I think I'm in paradise here in my husband's brother's home on a little cove off the Puget Sound. We've been out in the kayak, traveling just a little up the cove to a creek where salmon spawn in fall, observed a seal in the water and bald eagles overhead while eating supper on the deck. And I've had a complete blast helping my sister in law (and dear friend) in her AMAZING garden. At home my garden dried up this year with all our triple digit no rain temperatures. Here she and I worked probably four hours yesterday afternoon, weeding and edging beds and it wasn't even hot. Last night the broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and snow peas for our stir fry came from the garden. I actually got to go out and get them in a basket and bring them straight in and cut them up. I LOVE that. Maybe this year the kids and I will pull off a fall garden. I'm resolved to try harder.
Also, I got a lesson in using a bread machine this morning and now I REALLY want one. It is so easy and I could have whole grain hot breads for Bob (and me) whenever we wanted, even on work days. Baking bread from scratch has daunted me working - just something I'm not going to take the energy to do. But Heidi, who is a sweet and patient and precise teacher showed me how easy it is with her bread machine. Now I'm a total convert and seriously in the market.
I've also renewed my commitment to help Bob with healthy eating habits the rest of the summer and into the fall. He's just not comfortable and able to move around well and easily at this weight and I want him to be more comfortable (and live longer. I would feel terribly guilty as well as bereaved if he had a heart attack and died heavy and I hadn't worked harder to help him lose weight.) I think I can help with what I cook - and DON'T cook. I think both of us will try the online Weight Watchers Core program when we get home.
Southern girl that I am, I also have had an education in how some of my favorite foods look growing (Blackberry thickets are HUGE and blueberry bushes can be taller than me like little trees. I had no idea. I thought they were little bushes like our Texas dewberry bushes. I also saw foxglove in real life for the first time, white and delicate and bell like just like I'd seen it in photographs, but also lavender and deep magenta.
I am so happy here, loving the conversations and connection as I did during our Blacksburg visit, but - having more time and fewer people here, I'm realizing how tired I am at some deep level. I don't feel tired walking around - have plenty of energy for the things I want and need to do, but here, with people going to bed early and not too much I really can do after dark, I find myself sinking into deep sleep and a slower pace, and feeling it resting me. Most of our recent vacations have been more adventurous and fast paced, and (like the day at Peggy's house after the writing retreat when I just slept and slept) I'm truly valuing a chance to deeply relax.
This life makes me realize how wonderful some versioon of a retired life could be - not now even if we were ready financially, but maybe later. The uncharted days where weeding a garden or making a quilt top could be a days goal have their allure, as of course do the travel options available.