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, June 4, 2023

June is here already

You don't say!

The little leprechaun actually didn't say anything as he sat inside one of the sandstone hollows on the Rock trail. I remember the first time we saw those holes, and somebody decided to yell inside to see what happened. I was surprised to find that they are quite deep, and once we trekked by to see lots of feet sticking out, which turned out to be a bunch of teenagers daring each other to check out the depressions. In the picture, one of the Trailblazers last week carried the little guy with her and set him up for the photo shoot. I didn't know the photographer took it and captured the moment so well.

This was my third excursion with Group 2 of the Senior Trailblazers, and I am pleased to have learned that I will not have to stop hiking completely, once Melanie moves away. She put her home on the market last Wednesday, and she already has two offers above her asking price. She has signed a pending agreement with one of them, and once home inspection has been made and signed off on, she will need to be out of there by the end of July at the latest. She figures it will probably be in the middle of the month by the time she gets everything all sorted out and packed up.

We walked yesterday morning as she told me all about it, and she is happy that I am doing so well with the new group, but I realized as we talked how much I am going to miss her. She reminded me that she will be back to visit often, and that she will be much closer to her family, which makes her happy too. It won't be the same, but change is inevitable and unavoidable.

I figure after she leaves, I will still do the same Saturday walks, probably by myself or maybe with one other friend. But it is now part of my weekly routine, and I won't want to leave the activity behind, just because she's not there. She suggested that I rejoin the Saturday walking group of ladies, but they start an hour earlier, and she's shown me how nice it is to enjoy the morning in a more leisurely way. Plus, they walk way too fast for me these days. 

I pondered last night what I might write about this morning, and nothing much came to mind. First I thought about books I've recently finished, but they are all the same stuff, some Buddhist nonfiction, and a few others that are not all that interesting to write about. Maybe it would be fun to recall some of my more exciting adventures over the years, but nothing seems to be popping out to present itself. So I guess I'll just riff on one of my favorite themes: gratitude.

As a healthy senior living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I have plenty to be grateful for. I have countless places within walking distance that are lovely and majestic, forests and parks with ancient trees, shady and filled with birds of every sort. And squirrels. I noticed on my last walk that there seem to be way more of them than this time last year, chasing each other and somehow mostly managing to evade the cars as they cross the streets. And I often share the trails with deer, who also seem quite healthy and robust in an urban environment.

I am also happy to have found some new friends in various avenues of my daily life. At the coffee shop, I've made a new friend who sits at the table next to John and me. Steve is a science instructor at the local college and sits with papers to grade most mornings, and we've gotten to know each other over coffee and conversation. By the time he arrives, he has already worked the daily Wordle, so as I sit there pondering what the solution might be, he keeps the solution to himself until I solve it. Then we discuss it. Our friend RJ sometimes shows up to join in the fun. He usually has coffee and a breakfast sandwich, so we have established a new and enjoyable routine at our newest coffee shop adventure. 

I walk to the bus on weekday mornings and catch it to downtown, and I know all the usual people who ride the same bus, but I don't talk with any of them. It's partly because I still wear a mask on the bus, along with a few others. I wonder where they are going, to work probably, since they are there almost every day. A few of them are students going off to school, I suspect. School is still in session here, but it must be just about time for summer break, so I should stop seeing them soon. So many people on the bus never look up from their phones, and I sometimes wonder what is so interesting and absorbing. Occasionally I can look over the seat at the person in front of me, and mostly it seems like endless scrolling through some app or other.

Although it's later than usual for me, I finally finished potting all the flowers in my front porch garden. And I also decided that I will not plant anything in our community garden this year, because I am really tired of dealing with the slugs for not much gain. John grows asparagus and has gifted us with plenty of it, and there are so many expensive but abundant veggies at our local store that I just don't feel like doing it any more. Perhaps if money were tighter for us, I'd be happy to continue digging around in the community garden. For now, we're doing fine.

