Monday, August 25, 2008

More Goodbyes

We came here after spending a month on St. Simon's Island, GA (well, six months for Mike). Although it was extremely muggy and there were loads of mosquitoes, I fell desperately in love with the place. Really. It just pained me it was so gorgeous. It was a beauty that was completely foreign to me. There were trees everywhere. I kid you not. EVERYWHERE. Any place that would have been a vacant lot elsewhere was just filled with towering trees. They were packed thickly and sort of made me feel like I was in Last of the Mohicans. There were these giant prehistoric looking fern type of plants and Spanish moss dripping off of the trees. There were these crazy vines that wove all around the trees and dipped down low enough that my kids could swing on them, but they never made any sense to me because they were woody. They looked like they should be tree themselves not curly, bending, swinging vines!

Anyway, we then moved to the Pacific Northwest. It was of course beautiful, but it wasn't that unfamiliar beauty -- I'd seen similar stuff camping and in the Uintahs. Plus, we came at the beginning of the wet and dreary months of gray rain. There were Fall leaves on the ground, but they weren't crunchy like they should be, they were soggy. I'm afraid that because of those things I didn't give this place the credit it deserved.

My oldest brother, Mark, came to visit a year or so ago. He has lived all over the world and commented that he didn't know how I could make the drive through places like Tremonten, etc. up here and not realize how gorgeous it is. Now, I must mention as a side note that Mike loves dry, yellow, sage brushy plains and hills. I know, strange. Maybe it is because he can picture rounding up cattle in such a scene, but it has made me feel guilty for only appreciating one type of God's beauty here on this earth (the lush and green kind).

My brother was right though, and I think I have truly come to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. To give you a tiny sample, I took you all with me on my morning run today (via my camera). This is the usual loop I make from my house. It was early morning which meant the shadows were all wrong for pictures -- ultra bright glaring sun in some spots and dark shadows in others, but if you just picture things about 300 times prettier than the pictures you will see why I am sad to leave this place (and how foolish I was in not giving it all the beauty credit it deserved initially!).

I wouldn't feel right about starting this loop with out introducing you to these two fellas. They are my first sight upon leaving the neighborhood and they have been my most consistent vicious barking friends. Today though (when I stopped to take their picture) they merely looked a little disappointed. I think they are feeling blue that I won't be giving them something to bark at anymore.
This is the road up above my house and then heading back down towards town. There is a whole lot of pretty and green.
Over there is the Wildlife Refuge. It has nice trails and I'd like to run there, but it is forbidden. I'm not sure how fast you are allowed to walk, but I guess running is too scary for all the wildlife.
Gee Creek Watershed. I don't know what "watershed" means, but that is what the sign reads both of the two times I cross Gee Creek.
And here is me! Yes, I really was taking you with me running!

Umm, let's pause the run for a minute and fast forward to after the run. I'd like to be beautiful "au naturel" (sp?), but really, notice that I look 100 times better with makeup than with out. Sad.
Back to the run. After leaving all the trees, I get to run along our cute little stretch of downtown.
Yah, that's what it looks like -- a drinking fountain. But how perfect is that right about half way through my run!
On the right is the road you drive into our neighborhood and on the left is the nice foot path I run into our neighborhood.
See why I said I find it difficult not to stop and eat blackberries when I am supposed to be running?

This is a shed off to the side of the foot path up to our neighborhood. It actually gives me the creeps.

Another barking dog who will miss me terribly I'm sure.
The pathway that runs in front of our neighborhood and connects to Abram's park (where various soccer, baseball games, etc. are played). It was further down this path that I saw Zebra cat . . . and I can't help but look for him every time I run here.
And finally the path back up to my neighborhood. Lest you've all been too jealous about all the lush green and trees, you should note that I live in a normal new subdivision that is pretty void of large trees. In fact as much as I've loved having a new home, I have been pining (no pun intended) for a house with some "old growth" mature trees and bushes.
Back to my own little home. See, no big huge trees.

