Wednesday, September 1, 2010


My new favorite hobby is quiet time outside. This may sound a little unexciting, perhaps causing the response of, “And……?”. This new obsession started one day after work when the triple digits gave up their fascist reign of sauna like conditions over our town and a crisp cool day came in like much needed grace and turned all our frowns up side down. The Spring had been beautiful and the start of summer still found me out in the yard pulling weeds and planting anything that bloomed in shades of pink or purple. But when the rain stuck around and temperatures soared to 98 (with a feels like 106), I surrendered and remained indoors.

But something like 6 weeks of uncomfortable stickiness was over and the air felt so soft and comforting. I ran home, turned off the a/c and opened all my windows. The hardback of “Eat Pray Love” had come in the mail that I’d ordered from Amazon after I saw the movie. (I do things backwards). And I was dying to read it outside. I grabbed an outdoor picnic blanket I’d bought after seeing it in “Real Simple” magazine that had been sitting in my car for about 2 months wondering why the hell I bought it.

Incidentally my co-worker friend has the same blanket and on most of her lunch breaks she goes to the park or to her car and reads and takes a nap. I could never adjust after napping in the middle of the day so this never interested me but the picnic blanket at the park seemed very serene. People do that in movies don’t they?

There’s an 80 acre park behind my house that no one seems to know about as 90 percent of the time I’m the only one out there. I take the dogs, my blanket, my book, a tie down stake for Patrick and we’re off. Depending on variables sometimes other things come with us like string cheese or a bottle of water but we keep it pretty simple. Zoe will run the fields with a giant doggie smile while Patrick content with his 25 feet will dig and sniff out invisible creatures in the grass fanning the clouds with his constant waving tail. The only sound my mind focuses on is the occasional bird. It’s so peaceful that you can’t imagine why people talk so much.

After the first few days unwinding after work I was hooked and needed more. So some days on my lunch break I come home take off my work clothes, throw on a cotton sun dress and off I’d go with a blanket, book and puppies in hand. Why did my friend not stress to me more just how awesome this little break in the day is. 20 minutes later I am more relaxed and hopeful that the rest of the day will be better. I venture back to the faster pace of life filled with voices asking questions and complaining about anything they can think to mention. Its quickly evident these people all need a quiet lunch break with a book, a blanket and if they are really lucky, puppies and string cheese. So I pass this idea on to persuade you to try it and try it immediately.

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