The days we love

The days we love

One thing has become so very evident to me in the past year — we must embrace every moment of the days we love.

Losing a loved one puts so many things into perspective. And sure, there’s nothing earth shattering or life-changing about canoeing. But, there will only be so many warm November days in my lifetime and I intend to embrace every one that I can.

So Husband and I invited my MIL and SIL to an afternoon of canoeing/kayaking/beach walking. I can’t think of a better way to embrace 73* in November.


The pup canoeing

Sunday afternoon

Back Bay

And even better, as we were loading up the boats to head out, a nice fog rolled in. We headed straight for the beach and watched it get thicker and thicker until we could hardly see the waves. There is nothing more magical than fog on the beach.

Fog rolling in on the beach

I hope I never begin to take these days for granted again. I hope that with all the tears of grief, there also remains the hope of life today. Carpe diem!

The pup in the fog




We had a full weekend–full of productivity and rest, good and hard, family and solitary, beach and rain, a mish-mash of many things, doings, feelings.

I spent Saturday trying to get control of things around home…this time of year, when so much of life is lived outside–in the garden, at the barn–home falls a bit by the wayside. Jackets don’t get hung up; dog hair gets, well, everywhere; and there are always dishes to do. The bills need to get paid eventually, and the dog bathed, and the plants watered. Much to be done.

Husband often works on Saturdays, catering weddings mostly. So I squeeze every minute of solitary time to complete the tasks at hand. (I even managed to watch my brother graduate with his master’s degree via live webcast while I folded laundry!)

I carved out a bit of time to ride in the evening, but the weather had other plans. Before I knew that rain was coming it was thundering and lighting, big drops began falling, then driving from the sky. I made a run for it and got home before getting too wet. Life is like that sometimes–we make our plans but things change all of a sudden and we have to learn to change with it. And sometimes, when it takes a turn for the worse, we get a bit wet.

For three hours it poured and the wind tore through our little “valley” with a vengeance. Rain managed to come in every cracked window in our home, and I alternated my time between sipping a cup of tea, calming the nervous pup, and running around the house with towels to sop it up. Before long, our mudroom was a rushing river–water coming in the front door and heading straight out the back, probably three or four inches. The garage, too, flooded–water came up through the cracks in the concrete. Husband and I scurried around trying to salvage what we could in the garage–wooden furniture waiting to be redone, cardboard boxes waiting for the next move, etc. But sometimes, you just have to let things take their course. So we just sat down in the dry, cozy living room and let the worst of it pass.

Then loaded up the truck, nervous pup and all, and headed to the beach. At 10:00 at night. Husband’s family had rented the beach house. “Our” beach house, or so we like to call it. And we were meeting them for the final night and day of the little “vacation”.

It was fun to be back there, where we lived for the first 7 months of our marriage. To remark on the changes, the updates, the memories. We spent time with family, and watched the little kids squeal with delight over our pup.

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach, VA

Sunday morning was cool, overcast and windy, but we managed a walk on the beach. And really, I think those cool windy days are my favorites, because the beach is deserted, it is ours to explore and love and experience. Come July, we’ll be sharing this beach with thousands of tourists. We don’t usually come in July.

They were dredging, bringing sand back up onto the beach that had washed out to sea over the course of the storms and hurricanes of the past year. The dredging meant there was a plethora of seashells to be examined and the perfect ones searched out. We found sand dollars too, six of them.

Shells on the beach.

Puppy playing in the waves.

Ginger loves the beach, and thoroughly enjoyed her walk. I forget sometimes how much we loved those daily walks on the beach when we lived here. I miss them.

A walk on the beach.

Puppy at the beach.

Back “home” we washed off our sandy feet and settled in to breakfast, celebrating a few birthdays and Mother’s Day all in one. Together. It’s a good feeling, to be doing life together–celebrating the milestones and mourning the losses. Together. Because, really, you never know what’s coming–some days are a walk on the beach, others a torrential downpour.

Linking up with Annapolis & Company

Beautiful weekending

Beautiful weekending

Husband and I needed to get away this past weekend. Just get out. Away. To something new. To lose ourselves if just for the briefest moment.

But we had obligations here at home.

So we compromised. And on Saturday afternoon we took off for a little adventure–driving up the Eastern Shore.

The day was as wet and dreary as our lives have felt of late. But in it’s own way, it was perfect, beautiful.

The beach at Cape Charles

Sea shell

The pier at Cape Charles

Oyster shells

The beach at Cape Charles

Beach fence

Eastern shore shipwreck

Eastern Shore waterway

And Sunday continued the lovely as we attended the poignant dedication of the baby of a dear friend. We love being a part of true community with our friends here.

Baby dedication invitation

Delicious weekend

Delicious weekend

Delicious weekend

Can a weekend be delicious? If it can, I’d say this one was.

A few weeks ago I told you I needed more rain in my life. This weekend delivered.

It poured on Friday evening, cancelling my plans (bummed about that). My friend R. and I quickly rehashed a new plan and met up for dinner out. I never go out for dinner, at least not with friends. We stayed a good half hour past the restaurant’s closing time because we had no idea how much time had passed as we talked and laughed and ate.

Then we headed back to my place for hot tea and more conversation–real, soul-searching conversation–and, of course, more laughter. Oh, I miss R. when I don’t get to see her! The evening ended with an impromptu sleep-over because it was well past midnight by the time we were ready to turn in.

