Posted in A bit of history, Air, Autumn, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Fire, From the Archives, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Gratitude, Hiking, Home, Life, Little Wookie, Love, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, The Bogs, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Water, Wonder, Yoga

32. Tea and a chat

Toys in the fort.

A person’s life consists of a collection of events, the last of which could also change the meaning of the whole, not because it counts more than the previous ones but because once they are included in a life, events are arranged in an order that is not chronological but, rather, corresponds to an inner architecture.

– Italo Calvino

Playing in the fort.

Hello!  How are you?  I hope this finds you well and happy.  Or if not happy, at peace with whatever is.  Welcome back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  It’s been a while, eh?  Come on in and we’ll have some tea or coffee, water, fresh apple cider, or nothing at all (if that’s your preference), and a little chat.  I’ve been on a great adventure and have lots to share.  I thought an informal tea/coffee chat might be in order.  Not that my chats are ever formal.  I don’t think there is much that I do that actually is formal.

If you’re feeling peckish, we have plenty of apples and we brought back some apple dumplings — enough to share — if your sweet tooth is craving something.  They’re sweet, but not overly so.  The tart apples help to balance out the sweet sauce.

In the fort with Gramps, arranging blocks.

M and I took a little trip out to Breezy Acres in the Bogs (NE Ohio) to do any maintenance on the house that needed doing (landlord duties) and to visit with Little Wookie and his parents.  We’d hoped to see our granddaughters, too, but that didn’t work out.  The girls are busy-busy with dance and soccer (activities they seem to love), and we weren’t up to another five hours (round trip) of driving to make our way down to where they live.

While we were in the Bogs, we gave Little Wookie’s parents a break on Saturday afternoon (they went out to lunch and to do some shopping), and gave his mama a good part of a day to herself on Monday by taking him to Oh Wow!, a children’s science and technology museum in Youngstown, Ohio.  It was great fun.  The best part for me is always the excitement and enthusiasm he brings to whatever we’re doing with him.

Almost finished.

That last sentence may not be true.  The best part is just being with him, and with family.  And the love, of course.  Still, I love seeing things the way the Little Wookie does with new eyes and with a sense that everything is a miracle worthy of a big “WHOAAAA!” or “WOW!!!”

This brought on a smile.  (It’s in a parking lot in Columbiana, Ohio, where we stopped for some lunch at Das Dutch Village Inn.)

In between the babysitting or somewhere around it, we also went to a pumpkin patch to pick out some pumpkins, enjoyed story time at the library, met new people, spent time with an old friend (and made a new friend or two, I hope), and did a lot of playing and walking around Breezy Acres.  Now that Little Wookie is fully mobile (walking), there isn’t much sitting to be had while he’s awake.  He is 18 months old now, and one of the happiest children I’ve ever met.

After spending a few days in Ohio, M surprised me with a short (approximately three days) stay in the mountains of western Maryland.  It was our annual fall leaf peeping excursion, but there was not a lot of color around to see.  Still, it was amazingly beautiful and we did a lot of hiking and exploring.  I’ll be showing you pictures from that trip for a long time to come, I suspect.

On our way out of Ohio.

Some of the folks we talked with that live in the Deep Creek Lake area in western Maryland, had theories about why there was not much autumn color this year.  Some said it was due to the lack of rain.  A lot of the leaves just fell off without changing.  We saw some of that here before we left the Eastern Shore.  Others think it was the warmer than usual — or unseasonably warm — weather.  They were all correct.  The process begins when the days grow shorter and there is increasing darkness.  To have a good leaf peeping season, you need a combination of just enough moisture and some cool, above-freezing, nights.

A sunset walk on our first night in the Deep Creek Lake area of western Maryland.

We had beautiful weather both in the Bogs and in the mountains of western Maryland.  It was especially nice in the mountains.  Mid-60’s, breezy, and sunny, with the deep blue skies of autumn.  A cold front moved through a day or two before we arrived and the nights were cooler than we’ve experienced this season (in the 40’s), and as we were leaving yesterday we noticed there was much more color in the foliage than when we arrived.

Before the sun slipped behind the mountains.

Today is day 32 of the Forty Early Mornings challenge.  How are my partners in yoga/meditation doing?  I’ve kept up.  Some days my practices were rather short.  I’d catch ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon or evening.  Usually that was because I didn’t want to miss a moment with Little Wookie while we were at Breezy Acres.  Every now and then I’d manage a longer session, especially during our stay in the mountains where I had more time.  Our hotel room, for reasons unknown to us, was upgraded to a penthouse suite, and I had plenty of room for yoga.  In fact, we had about 1200 square feet of room when you add together the upstairs and downstairs areas of the suite.  We also had a jacuzzi tub big enough to seat about 8-10 people.  Crazy.  We didn’t use it.  It would have taken a few hours to fill.

