Thursday, June 28, 2012


I've always loved to walk out of doors. It is a low stress activity. It releases any tension I may be carrying around. It is fresh air and discovery. It is purposeful movement and unexpected moments. It encourages both acute observation and becoming lost in thought at the same time. The repetitive motion puts my world in perspective. It is good for me. 

Throughout my twenties, I took long walks around Greenlake in Seattle several times a week. With my earphones on and my Walkman (it was the 80's) tuned to the classical station, I made my way around the 3 mile path (often more than once) and watched it change with the seasons. At the time I worked in  a hospital lab......a fairly precise and uncreative way to spend 8-10 hours a day......but on the path around the lake, bird calls, breezes and a multitude of instruments provided background music that highlighted the movement and drama of nature.

At some point, as they say, 'life happened'. My walks became fewer and farther in-between, and since I no longer lived close enough, were rarely around the lake. Now and again I've picked it back up, but other responsibilities regularly began to take precedence over the time I used to give myself.  Sometimes I have stopped for weeks or months or ended up walking only when I was either out of town or on vacation. 

This fall a few friends and I decided to meet up twice a week to walk. We had the same goals in mind:  fresh air, exercise,  friendship,  fun. I love that I've made a commitment to show up, not only for myself but for the others as well, and that we spend time out of doors rain or shine. One of the women is a realtor, which translates into the fact that she knows just about every steep hill in the area. We push and/or wait for each other. We encourage and support each other. 

Early on we set a goal of walking the Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon together and on Saturday we did it.  Although we had planned to keep a somewhat slower pace than normal......for some reason no one did. In fact, I think we all walked faster! We strode past shops, the Public Market, sports stadiums, industrial areas, neighborhoods, schools and parks. We walked into and out of two tunnels, across a couple of over-passes and along the shore of Lake Washington. It was a beautiful and priceless opportunity to view our city in a way we never have before. And......although it had been pouring rain for the couple days previously......and although rain was predicted to fall on that day......the sun came out and there was not a drop that fell on us during the entire 13.1 miles.

3 hours and 37 minutes, and lots of encouragement from bands and bystanders later, we crossed the finish line together. I've been outside walking several times this week. I have my sites set on next year.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice

Today I stopped in at the nursery for geraniums, trailing lobelia and new clay pots. After some deliberation, I brought home a couple of dwarf apple trees to plant along one of the long sides of our fence. Within the next few days, I plan to go back for a pear and maybe a plum tree as well. I've been eyeing this one stretch of empty soil for awhile now and have big plans for it. Funny how a warm, sunny day can motivate me.

Summer arrived at 4:09 PM today. I love 'first days' of anything. Wishing you a happy first day of summer.

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something to Think About

A short post today that includes a couple of quotes to ponder. I don't know who to attribute them to (if you do please let me know!), but I'm thankful to have run across them. They both gave me something to think about. I find that it is important for me to remember that, really.....not much comes easy. And I'm pretty well convinced that 90% of achieving most things is defining our dreams and then simply making sure to show up. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

"Reality is a product of our dreams, decisions and actions."


"The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it."

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


They're calling it "June-uary" around here. Gloomy, chilly and......depending on the day......buckets (and buckets) of rain falling down. The crisp and colorful flowers that shouted "spring-with-summer-to-quickly-follow" a week or so ago are now droopy, soggy, matted messes,  folded in upon themselves and each other. White, yellow, pink and purple petals turned to mush where they have fallen: in the dirt, on the grass, on the patio or clinging to the vine. Yesterday my walking group unanimously decided to cancel and the activity I chose to replace all of that exercise (for at least part of the day) was to turn on the gas fireplace and sit, wrapped in a heavy blanket, on the couch.

I, however, am not complaining! Sometimes days like this and I get along just fine. Small piles are disappearing from my desk and the kitchen counter. Tasks I've put off for far too long are getting completed and checked off the list one by one. Phone calls have been made. My calendar is filled out. The washer and dryer are agitating, spinning, tumbling and buzzing by the load. I am inching closer to getting 'caught up' if that is an actual possibility.

Today I baked a batch of cookies. Chocolate-Chip-Oatmeal-Coconut. Baking, especially these cookies for some reason, has a strangely meditative effect on me. I've made this particular kind so many times that I can practically do it with my eyes closed so that my mind is free to wander and think and organize and plan. Moving warm cookies from the baking sheet to the cooling rack and then into neatly stacked piles feels like a bonus on these task oriented days stuck inside.

I'd really like the rain to stop. For it to warm up outside and turn into summer. But I'll make use of days like this when I have them.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Warmly, Margaret
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