And as long as we've done the whole run, I may as well add this picture of what is waiting at home. Some crazy kids with McKayla. McKayla lives through the backyard and comes twice a week to tend so I can run. Throw in Saturdays with Mike here and that is three. While I'd love to do more, I never know what to do with all my kids, so having my little McKayla through the back yard for a few consistent run days is another thing I'll miss.


Tia Juana said...

Really now, you know I'm really not much for exercising what with my motto being something along the lines of "I don't run unless I'm being chased" but I have to say that I feel so much better after our little run just now! I can totally see why you do it. Although I do not understand why you keep doing it if those are the dogs that are about to eat you every day. I have new respect for you. But you are probably only running because they ARE chasing you.... But really, I LOVED your little downtown!! Do you ever go to the Dragonfly Salon? You know, just to hear the news? I don't think I would need a newspaper or an internet if I had a Dragonfly Salon in my little town within running distance. Right next to such a quaint little drinking fountain that some mayor long ago thought would be so fun to have there for the runners. It was almost like Julia Roberts should come walking out of that Dragon place to walk on over to her dad's hardware store like she does in Runaway Bride - see, more running! How coincidental. Thank you for sharing that! It was lovely, despite the fact that I forgot my sunglasses and the sun was such a glare - which is odd given that most days it is so cloudy and a bit gloomy where you live, right? I am glad you brought us all along so we can always help you to remember the beauty of this time you got to experience 3 days or more every week. Lucky you! Actually, lucky us for getting to do it with you! Thanks for taking the time!

Perla said...

what a FANTASTIC post, sister! I loved it! It truly is gorgeous, perfect lighting or not! Of course you will miss that! I love lush green so very much. But perhaps instead of lament the fact that I don't have that much, I should find more beauty in the world that is mine. I will work on that.

You know something bizarro? Those pics you took of yourself look strangely familiar. You look just like me. Isn't that wierd? I swear that in all of our years (except for in that picture of me, you and meg when we are really young and our faces look the EXACT same), I have never thought we looked alike. yet obviously there must be similarities since people always mistake us for one another, even if your hair is platinum and mine if dark or non-existent or whatever. but today i saw a glimpse of what others see. isn't that crazy?

anyway, loved the post and all of the gorgeous pics!

jami said...

in my next life i'll be a runner, and be able to enjoy the beauty around me in another light ... thanks for sharing. i LOVE your running route!! i, too, love the north west ... i served part of my mission there and decided it's a place i could return to! :) and i'll admit our little piece of the east is tree-filled as well and i think jas gets tired of me saying "look how beautiful it is!

Nancy said...

Jana -- Luckily there is that super sturdy fence you see n the pic keeping the dogs at bay. No chance they could EVER get past that! I never went to the Dragon Fly. :( But when have I ever been to a salon of any sort?

Shan -- that is weird. Once I was looking at a pic of Meg and for one second I thought it was me. It is so strange because usually I can't see it at all even though I know it is there since people seem to know what family I am from even if I've never met them in my life. ANyway, I am thrilled if my face could ever look one tiniest smackeral like yours.

missy said...

Loved the jog... I feel like I burned some calories too! The pics were perfect... they all captured our beautiful place perfectly! Hey, thanks for the info. I am so excited. I think I'm going to do books of my blog and all of my digital photos that I never seem to print out. We probably have thousands of pics on our computer! : )

Melissa, Ryan and Addy said...

What lovely pictures you took there. They look very professional and what a quaint little downtown. I love quaint little downtown areas like that. Sometimes I think I should have been born back in the day when there were more of them, because I adore them so!

Liz said...

Nanc, You look like quite the gardener from the pics of your house. You have lovely curb appeal.

Mugsy said...

OK so I am really seeing whata charmed little place to live that was....I am almost sad you have to move back home except that I am way to self centered for that and can only bask in my own joy of having you so much closer....

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