This year's front porch garden

I just now went out to the front porch to take a picture of the flowers, so you can see them. They should continue to grow and expand a bit more, but I didn't get any geraniums this year and will be content with petunias and pansies, along with some other pretty gems. In any event, I am very happy to be enjoying the perfect spring weather as we move into June.

My dear partner still sleeps next to me, and my tea is gone and I'll thinking about getting up for good and starting my daily routine, now that this gentle and rather rambling post is finished. I do hope the coming week will bring you something to be happy and grateful for. If you look, I'm sure you will find there are plenty of reasons to say THANK YOU for your life. You certainly do add much to mine, and I am definitely grateful for your friendship. Be well, dear friends.


Anvilcloud said...

When you mentioned squirrels crossing roads, I remembered thinking that the real question should be, "Why did the squirrel (not chicken) cross the road." Because that is what they are forever doing. I probably mentioned it in a post at some point.

Rita said...

Such a cute picture!
Nice you've added somebody to the coffee club. :)
I don't live around slugs and they kind of creep me out.
I hope you find another friend to walk with like you have with Melanie.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I bet there are others that would enjoy a slower walk on Saturdays! You could form a new group! That is a really cute photo of you and the troll! I hate it when people just scroll through their phones all the time instead of being aware of their surroundings...I have lectured the Grand girls about it...put the phone away until you are someplace safe. I am sure they tire of me giving them advice!
Warm here and humid. One of my favorite cousins is having a birthday party today as she is turning 75 and her children will gift her plane tickets to Finland!! So that is my highlight for the day!

ApacheDug said...

DJan, I admire your always optimistic outlook and how you always make new friends and such. I wish we lived closer so I could meet you some mornings for coffee too. I'm just sorry about Melanie moving. I know you're happy for her (and even though I don't know her I'm happy for her too) but at the same time, you two had such a close friendship... well, your front porch flowers look terrific and I hope your week ahead stays a bright one.

Elephant's Child said...

Gratitude is a gift that keeps giving isn't it? I am also very grateful for so much in my life - not least that the blogosphere has introduced me to wonderful people like you who enrich my life.

Linda Reeder said...

It's 1:00 Sunday afternoon now. We will be ready for lunch. I am icing my hips because I just spent two hours running the hedge trimmer while Tom and I trimmed the perennial candytuft on the wall along the 150 ft driveway. It's a once a year June job that I almost made it through before leaving Tom to finish it. I'll be sorry I did that much, but I just need to get out and help with the yard work. I am grateful that I can at least do something.
It is very dry in the garden. We had almost no rain in May and June is looking dry into the future. While I am grateful for the lovely weather, it is a mixed blessing here in the PNW where we like green.
Gratitude is good. I'm working on it.

Gigi said...

I love the photo of you and the leprechaun!

I know you will miss Melanie on your walks but I feel sure that you will soon have a new walking buddy.

Your porch garden is lovely! I keep thinking I should pot some annuals but I know how I am and I would end up neglecting them - but now that I work from home three days a week, who knows maybe I wouldn't.

Have a wonderful week, DJan!

Rian said...

Cute pics, DJan! I would have liked to have seen those feet sticking out... ;)
Hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Marie Smith said...

I am late to my vegetable patch this year because of my shoulder pain. I hope to get it planted this week. There truly is no rush however since it is cold, feels like 3 degrees presently.

So much of aging is about adapting. I am grateful to be able to accommodate adaptation thus far in these senior years. It is tough sometimes though! You are doing well with it, Jan.

John's Island said...

Thanks for all the updates. Happy week ahead to you!

Red said...

You seem to do very well without a plan and just winging it. Winging it is what teachers learn to do. When you are active and are involved in many daily activities you will find much to write about.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Glad I found your wonderful blog
Your writing style is very pleasant to read.
I will be looking to things I am grateful for today.
Thank you

Barwitzki said...

Magnificent tour of the sandstone world... I like it. Thanks for your photo.
I'm also very lucky to be able to hike in the sandstone, we have the Elbstandsteingebirge very close by... a wonderful little national park.
Many greetings to you. A hug from Viola.