I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October is here already

Melanie took this of me last Thursday
 Where did September go? It seems like summer just ended, but today I am feeling the change in the weather and noticing how quickly the days are flying by. There are the same number of hours in every day, but right now it seems like I no sooner start my day than it's over. How much perception matters.

I wasn't looking forward to Thursday's hike. It was the third time I've gone to Mazama Park from the Ridley Creek trailhead, and my memory of the hike was one of steep ravines where I struggled down one side and then had to climb back up, several times. But this was the first time I actually saw the views that you have once you reach this area, and I realized how pretty it is. Not to mention how spectacular the fall colors were and the late summer berries abundant along the trail. I enjoyed myself in spite of my misgivings.

Plus I knew that I would miss next week's hike, because I'll be on Vashon Island with four other blogging friends, getting together for the fifth time. It's hard to believe it's been that long since we met and began this journey together, gathering at Lavender Hill Farm (you'll be hearing more about it next Sunday), five days of a writing retreat that I know will inspire me and expand my horizons. We started out as six, but Sally is the only one who doesn't live close enough to drive and must fly from Colorado. She decided last year that she wouldn't return; however, the rest of us will gather this coming Wednesday and leave the following Monday. We'll miss you, Sally.

Although we spend much of each day with writing prompts and sharing with each other, we also have one day when we explore the island, which has become an "adventure day." Jann offered to arrange this year for us to go on a kayak adventure. I've never been in one (and I'm not alone), but she has found that we can not only rent kayaks but also hire a guide who will help us make the most of our time on the water. I'm looking forward to it but have just a teeny bit of trepidation about it, too. Not that I'm afraid of capsizing or anything, but mostly of loving it so much that I get hooked!

The farmhouse that we rent for this occasion has six bedrooms, one of which is very small, but all the others are really nice, with one suite that has its own bathroom and sitting room. I've stayed in the small basement room twice, and in its larger companion basement room twice more. This year, I will be staying in the suite! I resisted but now that I've agreed (everyone else has taken her turn in the suite), I am looking forward to it. The small basement room will remain unoccupied.

You know how much I love my daily routine, which will be upended during this coming week because of the Vashon retreat. I have already begun to pack, hoping I don't forget anything too important. I haven't gone anywhere overnight since last November when I visited my sister in Florida. I'll be going there again in either December or sometime early next year. Suddenly I am beginning to realize how important it is for me to stir things up a bit so I don't get fixated into feeling like I cannot take a break from my routine.

I've been obsessing on the upcoming election during the past month or so. As a lifelong Democrat, there has never been any doubt as to which candidate I would vote for, but it has been hard for me to come to terms with the two candidates who won the nominations of their respective parties, both disliked more than any other candidates I can remember. I was a Bernie supporter but in reality have known very little about Hillary until lately. However, I had never even heard of Trump before this election cycle, since I never watched "The Apprentice."
Watch Frontline to learn more
I am breaking my own rules by discussing the election at all, but I watched this very informative Frontline video on my local PBS station the other day and learned so much about them both that I didn't know. It is important enough that I hope that at least one of my readers will give it a chance and watch it. Frontline did the same thing four years ago with Obama and Romney, and I was impressed then with their ability to simply present the facts and not make judgments. This program is no different.

Next Sunday evening, I will be gathered with my blogging friends as we watch the second Presidential debate. Since this election feels so different from previous elections, I wouldn't miss it for anything. But in any event, whatever you do, please remember to exercise your right to vote in November. It will be here before you know it. Here in Washington state, we mail in our ballots and will have plenty of time to discuss the issues before voting. At first I missed going to the polls like we did in Colorado, but now I prefer this method. SG and I sit down with our ballots and discuss each choice before marking our ballots. With the Voter's Guide and our political website in front of us, it's actually a fun way to vote.

Well, with that, I have made it through another post. The only thing I knew before I began is that I wanted to share that video with you and give you a chance to know about it. Now I will begin the rest of my day by getting up and following my Sunday routine: dressing for yoga, doing my morning exercises, having a light breakfast and heading to the coffee shop to join my friends there. I'll leave in time for my yoga class, which I know I will enjoy. I'm going to the movies with my friend Judy in the afternoon to see "Sully." It's gotten great reviews, so I'm looking forward to it.

Until we meet again next week, with me blogging from the Vashon Island retreat, I hope you will have a wonderful and productive week. As usual, I wish you all good things and remember to give your loved ones a hug or two. I am sending you, my dear reader, a virtual one.


Rian said...

DJan, when you said "I wasn't looking forward to Thursday's hike" and then "I enjoyed myself in spite of my misgivings" - it made me think that this has happened to me many times. It may be age, but sometimes I just don't feel like making the extra effort to do something... but then after I do, find that I really enjoyed it. So I say, if you're in doubt, *go for it!*! But it's also nice (with retirement) to know that you really can *choose* what you want to do... like spend an extra 15 mins in bed or just spend the time by the fire reading...
And I will check out that Frontline and will watch the second debate. I'm not sure that the debates do more than confirm what individuals already feel, but perhaps they will help us to understand the other candidate better.
Enjoy "Sully"! I heard it was good also.

Tabor said...

