Sweet Peas and Gratitude

I posted a couple of weeks ago about some difficulties I’ve encountered getting exercise where I live. I wrote about the challenge of running or walking on the dangerous rural road I live on. This week I was reminded of the importance of embracing and making the most out of what I do have.

Thanks to a snowstorm, I fell in love with our house in the middle of the woods all over again this week. It snowed a lot, for North Carolina, and it was truly beautiful. Dan and I went on several long walks uphill through the woods and along the river. I appreciate snow more now that I live in the South and don’t see it as much. I had forgotten about that shimmery glow that happens when there’s fresh snow and the sun is shining. The crunch that your boots make in the insulated quiet of the snowy woods.IMG_1098

Then there was the sledding. The problematic hilly driveway that I cursed when we were building our house became the scene of some silly rambunctious sledding that had me laughing so hard I cried as I crashed and flew off the sled into a snow bank. Marching up the hill again and again to take sled runs down – now that’s an immense and fun workout.

Afterwards, we sat by the crackling fire and ate the homemade chicken soup I spent a full snow day happily making in the crock pot.

The best part is that just as we were getting a little tired of it all, Mother Nature was too. It’s supposed to be almost seventy degrees this week, and just like that I’ve got spring fever. I know it’s early. But one of the things I like about living in North Carolina is that Spring is around the corner right now.

Outside yesterday, under the pretty Carolina blue sky, with the warm sun on my face, the “snowmageddon” that shut down Raleigh for the better part of this past week was reduced to just a few defiant patches of snow.

I was dying to get outside to work in the garden. I probably could have skipped the spin class I took in the morning before I happily headed out to do some outside chores for the first time all winter.  Because as my achy arms and back are reminding me, gardening can also be an awesome form of exercise.

Austin and I spent a couple of hours turning over the soil in the kitchen garden, where I’ll grow some herbs and veggies. Thank goodness it is pretty small, because it was hard work, digging under what’s left of the topsoil into the clay, turning it over, chopping it up. Then we worked in some compost and new soil. I’ll put lettuce seeds into the ground next week to support my daily salad habit.

tulipsThe gorgeous red tulips Dan sent me for Valentine’s Day had me thinking of flowers, too. I am crazy for flowers. So I tried planting sweet pea seeds for the first time. I put some in the planter of our sunny retaining wall. Austin and I came up with an innovative way to water them, putting those last clumps of snow over the seeded area to slowly melt in the sun through the day. The rest of the seeds I put in three pots on the little deck outside our master bedroom.

When I was all done, the early morning spinning followed by the shoveling and chopping and planting, I took a nice, long Sunday afternoon nap. Life is good.



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