Revisiting the Small Things of August

I had a few ideas for today’s post but had not nailed down exactly which one I preferred.  I have been wanting to continue – or probably better said to “revive”  – a series of posts I started last year called “A Look at the Small Things.”  It had, somehow, fallen off my radar but I liked it.  I also thought it would be interesting to look back at a year ago today and see what was happening.  And so I did.  Would you believe my post on 8/17/21 began, “A look at the small things in life.  My second installment.”

That is too funny.  Too coincidental.  Too something.  Whatever you call it, I thought I would take a look at that post and then give some updated thoughts/reactions from today.  The original post thoughts (somewhat edited so they are not too long) are in italic text and today’s thoughts will follow in plain text.  A few random reflections on the everyday things in my world.  Let’s give this a shot.

Something I accomplished.  My son will be gone next week this time…but I won’t focus on that!  He loves to hike.  My husband enjoys hiking as well.  Me?  Well, I enjoy hanging out with the two of them…so, one day a couple of weeks ago, the three of us went hiking. The path was straight up and nothing but rocks.  I will admit the view at the top was awe-inspiring.  I will even admit I felt pretty pumped once I finished…but the hours of walking, hiking, and climbing in between were not pretty.  Truly – not pretty.  But, I did it.  

Hard to believe that Jordan was just getting ready to leave and, today, I am counting the days until he returns.  One week left – if anyone else is counting with me.  Anchorage has definitely had its share of highs and lows (probably more lows if I’m honest) and we are all very ready – and excited – for Jordan to return to Virginia.  He will be going to school full-time which will be a big change for him but I’m glad he has finally decided to finish his degree. As for hiking, he has been doing plenty of that in Alaska.  He has conquered some really tough hikes as well.  But he has promised to take it easy on his “old parents” when he gets home and I do some trips back to Skyline Drive in our near future.

This photo is one of my favorites from last week.  There is barely a trail there and what you cannot tell is the fact that it is pouring rain.  It was just misting when he headed out but several miles in and the skies opened up.  All you can do is hike back out.  And get soaked!!  Oh boy…but I do love the peek-a-boo of the Pacific Ocean in this photo.

A few, random, things I’ve been reminded of.  I am not athletic.  If it involves aim and/or scoring points by getting anything (ball, bean bag, marble, you name it) into a hole….then, you do not want me on your team.  Just being honest.

I am a country(ish) girl. For sure and for certain, I am not a city girl.  My heart is just happy when I’m surrounded by a cornfield.  Mind you, I don’t want to dig, tend or harvest said field but I long to be among the crops and even the cows:)

I’m so glad I am a vegetarian.  No need to elaborate but my son is a carnivore.  Literally survives on meat.  My house smells like meat.  My refrigerator is full of uncooked meat.  And, I’m glad I am a vegetarian.

Finally, I am about as artistic as I am athletic.  Our family did some pottery painting this month.  Something we do every August.  I have heard that everyone is creative….we just express it differently.  I suppose that may be true but I definitely do not express mine with paint.  Paint on canvas.  Paint on pottery.  Or paint just about anywhere. 

Well, those were some interesting insights – and I would say not much has changed in a year:)  I have gained neither athletic ability nor artistic talent.  I posted about my lack of athletic skills (as well as my opinion of sports, in general) just recently.  You can read that here – no need to rehearse it now.  Interestingly, I took some girls from my Junior Church class to a paint your own pottery studio just last week.  They had never been and we had such a fun afternoon.  I had the most fun watching them create.  Mind you, I did not even pick up a brush.  Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.

I am still very glad to be a vegetarian…but now I am reminded of that meat cooking smell.  Not my favorite.  Oh, and the happiness that comes from a cornfield?  This month has been wonderful.  The corn is ripe for the picking around here and the fields are full, green, and go on forever.  I often take “the long way around” when I run errands just to enjoy the cornfields.  The “short way” to anywhere usually means nothing but asphalt and way too many cars!

Something that made an impact.  Everyone has a story. Not only is that easy to forget but it also is easy to simply view everything (and everyone) through the lens of our life.  Our past.  Our perspective.  And make conclusions (and assumptions) accordingly.  But, everyone has their own story. 

I also had to step away from volunteering this month.  There was a difference in opinion and policy regarding current events and I chose to step away.  I doubt it will be the last time.  Just as I enjoyed – and even appreciated –  hearing my friends’ stories, I need to remember everyone has a story.  I don’t have to agree completely with someone in order to learn their story.  To value their opinion.  To appreciate their story.

It seems hard to believe that both of these events (the overnight trip with my friends from church as well as ending my time at the food pantry) were a year ago!  My goodness but time flies:)  This idea of “not having to agree completely with someone in order to value their opinion and appreciate their story” seems to be recurring for me.  In the last few weeks, I have seen this played out more than once or twice.  I often find myself struggling to find a good balance.  The right balance between speaking up to share my view and keeping quiet in order to respect others.  Or, perhaps, something in between.  this seems especially true when I am among friends (and a few relatives!) Yes, I value others’ opinions but mine are worthwhile as well.  My goodness but every little thing seems to cause more division these days.  I don’t want to focus on differences but I enjoy having my opinions heard – and appreciated – as much as anyone else.  Enough of that ramble.

I did very much enjoy that trip last year.  I would like to do something like that again sometime.  Maybe sometime soon:)

Well, that was interesting.  At least to me.  Thanks for following along.  And here’s to a wonderful Wednesday.   Hope you will stop by again on Friday.

4 thoughts on “Revisiting the Small Things of August

  1. Fun to read, Jennifer! As usual, I enjoyed reading about your insights and of course appreciate (as always) your wit. The balance struggle is REAL- the balance between speaking up on something and not speaking up out of respect. For me, it’s more about a balance in what I choose to write. I would love to blog more about current events and how I feel about them but… I struggle with knowing/ assuming that so many people would disagree with me and that stating my views would likely not change anyone’s mind (though my blog does act as a journal of sorts and I want my kids to read it someday and know that I had the conviction to share what I believe). And, yes, to be among crops and cows but not to do the work associated with planting the crops, the care of them, the harvesting of them and same with the work commiserate with livestock- I like that kind of country, too! I grew up in the country in an old farm house and have a healthy respect for the farm life and know that suburban life is more suited to my interests and abilities ;). Have a great Wedneday!

    1. Maria, hope you have a great Wednesday as well! There is something that seems so idyllic about growing up/living in an old farmhouse…but, yes, I think I better stick to the suburbs! So glad you can appreciate the struggle:) I totally identify and relate to your struggle as you write and blog….and I like that your blog is a journal, of sorts. Great idea (not sure my children will ever read my posts…ha!)

  2. Interesting post. I enjoyed hearing some of your small things. I walk, but I’m not into hiking. I did it some many years ago, but not for a long time. Sorry, but I’m with your son, I love meat too. lol However, I am so enjoying the fruit and veggies this summer.

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