Time For A Break

Spring is a busy time at the farm.  One thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t tend to your fields and gardens, the weeds quickly take over.  We’ve been clearing the weeds and overgrowth bit by bit and in the process have found many things left behind by the previous owners that were buried under grass, burdocks, thistles, and grapevines. An entire blog post could be written on that alone! It’s not easy work for someone over fifty-five who has spent much of her life sitting behind a desk. Things are shaping up really nicely at the farm, though, so it’s worth every aching muscle.

Spring also brings wildlife, birds who’ve made a nest right outside my bedroom window, geese that have returned in droves, and, unfortunately, raccoons and possums.  Apparently they have been undeterred by Hannah’s presence, to her delight and my dismay. Yes, wildlife is cute, but it’s also smelly and destructive (and they hiss and growl at you when you inadvertently get too close!). They also like to eat eggs and chickens, which seems pretty rude since they haven’t contributed anything toward our poultry operation.  At the moment, it looks like there are only domesticated animals in the vicinity of the house and barns and I’m hoping it stays that way! 

There’s still so much to do and we haven’t even planted the garden yet!  Our four page to-do list has many tasks completed, but it seems like I add four new items every time I scratch something off.  Despite the daunting list, the sun was shining on Wednesday and it seemed like the right time to take a break and enjoy nature in a different setting. 

Not far from here lies the Waterloo Recreation Area, twenty-thousand acres of woods and lakes and wildlife.  My aunt and I enlisted the guidance of my cousin Laura, who is a much more experienced hiker (and we hoped would keep us from hurting ourselves or getting lost).  She also had an app on her phone with maps, which turned out to be a really good thing.

The three hikers

Waterloo Recreation Area Trails

Tiny spring flowers

Eastern Skunk Cabbage

This sneaky snake crossed our path.  There was an even bigger one at the farm last weekend.

Some kind of mushroom growing on a tree

Look at these beautiful little flowers!

The plan was to hike a trail that was a little over five miles long. We brought snacks and a lunch and estimated that we’d finish in under two hours.  Our guide took a brief pause to take a humanity break and I forged on ahead knowing she would catch up.  Unfortunately, there was a fork in the road and I went left when I should have gone straight.  After a while, I was feeling a little hungry and asked if we were halfway yet.  That’s when we realized we were no longer on the right trail.  Oops!  We backtracked and ate our lunch on the way, which wasn’t exactly the idyllic meal we had planned, but it was fine.  We got back on the right trail and made our way back to the car.  In my defense, the signs weren’t completely clear and we’d been following the blue markings and I thought that was the right way.  Of course, I didn’t actually look at the map that was right next to the sign, but it’s fine, no one was upset about the detour even though it led us up some really steep hills that we then had to trudge back down. 

Why do people leave trash on the trail?  I took this picture at the bottom of the sign where I took the wrong turn . . .

It’s hard for me to take the time to do something for leisure when there’s still work to be done.  My entire life has been spent getting all the work done first, and then taking some time to goof off and play.  Sadly, that means that not a lot of playing occurred because it seems that the work, regardless of what kind it is, rarely gets one-hundred percent completed.  There’s a proper rhythm in life, which means I need to take time for leisure as well as do the work. 

Are you like me and always have to get the work done before you can do something fun?  How do you make sure that you have the right balance in your life?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Facebook!

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