We’ve had a few light snowfalls so far this winter, but this past weekend brought our first true winter storm of the season. Sure, we didn’t get two or three feet of snow, but we did have 35 mile-an-hour winds gusting and enough snow to stay on the ground instead of just melting away later in the day. The storm lasted the entire Saturday, not just a few hours, and created white-out conditions and slick roads for travels. I don’t know about you, but that’s a storm in my book.
We dog-sat for my parents this weekend, who are lucky to live on the shore of West Grand Traverse Bay. Sam and I woke up to find the snow blowing horizontally outside the window, completely blocking our view of Leelanau Peninsula across the way. It sounds crazy, but I love weather like this (only because I am fortunate to have a roof over my head). Looking outside at a blizzard makes me want to curl up inside with a book, a good movie, maybe a project I’m working on…but I had to walk the dog outside. It was as brutal and cold as I was expecting, but for some reason when I brought Lance back inside from his walk I grabbed my camera and headed back out.Continue reading
Up north, we have an abundance of fall color on the trees and (seemingly) few truly beautiful days to enjoy it. With the time change, it’s already dark when I get home from work so that means more morning runs to get some daylight and enjoying the outdoors on the weekends as much as possible. This past weekend was, as far as I can tell, the peak of color season on the Old Mission Peninsula where Sam and I live. The entire 18 miles out to the end of the peninsula were brimming with gorgeous colors and the weather was a crisp 40-50 degrees outside, making it absolutely ideal for some hiking adventures at the historic Old Mission Lighthouse. Plus, our friends Mark and Rachelle (and their little Yorkie, Tanner) were visiting, so we had every excuse to take them out into the wilderness.
While there are lots of trails to hike on out at the lighthouse, few people know about the two-track dirt roads you can take straight out to the edge of East Bay. I was told these are called the “Fire Roads,” since back in the day they provided easy access to East Bay in case there was a fire in the area. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it makes a good story. Plus, I am a sucker for off-road driving so I really look for any excuse to ride on them.
This past weekend, Sam was gone at a golf tournament from Friday afternoon until late on Sunday. It was my first weekend staying in our new home alone without my husband, which meant I had full reign to do whatever I wanted to do. Yes, it was lonelier around here, but it was also invigorating to really think about what I wanted to do, since the whole weekend was free and I was the one to decide what I did with my time.
So…what did I want to do with a whole weekend to myself? Apparently I wanted to get up way early and chase the sunrise. (Also: I know that “sunrise chasing” doesn’t sound as cool as “storm chasing,” but just roll with it.)
Sometimes I think about how often I take the sun rising for granted. What if it just didn’t come up the next day? What if the world stopped turning overnight and we never saw the sunlight again? I think I heard that some ancient civilization lived their entire lives not knowing if the sun would return again and if they would need to spend the rest of their years in darkness. Each morning they celebrated its return so their crops could grow, they could hunt for food easier, and go about their day without darkness.
Hearing stories like that makes me want to live with greater respect and appreciation for every single day and the things it brings with every sunrise. I will cherish the good days and learn from the bad, and recognize that each day is its own entity that I cannot dictate or control: I can only choose how I spend the hours I’m given, no matter what those hours may be.Continue reading
As much as I hate to admit it, summer is winding down. It’s harder to gauge these kinds of things happening since my biological clock is no longer aligned with a regimented school year, even though I’m living in a four-season environment. August always coasts in nice and easy, and this August is no different: the lake is warm, the air is hot, and it feels like the beauty will last forever…until about this time, when I recognize that it’s Labor Day weekend already and September is on its way. Fingers crossed the weather stays this fantastic to see us into October!
The saddest thing to me about summer ending is realizing that my daily bike commutes to work and around town are about to get a lot more cold, a lot more wet, and unfortunately a lot less frequent. When we lived in town, I would try to ride my mountain bike on the streets in the snow, but without studded tires it was basically a mess and took me twice as long–if not more–to get to work. (A common misconception about winter bike commuting: it’s not the snow that’s bad, it’s that light brown-ish snow where the snow has mixed with the sand and salt to create some super slick substance that is absolutely deadly to try and navigate on a bike. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve wiped out on that stuff. Ick!)Continue reading