Resuming/Reworking the Routine

The morning view out my living room window.

The morning view out my living room window.

I was up before the birds this morning. Getting up before the sun seems to get harder and harder as the sun rises later and later. I shall persevere though, I always do! My alarm went off at 5 a.m. but I snoozed it until 5:30 when I was finally able to drag myself out of bed and to my desk in the living room/office. I warmed up some coffee then sat down and started plunking away on the first article of the day. I can’t even tell you what it was about at this point.

As I was working at my desk I kept seeing something outside the window in the pre-dawn light. I finally turned and watched for a few moments to discover it was a bat flying around in my front yard, snatching up the last few bugs of his nighttime buffet. I love bats but haven’t seen many this year because of the odd summer weather. They never seemed sure that it was really summer and safe to come out of hibernation. I understand their confusion. I was surprised to see the bat this morning because the heat wave has finally broken here and it was so cool this morning I put pants and socks on. Perhaps the bat realized that it’s now or never to fatten up on bugs before fall settles in.

My girls go back to school tomorrow and while they’re not exactly thrilled, it will be nice to get back into a predictable routine. This year’s routine won’t include me having to drive into an office job though and that’s a welcome rework! It will include waking my oldest at 6 a.m. so she can be awake, fed and functioning in time for the 6:51 bus to take her to Middle School. She’s nervous about starting 6th grade and I completely understand. Jordan is a very bright girl though and I know she’ll do well. She’s known some of the kids in her class since preschool and hopefully none of them change for the worst as they progress through middle school and high school.

This will be the first year my youngest will have to ride the morning bus alone every day. All the kids I’ve seen interact with Jaycie seem to love her though so I’m hoping there aren’t any problems. She tends to go off into “Jaycie world” when she’s on her own so I’m sure that will make the bus ride pass quickly for her. Should any problems arise for either of my girls though, I’ll be down at the school to straighten things out at a moment’s notice. I only live two miles away and don’t have an office job to deal with anymore so I’m quite available to discuss any issues that may arise. Depending on how the school year goes this year, the teachers and staff might come to know me well.

Once both girls are on their buses and off to school I plan on taking Jazzmin for our morning walk. Then workout, then jump into freelance writing. I’ll fit in our second walk before the girls get home and the pup should be suitably satisfied and exhausted for the evening. Will that keep her from staring at me longingly asking for a third walk? Not likely. There’s always the possibility of a third walk with the girls when the weather permits and then everyone should be properly tuckered out.

I’m looking forward to returning to all my stay-at-home mom school year routines. Having fresh cookies or bread waiting for my girls when they get home. Getting a home-cooked meal on the table by 5 p.m. and then helping them with their homework. I hope to get all my freelance work done before they get home but articles don’t always appear conveniently for that. I’ll make it work though. I always find a way to make it work. Faith, trust, pixie dust…and strong coffee!

Morning Walks

Right before my 5am alarm went off this morning, I was dreaming that I was walking on the beach. The sky was overcast but the water was warm and I was in it up to my knees. The feel of the churning waves rolling over my skin was divine and I could smell the salty air. I love the ocean and walking on the beach is something that brings me peace and contentment. It’s also something I don’t get to do enough but I’m working on fixing that. When I live closer to the ocean I will walk in the shallow waves as often as I can, morning, noon and night if possible. I’ll revel in the feel of the wet sand squishing beneath my toes and underfoot and collect whatever shells wash upon shore. That dream this morning is something I am determined to make a reality.

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

 

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

 

A seagull all tucked up on the beach

A seagull all tucked up on the beach.

Right now my reality is living in the country though so I’m making the best of that. Sunday morning Jazzmin and I headed out to the farmer’s access road for our walk. There was a light breeze but it was already becoming humid. As we neared the gate across the road, I heard church bells in the distance which must have been announcing the start of service. It was lovely how that sound carried across the hills and valleys of where I live and I felt at peace.

The morning view out over the fields.

The morning view across the field.

I’d been smart enough to wear my hiking boots this time and I’d placed the Dr. Scholl’s active series insoles inside them. Those insoles really do work by the way and I recommend them to anyone suffering from shin splints, foot pain or back aches during or after their walk. The walk down that road was uneventful with only the red-winged blackbirds and some chickadees serenading us. As we neared the end of the straight part of the road I saw a squirrel perched atop a large boulder. Jazz didn’t see it and it quickly ran away but she smelled it as soon as we reached that boulder and had to investigate.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

 

Jazz looking across the boulder.

Jazz looking across the boulder.

 

Jazz searching for the squirrel

Jazz searching for the squirrel.

I stood on the part of the road that opens out onto four different fields and took several pictures of the wash out and brush clearing. For some reason that section reminded me of a desolate post-war wasteland despite the un-endings songs of the birds and the butterflies flying by.

Washed out earth.

Washed out earth.

 

Cleared out brush and trees.

Cleared out brush and trees.

I took a panoramic video of the area as Jazz sniffed around and then I decided to head back. Barely five minutes after we started walking back, the church bells sounded again marking the end of service.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

 

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

I felt very calm and at ease as we walked back toward home. Starting my day like that out among nature and the songs of birds brought me serenity. That access road isn’t a true nature trail or even that secluded, but to me it felt like I was in another world. Perhaps it’s just my overactive imagination that causes that or maybe it’s my learned ability to appreciate all the nuances of life. Whatever the reason, I look forward to further morning walks in the country and anticipate deeper contentment when I stroll among the ocean waves.