I envy your sisterhood that loves to write together. That is a very important and precious relationship. Do you get a receipt that your ballot reached its destination? I also like the process of voting in person.

Marie Smith said...

Have a great week with your blogging friends. Such a great idea! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I was very impressed with Hillary's demeanor and poise during the first debate. She sure does not appear brain damaged or sick or weak. Looking forward to the second debate.

Linda Myers said...

The Vashonistas have never watched TV together, have we? Should be interesting!

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, I've been following your blog now for over two years and I look forward to your reports about the Vashon retreat. It is such a neat get together and what could be better than to do it in a place that's so far away, and yet so near by! A ferry ride sure makes a world of difference, doesn't it? May I suggest a topic for discussion? I would love to hear what the Vashonistas think about the impact of the internet on today's society and how people are adapting their lives to email, social media, and even blogging. No worries if that doesn't fit; I know you are focusing on writing. Have a great time and enjoy the suite! :-) Oh yes, one more thing ... Thanks for the Frontline suggestion. I have not seen the new one for this election and will definitely watch!

Far Side of Fifty said...

ssed up. Have fun at your retreat! I just returned home from mine, I left Thursday afternoon. It is good to be back home. Chance is pleased that I am back!!
We don't vote a certain party just because they are D or R. We vote for the person who we think will do the best. With the Electoral College popular vote doesn't count anyway...I think our system is so messed up...politically and socially on so many levels. Just my opinion that we have not seen so much Civil unrest since the late 1960's and Vietnam.
Far Guy and I looked back to see how we did on electing presidents...we voted Democratic until the Clinton Era and since then Independent with Ross Perot and picking them as we see them...I agree the candidates this year are not so hot...who will do the least harm? Who can work with the lazy buggers in Congress who should have term limits? Off the soapbox:)

Elephant's Child said...

Sadly I can't see the video. Your elections are going to have an impact world wide and, while I cannot vote, I do want to be informed.
Have a wonderful time on Vashon. As I am sure you will.

Barb said...

Your hikes are always strenuous and spectacular! Have a good time on Vashon Island. You'll love kayaking.

Red said...

As I was reading this post I forgot it was Sunday. I was thinking why am I getting this Sunday post on Saturday. Well it got sorted out in my head. Have a great retreat. You're on to something. Routine controls your life. Getting off routine gives you more freedom.

Carole said...

What a wonderful opportunity to gather again with fellow bloggers. I'm sure it will be a nice mix of work, play, inspiration and fellowship.

I loved Sully. Such an uplifting movie.

Enjoy your time away. We all will be anxious to hear about your adventures :-)

Sally Wessely said...

I will miss being there with you all so much! Can you even imagine all of us in one room watching the debate together. That will be something I really hate missing out on. I'm pretty sure we are all on the same team, but with such a great bunch of smart women, none of whom are afraid to say what they think or believe, I will really be missing a memorable take on the debate. Actually, the TV pundits should film you ladies discussing the debate.

I'm glad you get the suite. That is truly sweet. I actually have never slept in the suite, but I did get the big room upstairs once. That was a great room. Can you tell I am really sad that I won't be there?

Have a great week. Give all a hug for me.

The Furry Gnome said...

Have a wonderful week. That must be such a special opportunity for all of you, hope you really enjoy it. Who knows? Kayaking might be a nice gentler replacement for sky-diving! Look forward to your report on returning.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Have a great week! Sounds like great fun!

Arkansas Patti said...

I know how you all look forward to this get together and know you will all have a grand time. I am envious of the kayaking. That is my favorite way to travel over water. Getting in the kayak is OK, getting out will probably take help the first time. It is easier than canoeing and if you see wildlife, you can sneak right up on them in a kayak. You will love it.
I am ready to vote now. I have no doubts who my candidate is and this time--like last time, I am NOT voting for the lesser of two evils which is often the case. I'm with her.
Have a wonderful trip and take lots of pictures.

Rita said...

Enjoy your getaway with the girls!
I watched. Glad I did. Not that it changed my mind--LOL!
I already have my ballot to vote by mail. I like to be able to make researched and informed decisions on all the other issues, like you guys do. So do Dagan and Leah. :)

Friko said...

Getting together with like-minded women is a special treat. I am sure you’ll have a great time.
I hope there are many of you who hear the anguished cries from across the water at the thought the Orange One becoming president and doing his best to destroy this fragile world.

Good luck to you and everyone of us, in all sorts of ways.

C-ingspots said...

*sigh* Oh yes, this election is unusual isn't it? I too, have been a life long democrat and was a Bernie supporter. We're in agreement about these candidates we have to choose from - I don't particularly like (or respect) either one...but having said that, we will have to decide on "the lesser of two evils", so they say. Thank you for the video, I will watch in hopes of becoming better informed. I am trying to keep an open mind, but am leaning in a particular direction at this point. I just hope our country does not end up being even more divisive than we already are. I do hope you have a wonderful time away. And absolutely, it is a good thing to shake up your routine a bit! Keeps life interesting!

Hootin' Anni said...

Enjoy your get together...I know you will! I bet the climbing up/down was worth it...oh the viewsa


Unknown said...

Thanks for the virtual hug, yes it was my first time to visit your blog and very first post i got impress with the writing style. You have very unique style which directly communicate with the readers.

krishna said...

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