Being outside - this month I’ve had many opportunities for living outside - first a long weekend camping in Colorado and then a week in a rustic cabin in Maine. Being by the water is calming, and fresh air just seems to recenter my priorities. It’s especially wonderful being with good company. Silence is just good. So is not shopping, not hoping for visitors or phone calls, not having appointments or traffic. There are a lot of benefits to living in the city like airport access and great restaurants, but sometimes I feel I’m missing out on a simpler life.
Kayaking - My previous kayaking experience was on the Hudson as part of a school trip. We paddled out to an underpass and back. It was really hot, smelly, and the destination - under the overpass - was not exciting. When I heard that we were renting kayaks in Maine I was not excited - but there I learned that a kayak doesn’t have to be a long grueling adventure. It can be a quick paddle out to view the sunset over the water, far away from the bugs on shore. Floating in a kayak is lovely. It’s like a raft with less chance of getting wet. You can bring your camera, a book or 2, and pack a picnic lunch - all that would be hard to keep dry on a raft or a tube, and you don’t have to change your clothes. It’s got a nice little chair and is easily maneuverable. Kayaking in Dallas won’t be as exciting as in Maine, but it’s still a great way to view the sunset and get a bit of exercise.
Dinner parties - Cooking for and with friends is the best. I really don’t like the pressure of having to prepare a perfectly presented meal with the dishes all ready at the same time, so that’s why I love potlucks and cooking with friends, where the prep is part of the party. Friends can pull up stools or chairs and chat in the kitchen while cooking, and it’s an activity as well as a meal. Then they are really invited into the home and into your life. Some friends from church and I had a potluck dinner party, then a few days later we got together for leftovers, with no prep at all.
The Count of Monte Cristo - I almost never finish 600 page historical novels, much less in a week, but that’s what I did last week with The Count of Monte Cristo (spoilers ahead). I’m so fascinated by the story - but I kind of like the movie version better. I want the lovers to get back together, and for the wrong to be fixed. The count is mad at his former fiancé for not waiting for him - but he was in prison for 14 years and declared dead. When people are declared dead, I think it’s ok to move on, and she never stopped loving him. In the book the revenge is much more intricate and interesting, and there are a lot more characters, but overall I may prefer the changes that they made for the movie.
Once again I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer.