveways, differing exteriors, front porches, fences… all the various architectural designs. The one and only detail that I noticed other than the design of the homes was that of a particular West Highland Terrier. He sat there, just sat there. Right in front of the house, he just sat there. He had no collar, no leash, no tether… he just sat there. Now, our dog, Scruffy is a Westie and trust me, he does NOT just sit there. We stopped in our tracks, jaws dropped, sunglasses removed…. is this dog for real? Sure enough, he just looked at us, nodded his head as if to say, “Hello folks…keep moving, have a good day”. Then his attention was turned to a fellow dog barking in the distance, and when he let out a low rumbling growl towards the other dog, then and only then did we know he was for real. Looking back, every detail that I had noticed on our hike was one of difference; something that I don’t see or experience on a daily basis…the differing architecture and the unusually calm dog. Other than the weather and its warmth on my skin, none of these details had to do with nature and the gift of this day.
Heading home, the thoughts of “the list” went through my mind. I knew Hubby was going to grill hamburgers for dinner, however the ironing was still waiting…CRAP! We had had such a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon, and now the thoughts of all that needed to be done went racing through my mind… or had it ever stopped? Here this day was one of pure beauty, and all that I had noticed were driveways, fences, porches, exteriors, and a non-barking Westie! As our venture out was coming to a close and we were pulling into our driveway, I noticed something that looked to be pink. While Hubby went in, I stayed out. As I approached our side-yard, I noticed for the first time all day something of Mother Nature’s beauty… our newest Blossoming Cherry tree was starting to bloom. Why had I, someone who ALWAYS notices the beauty of nature, not picked up on what I am sure was surrounding me, during our entire walk. Maybe it was a sign from Above to notice the beauty near and around me, daily. Because like everything else in life that moves so fast….. soon the blooms will be gone and she will be off to college.