My favorite time of year.
In the mornings, I sit on the porch while Mattie, our 11-month-old beagle, does her business. (The photo is of our previous beagle, Daisy.) Dandelion, our tabby cat, typically meanders back from her morning walkabout, and she and I watch the deer, rabbits, turkeys, and other birds as they go about their morning habits. On my way to work, I see more deer, turkeys, and turtles. On occasion, I see a hawk or an eagle. Once I passed a billy goat running down the yellow line of Route 33, dragging a chain behind him. Another time on my commute to town, I almost hit a cow. Once, I saw a mother bear and her cubs cross the road.
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I can toot my horn as I pass neighbors sitting on their porches, and monitor the growth of the mistletoe in the only local tree I have ever seen it in. I can enjoy people’s gardens (floral and vegetable), while I sing my way to work. My satellite radio works clearly almost the entire route, except the town side of Normantown Hill and heading down Glenville hill into town.
My commute from Stumptown to Glenville is “my time.” The commute to work allows me to take a little over 20 minutes to prep my mind for workplace thoughts. What’s on my list for the day, what needs to be addressed, etc. The commute home allows me to dump workplace thoughts (in theory) and focus my mind on household concerns. Do we need milk or bread? Is my Amazon order waiting for me? What am I going to fix for supper?
The commute from Stumptown to Glenville includes three rather challenging hills: Normantown Hill, Cain Hill, and Glenville Hill. They aren’t much of a challenge to locals in the summer, but truckers and travelers seem daunted by the depth of their curves, and in winter — well, that’s when they can present a true challenge. But even with the roller-coaster-like ride, I prefer my two-lane commute to a four-lane commute any day.
I regularly take breaks from national and world news. I keep some track of state news and follow local news, but since we don’t have television, I choose what I watch and read. I only check in on national news about twice a week, and world news maybe twice a month. I am so grateful to be able to tune out. I’m so grateful that the world is “out there” and we’re tucked here amongst the hills. I’d rather watch a doe and her fawn than watch the world burn…
I enjoy my quiet mornings on the porch, listening to birdsong, and evenings on the patio listening to bullfrogs and crickets. We spent an evening of the July 4 weekend just listening to music and looking up at the stars, naming constellations, and counting passing planes and satellites. Life here can be relaxing if we let it—if we still ourselves and take time to admire the starry skies, listen to birdsong, to watch a doe lead her fawn to the water for a morning drink. So many people these days don’t know how to relax. I want to tell them, “start by unplugging yourself and going outside.”
I love porch-sitting season, don’t you?
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