As the day settles down for the night.

Because we did so much hiking, I have plenty of walks to share as part of the Walktober event.  Have you taken your walk yet?  If not, you still have time.  The end date is October 28th.  Walk with us!  It will be fun.

On the Deep Creek Lake Trail in McHenry, Maryland. We took this walk soon after arriving in the area, at sunset. It’s a 1/2 mile trail that we stretched out a bit by meandering around a nearby ski resort.

Speaking of walking, M and I have had some talks about training for a long walk.  We have several in mind, culminating in one we’ve been discussing for years: the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales (U.K).  We decided that we’re not getting any younger so, if we’re going to do it, we’d better get training.  You might be hearing more about that from me in the future.

A little color at dusk.

I reckon that’s about it from me on this beautiful autumn Saturday.  It’s a bit warmer than usual here today, and still a bit buggy.  I already miss the mountains were I was free to roam about without the use of insect repellents.  I’m thinking about going out to the Point at sunset.  Join me, if you like.  Sunset tonight is scheduled for 6:18 PM.  I’ll be there early so I can take a short walk.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

On our way to Meadow Mountain for our first hike on Wednesday morning.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  376)  Gorgeous autumn days while we were traveling, and gorgeous autumn days when we returned home.  377)  Being welcomed home by Izzy and Bella who must have missed us judging by their behavior.  378)  Our house-sitter who takes such good care of the cats and the house while we’re away.  379)  Sleeping in my own bed.  The penthouse suite was nice, but there’s nothing like being in my own bed.  380)  Surprises that show up in the mail while we’re away and just after we return.

Hints of color along the way.


Robin is...

23 thoughts on “32. Tea and a chat

  1. It’s nice to see you back Robin. I was thinking about you as we began our morning walk and wondering when you might pop up again. It’s always lovely to spend time with family isn’t it and having the grand-babies must be just wonderful! Good to hear you kept up with the days, doing yoga and or meditation in that suite must have been a blast 🙂 I missed doing my stretches yesterday – for the first time since we took this up. I thought it would be okay as I worked on my tiny courtyard summer transformation instead. This always involves lifting and hauling and dragging as well as actual digging and planting. But judging by the amount of stiffness and soreness this morning, not only should I have done some warming up exercises first, I also need to widen my yoga repertoire as obviously I am not using all muscle groups 😀 These forty days are simply serving as a raw beginning for what will come I think – and I am enormously grateful to you for kick starting and encouraging me to join in. I hope to hear Eliza is also doing well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was thinking something similar, Pauline. This really feels more like the start of something rather than getting near the finish of it. All of the hiking M and I did, plus stairs that I’m not used to, plus getting down on toddler level (sitting, kneeling, squatting, etc.), convinced me that I need to widen my yoga repertoire, too. My right knee didn’t hold up well and now I have to spend some time resting it. It’s nothing serious. Just the twingy-ness I get when we take long hikes in hilly/mountainous places. The Eastern Shore is flat and I don’t get much practice with inclines and declines. I need to strengthen the muscles that support my knees. I see a lot of ukatasana (chair or fierce pose) in my future. I’ve also been looking at other knee strengthening exercises. I found some that won’t be any strain on the knee while it’s healing that should help.
      I couldn’t believe the suite! It was huge! The price was ridiculous too ($79/night). We probably could have slept eight in there. It occurs to me, though, that maybe we looked like we were in good enough shape to handle it. The “penthouse” suite was on the 4th floor of the hotel and there was no elevator. The suite was two floors, with the bedroom upstairs. That meant a lot of stair climbing!
      So glad to hear it’s going well, Pauline. Or at least well when you warm up first. I’m hoping the same about Eliza. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’m still in the running! This has been a great challenge that has showed me how beneficial daily practice is and plan to keep it up. Little insights come to me about my practice, connection to Source, etc. A calmness and a flash of stillness that presents itself in certain situations, allowing me to choose a different thought and direction. Surprising and satisfying.
        Glad you had a nice visit with LW and family. Your photos of him are dear, you have a talent for capturing tender moments. Sorry the foliage was lackluster for your retreat, though the upgrade might have made up for it. Foliage is off everywhere it seems, the weather is so funky. Our color peaked just this past week, about 10 days past ‘norm.’ And we still have those terrible midges. Having to wear bug spray in the 3rd week of Oct. is unheard of. Making a dent in my 400 bulb planting marathon by doing a bit every day. It’ll be worth it next spring!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yay! Glad you’re still with us, Eliza. 🙂 400 bulbs!! Whoa!!! That’s a lot of bulbs. Spring will be quite beautiful with all those flowers blooming and nodding their heads as the welcome warmer weather. I should stop being so lazy and plant some bulbs around here. The midges are horrid here, too, which is one reason I haven’t been inclined to get outside and do yard work. I do have to mow today, like it or not.
          I know what you mean about the little insights. I find them hard to describe or put into words, but they do make life calmer and sometimes more joyful. I feel more present in my life and in my body, if that makes sense.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Robin,
    So nice hanging out with you! S’been a while. Your trip sounds and looks beautiful and fun. Look how big Little Wookie is already!
    Happy Autumn and almost Winter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Mary! It’s wonderful to “see” you. 🙂 Happy Autumn and almost Winter to you, too! I can’t believe how big Little Wookie is. He grows so much in between our visits with him. He learns a lot, too.


