Taking a Break

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #57: Taking a Break

…respond to this week’s challenge by showing how we and/or others “Take A Break”…How many ways can you think of for getting away from the daily grind and finding peace?

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I like to walk. Outside. I will admit I count steps – or at least keep track of them – via an older model fitness tracker I wear every day. No bells, whistles or flashing lights. Just an app on my phone which records how many steps I’ve accumulated. If I can count at least 5,000 in a day I don’t feel like a slug. 10,000 is the elusive goal. It all depends on how I’m feeling. How well various body parts are cooperating.

If nothing else, it motivates me to push back my desk chair, close my laptop, find my walking sneakers and head outdoors. Sometimes I call a friend to go with me – we chat and discuss the world’s problems.

Five years ago, I had a regular walking buddy – also a good friend – who would drive to my house for an afternoon walk. At that time I lived in a quiet neighborhood on a cul-de-sac. A relatively level road. Perfect for walking and talking with minimal huffing and puffing (more for my benefit – my friend, an experienced hiker, slowed her pace down for me).

Since then, she moved to California and I moved out of the house on the cul-de-sac. To a condo a few towns over. The “walking trail” promised by the developer is no trail at all. Just crushed stone gradually being taken over by grass and water runoff from the roof drains.

My steps outside now consist of walking up and down in front of the condo buildings.  I can also turn the corner and walk further into a neighborhood of matching houses…which are really condos. One “active adult community” next to another…but without many active adults visible.

A big change from the old neighborhood. No swing sets. No children on bikes or running to catch a ball. Rarely anyone at all.

Sometimes I drive downtown and walk to the end of the main street to reach the town “parkway” – which isn’t really a parkway like the infamous Garden State Parkway I grew up next to. It’s a quiet two lane road next to a tidal river. Grassy areas on either side of the road. Lined with memorial benches…often filled with locals finishing up their ice cream cones.

And for those of us who need one…a resting spot…to take a break.

parkway benches

The parkway’s sidewalk is next to the river.

Perfect for walking…especially late in the day…

river downtown

It doesn’t get much more peaceful than that.

 

parkway sign

 

 

 

Photo a Week – Sunshine

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week – Sunshine

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SUNSHINE

 

When the sun is shining, everything feels a bit better.
Warmer.
Creating a bright space for peeking.
Out a doorway.
Or a window.
Through the trees.

Inspiring songs, poems, smiles…and photographs.

A favorite part of living across the street from the ocean for 3 months?
This view out the balcony door on a magnificent sunny day…

sunshine beach

 

 

A favorite part of taking a walk last Saturday?
Discovering the sunshine…framing the trees.
Behind the main street…down a short hill…next to the river…
In my new hometown.

sunshine river

 

 

 

River

This post is inspired by:

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #20: River

I wish I had a river to skate away on….

Joni Mitchell

 

Back in 1971, when Joni Mitchell’s album Blue was released, I spent the summer working at a conference center 6 hours away from home. I worked mostly alongside other 17 and 18 year olds from around the country. It was a desperation move on my part to go so far away. For my own sanity. Constantly wishing for a “river to skate away on,” I finally got it that summer.

Although I didn’t fully realize it at the time, that summer was life changing. I shared a small room in the staff house with 3 other girls…I’m still close friends with one. I worked in the office. They were waitress/housekeepers. Rustic cabins. Barn dances. Dining hall. A beautiful lake. Staff parties. Work and play all in one.

The album Blue (which contains River) – as well as Carole King’s Tapestry – formed the backdrop of those weeks away. By summer’s end, I knew every single word of every single song. Even now I still do. Like a time machine.

There was always something about the lyrics from River that reached deep in my gut. I’d sing along in my shaky, slightly off key adolescent  voice…feeling every bit of the not-yet-understood longing and cloudy sadness that was to plague me for years. But in those moments I was comforted. I did not feel alone. Someone else understood. And voiced what I could not.

That’s what fine lyrics will do. For teenagers finding their way. Fighting to stay afloat. In a family like mine.

…I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
Oh I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly…

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Our World

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo”

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/09/25/tuesday-photo-challenge-our-world/

The theme this week is “Our World”

My world is “new” as of 2 years ago, when we downsized and moved to a condo in a different town.

In one of those circle of life circumstances, our new town happens to be where we had also lived 40 years ago. Back then…in a tiny 2nd floor apartment above a paint store downtown. It had a small “deck” out the upstairs door overlooking the river. We watched the Blizzard of ’78 roar through town from the back windows.

In 1978, the Exeter River ran behind all the buildings on that street (aptly named Water Street) – but it was a dam then. The water would often reach high levels after extreme rain events. It often flooded the lower floors of many businesses that bordered it. Over and over.

Since then, the town removed Great Dam (as it was called). No more flooding. Businesses came back to the downtown area. The river now flows downstream; connecting several rivers throughout the state.

When I stand on the bridge, instead of high water I see what looks like a giant terrarium. A wide variety of plant life.  I assume the concrete blocks indicate the old water line and one can imagine “what used to be.”

 

Version 2
The Exeter River 2018

 

 

exeterriver2
The Exeter River 2018

Our old apartment is still there…complete with an expanded deck!