I've kinda been asking myself that question now and again. For years I said that work was getting in the way of my real life, and I didn't understand people who worked into their 70s because they didn't know what they'd do when they retired.
Yeesh. There aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do. Then add the things I NEED to do and you have one tired puppy some days. But smiling. All those years stuck on a computer in an office job left me feeling like Scooter does about being inside.
Now, as Spring rolls into Summer, I can sit on the porch pretty much any ol' time I want.
The lawn still needs mowed. Frequently. And the house needs work. There are things that seemed like a good idea at the time but need maintenance work that has been put off because STUPID JOB!... Like retreating the decks. That would be the double decks in back and porch in front. It's been so long that I'm having to strip a lot of gunk off with the power washer, then I'm going to have to do some sanding.
But other, more important things keep getting in the way. Like today, when Bruce and ML rescued me from power washing. I mean, it was going to rain this afternoon anyway, so it really wasn't worth pulling the washer out, was it?
And Thank You Dick's For Tremendous Sales! - I finally got a kayak. All these years living near two rivers and I didn't have a boat. I've been watching - I needed one that not only handled well on the river but that I also could also get up on the SUV on my own. The Pelican 100 Trailblazer fit the bill perfectly.
Oh, what I was missing. The first hour out paddling upstream from Shepherdstown on the Potomac I saw such a variety of wildlife - so much more than I had ever seen from the C & O Canal Towpath that runs right along it. An eagle, wood ducks - both male and females with ducklings - cormorants fishing. None of these are my photos - valuable things like my cell phone stay safely in a dry sack in the storage compartment - but you get the idea.
And then there's hiking. Friday I headed out to investigate a place I've passed many times on my way south - Sky Meadows State Park. Turns out it's an absolute gem.
Numerous well marked, well kept trails, connecting in such a way as to allow for building of hikes of a variety of lengths.
I connected the dots for a 7 mile walk. The first thing I learned is that the park has a huge population of my favorite woodpecker, the red-headed. Gorgeous birds.
The park's name is appropriate, whether you stay at the low elevations or climb to the ridge and connect with the Appalachian Trail.
Spring wildflowers like trillium are done, but early summer ones are booming.
And there was dancing. Of the kind caused by glimpsing movement out of the corner of the eye. A sudden movement on the right side of foot, quick shuffle left as tail is seen slipping under rock. Movement on the left and a quick step forward and to the right - the snakey shuffle.
Patterned, living along a stream, reasonably sure they weren't copperheads - thinking northern water snake. Non-venomous, but startling when you suddenly have three of them, two not so small, moving near your feet.
And then, whaddaya know, a week's gone. A far better sort of week than I would have had this time last year.