  3. Spending time with loved ones is precious, especially when one of them is a grand toddler. Shasta and I tried for a walk today, but the wind is blustery and cold and was blowing the misty rain into us. We decided to come back quickly. Me. She didn’t care. I did. We came in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it certainly is, Carol. And every time I spend time with loved ones, be they family or friends, it puts things back into perspective for me.
      I think I would have wanted to come back in quickly, too. I don’t mind rain, but not if it’s combined with blustery and cold. I hope your weather improves soon. 🙂


  4. It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time, Robin–family, friends, beautiful walks–and a surprise penthouse suite! I love “Little Wookie’s” little hands in the photos. I don’t know why–just those little hands. 🙂 And the “Whoa” sign made me laugh. It seemed like we were going to have brilliant colors for the leaves here, but now I think it’s slowed down because of the reasons you mentioned. I know the NJ cranberry farmers have been worried, too, because they need cooler temperatures for the cranberries to turn red.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I didn’t realize that about the cranberries. It’s something I should know since I grew up in NJ and our field trips during elementary school years always included a trip to the cranberry bogs.


  5. What a wonderful trip you had! I’m glad you got to spend time with family. And a trip to the mountains too! What a nice surprise.

    Contemplating a long walk sounds interesting. And in Whales? That’s truly remarkable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 We’ve been contemplating the Pembrokeshire Coast Path for several years. We even bought a book about it. I think we’ll start with something closer to home before we consider going overseas. I’ve been looking at fall walks in Vermont where they transport your stuff to where you’ll be staying for the night so you don’t have to backpack and carry it all with you. That gives us a year to train and get in better shape.


  6. I enjoy your posts because they are always written so beautifully. I am originally from NE Ohio so I appreciate any reference to that area. I have been commenting about our leaves here in Michigan falling short (pun intended) this year. No bright colors, nothing spectacular and my theories as to why this is the case were exactly the ones that you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Caren. 🙂 We lived in NE Ohio for thirteen years, in the secondary snowbelt (between Akron and Cleveland). I miss it. A lot. It is a beautiful area. Our youngest son and his wife are renting our house there which is fortunate for us as it gives us a good excuse to go back and visit with them and our grandson. Landlord duties. 😉 We’re hoping to move back to that area when my husband retires.


  7. I’m glad you found some cool weather, Robin; I am happy to say that it’s becoming cooler in northern Virginia, much too late for my liking. We don’t have much fall color here either, but I hope to see that change in the coming days. It sounds like you had fun visiting your children and grandchild. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path sounds interesting. I’m going to have to check it out. There are so many walks one could do. I’m intent on doing the Camino next fall (I figure if I keep saying it, I’ll really have to take on the challenge), but I’d also love to do the 88-temple walk in Japan and a hike to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. So many dreams, but like you, I’m not getting any younger and if I don’t do them soon, I don’t know if I’ll ever do them! Good luck with that dream. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cathy. 🙂 The Camino was on my dream list for a while, but I think I’m going to settle for what I can do here first and then work my way up. There are quite a few long walks to be found not too far from here. But I do know what you mean about saying something so you’ll really have to take up the challenge, so I have decided I’ll be doing one of the Vermont walks I’ve looked into next fall.


      1. That sounds like a great walk in Vermont, Robin. I love the sound of that Pembrokeshire Coastal walk you talked about too. One day, I hope! I’m always dreaming, but I really hope I do the Camino next year. 🙂


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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