Saturday filled itself with a long to-do list and a series of errands. But it feels good to tick things off that to-do list–really, really good. It feels good to know that I am able to steward our blessings–our house and all the things that make it home. And in the midst of errands I was able to do a bit of feel-good shopping.

Thrift stores and sales are good for the soul.

It had been threatening to rain all day, and I could tell that there was little time before it began to downpour, so I headed for the barn for a quick ride.


I honestly believe that the calm before the storm is the best time to ride. The wind had died down to a breeze, the air cooled off and the smell of a storm was in the air. I put Chappy through her paces as the clouds gathered and the sky darkened, enjoying being out-of-doors during such a beautiful time. We headed back to the barn just as the sky started spitting.

That evening Ginger and I watched Anne of Green Gables as I took the first steps in teaching myself how to knit. So, so much fun. And so, so relaxing.

Sunday morning dawned hazy and slow. We had the windows open overnight, which hasn’t happened since May. It felt good to snuggle deeper under the covers and smell the fresh air as morning woke me. Soon enough we were attending church on the beach, which is always a pleasure. Husband and I spent the afternoon doing a bit of shopping (check back later this week to hear about our favorite find!) and trading at the used bookstore.

We spent time at home, just being together–sitting on the couch with a few blankets, a movie and some snacks. And we even headed back to the beach for an evening walk with the puppy. We held hands and laughed and amused onlookers as we tried to get Ginger to play in the surf (she’s terrified of water).

At the beach with the puppy.

We got ice cream twice in the same day. That right there should tell you how delicious the weekend was.

But today is Monday, and it’s time to get back to work. Five more days until the next weekend, and I wonder, what will it bring?

At the beach.

What weekends are for…

What weekends are for…

I was reminded over the past few days what weekends are really for. And a part of me was surprised to discover, yet again, that they’re not for running errands or catching up on life or knocking out that to-do list.

They’re for being. Living. Thriving.

They’re for relationship. Conversation. Laughter.

First thing Saturday morning I headed out to the local blueberry farm where Husband works on weekends. When I arrived it was overcast and in the mid-70s–perfect berry picking weather (did you know there was such a thing?). When my bucket was about half full the sun burned through the clouds and blazed down on me as I worked. Another 20 minutes and my bucket was full of delicious, fresh blueberries.

Fresh picked blueberries.

I’d forgotten to sample some as I picked, so I popped a few in my mouth as I headed back to the front of the farm–perfection, seriously. Fresh blueberries are sweet and tasty, just the way summer should be.

The afternoon consisted of a mix–cleaning the house, folding clean fresh laundry, attending a bridal shower for my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, and running to the mall to use a coupon to get some free goodies for myself (and a new pair of jeans for $10–seriously, I love new jeans…a lot.).

The best part of the day came after the thunder and soaking rain had waned and just before the sun went down. My dear friend R. and I had our monthly “date”…we packed a bag with fresh fruit, cheese, crackers and water bottles along with a picnic blanket and headed for the beach. We walked along the mostly deserted coastline as we talked about the deepest part of ourselves–the pruning, the changing, the evolving.

Beaching it with a friend.

We settled in just before the sun went down for a little picnic dinner and the conversation continued. As dusk began to settle we packed up our things and trekked back up the beach, never a moment of silence as we entered each others’ lives for the briefest of moments on our monthly date. At times, it feels that once a month isn’t nearly often enough, but distance and busyness make getting together difficult.

The beach is lovely and deserted in the evening.

By bedtime, I was thoroughly exhausted, but wonderfully satisfied and content.

Sunday afternoon we invited friends over to make grilled pizza and do nothing more than talk. We enjoyed ice cream with blueberries as their little one played in the grass under the shade trees in the front yard. There’s just something about fellowship and community and makes a Sunday afternoon so sweet.

Homemade grilled pizza.

Husband and I got our hands on a canoe this weekend and took it out in the bay for a paddle just before dusk Sunday evening. The heat had subsided and even the humidity seemed a little less intense as we journeyed out among the old dilapidated docks in Back Bay.

Canoeing with Husband.

Dilapidated docks in Back Bay.

Someday we hope to own one of these lovely little boats…maybe even this one. And someday we dream of living near the bay so we can take in an evening paddle whenever the fancy strikes us.


Sunset from the canoe.

Slowing. Being. Loving. Living. I think that’s what weekends are for.

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday…

Dear Monday,
I greet you with a deep breath and a long sigh. Life’s rhythms are keeping me going these days, and you are part of that. While Monday mornings will likely never be my favorite, I’m determined to welcome you into my life and make the best of it.

An evening walk on the beach.Dear G.,
The fact that we haven’t seen each other for nearly three years didn’t seem to matter a bit once I picked you up at the airport. A weekend full of deep soul-searching conversations and lots of laughter was utterly refreshing. It’s part of the rhythm too, I think, these once-every-few-years visits. Still, the time went by far too quickly and I was loathe to say goodbye. Next time, let’s not let it go quite so long. I need friends like you in my everyday life.

Dear Beach,
Sand, surf, waves, wind, sun…you offer everything dear to my heart. Two days in a row of beaching it was just what I needed this weekend, so thanks for always being there, even when I ignore you too often. I promise I will try to do better this summer…

Dear House,
I’m terribly sorry for the neglect. I do love you. But sometimes sandy beach towels strewn over chairs and kicked-off flip-flops on the kitchen floor happen. And sometimes, that’s a good thing.

Flip-flops on the beach.

Dear Little Sports Car,
This may be our final week together…I plan to cherish it.


Linking up with Happy Day.