Friday, March 28, 2008

The journey of a thousand miles...

begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu

For the last couple of years, I've hosted a Blog Challenge on ScrapShare. This year, however, we changed it up and started rotating hosts each week. This was my week. The challenge? A photo scavenger hunt! I wanted people to take photos to illustrate the following 5 things:
  1. a sign of spring
  2. an image of joy
  3. a bad habit
  4. a good word
  5. a reflection of you

I've loved seeing different interpretations of the 5 prompts!

Yesterday, I was sitting here (as usual) when Elaine IMed me.
"My last student cancelled. I have an hour of free time. Should I quilt, or walk?"
"Let's walk together!" I suggested.
"I'll be right over," she joked. See, Elaine lives in Alabama.

Ten minutes later, we were walking together, however - she on her cell phone in Huntsville, me on mine in Fort Worth. I headed west and decided walk to the edge of my neighborhood and then follow a city maintenance road that goes down the bluff to the Trinity River. The road is closed to the general public, so I've never been down there, and I've always wondered what I'm missing.

First, you should realize that the mere suggestion of walking for no good reason was a victory for me. Second, I want you to understand that I made a conscious decision to walk toward the river. Big whoop, you say? Well, I knew full well that the trip TO the river was downhill all the way. (Our neighborhood sits on the bluffs above it.) I also knew that the entire trip BACK home would be uphill all the way. And still, I set out toward the river. (Can I get a whoop?)

I fully understand that this is not a big deal to 90% of the world. I even know people who purposefully park at the furthest spot in the parking lot so they can get some exercise in on their way into the store. I, however, have never been one of those people.

Elaine and I walked and talked for almost an hour. I spent some time just hanging out at the river before heading back up - soaking up the sun, feeling the spring breeze, watching the Forest Park kiddie train, listening to the birds. By the time I got back home, I'd walked 1.68 miles, the last of it uphill. My heart was pounding, my leg muscles were sizzling, my lungs were heaving. But I felt WONDERFUL. Sweat was dripping from my chin. Again, not a big deal for YOU, but a huge deal to me. I have never walked for the sake of walking. When I walk, it's because I have to in order to get from point A to point B.

Elaine and I both took our cameras, and then later in the day, I took the boys exploring along a creek that feeds into the Trinity.

a sign of spring:

Our azalea bushes bloomed this week. The ones on the left are still in the budding stage, 'cause they don't get as much direct sun as the ones on the right. Our crepe myrtles are beginning to bud out, and soon, we'll have flowers on the trees. The grass is still brown, but in a few weeks, it'll be lush and green.

an image of joy:

I've ruined my boys; I've taken so many photos of them in their young lives that they've grown to hate the camera. They groan and whine and generally refuse to participate when I want do to a photo shoot. (Doesn't stop me from snapping away while they're oblivious, though, but that's not the point, now, is it?) Yesterday, all the planets aligned and they actually agreed to this pose! It could've been that they felt brave and adventurous perched on the precipice of death, what with that trickling creek roaring past WAY DOWN THERE 8 feet below. ;) Usually, Mom is harping: "Watch your step. Be careful. Pay attention to where you're going. Don't FALL!!!" This time, Mom was saying, "Scoot closer to the edge. No, it's okay. A little closer. You won't fall. Do you think I'd tell you to do something that would make you die? Come on. CLOSER!" Pure astonishment. Followed by joy.

a bad habit:

I've gotten better, really I have. Used to be, I'd have to stop at Sonic DAILY for my habitual dose of Diet Coke with vanilla. These days, I can go a full week without stopping. But yesterday morning, something just wasn't right. I couldn't concentrate on anything, 'cause all I could think about was 44 ounces of delectable goodness. At 10:00, I finally succumbed. I drove to Sonic, ordered my drink, and chased impending doom away with a single slurp. Ah. Bad habits are so good.

a good word:

The boys have rarely had an actual babysitter. Usually, Darren and I plan our dates around other peoples' schedules, meaning either Dani babysits, or we go out when the boys are hanging out with Grammy. One night last October, though, we found ourselves in need of hired help, so we called on my trusted, capable, fun friend Nikki. The boys think Nikki is REALLY COOL, 'cause she is. They were thrilled to have her over, and I was thrilled to return home that night to discover this on my chalkboard. This little note takes up a full 1/3 of "Grand Central", the chalkboard where we all track the week's events. Dani's work schedule, doctor's appts, the boys' Webkinz passwords, etc... everything we need to know is written on that board. But I gave strict instructions to my family: DO NOT ERASE THIS MESSAGE. EVER. IF YOU DO, I WILL THROW YOU IN THE DUNGEON. Almost 6 months later, it's still here. And it still makes me happy to see it, every. single. day.

a reflection of me:

Elaine and I snapped self-portraits on our walk. I had my 50mm lens on, so it was impossible to get a good shot. This is as far as my stumpy arm would stretch. :)

See the sparkle in my eye? You might think it's a relection of the sun. Maybe. I like to think of it as hope. I'm reclaiming my life. One step at a time. Doctor appointment in 50 minutes. Gotta run. (I'll probably park far out in the lot, just 'cause. Don't faint.)


Freda Mac said...

I am SO EXCITED about your journey....I'm walking the same walk with you. You are incredibly inspiring to me. Keep it up and keep us posted!

Freda McCracken

Ramblings of a crazed SAHM said...

So great! I'm inspired to jump on my pilates reformer right now! Thank you for this post. I needed a jump start...

Lee said...


Nae-Nae said...

I haven't been on Scrapshare much as I haven't had internet till now. But I am back to reading and LOVING your blog! You truly inspire me and so many others.
I love reading about your ups and downs, your family and everything that makes you "YOU".

Renee (ppo11) from Ludington MI

Anonymous said...

You are one amazing lady! Someday I hope to meet you! Call me anytime you want to walk!!! I could use it myself. .but I'd have to walk on the treadmill. .as it's still only 30 degree's here and my Azalea's won't be in bloom for aleast another 6 weeks or more!!! I drooled over that picture!!!