Brisk air is blowing through the window, and a candle is wafting spicy aromas through my apartment as I write, but before I fully indulge in the glories of the coming autumn, I want to celebrate the summer-ish ways I’ve found to be outside in the Lancaster area in recent months. Some of these will continue as the seasons change, but not with the same sunny skies reflecting off green grass. Here are a few ways I’ve celebrated the natural joys of being outside this summer:
Running at a rail trail, the county park, or along cornfields and through covered bridges.
Hiking at Susquehannock State Park.
Camping at Gifford Pinchot State Park.
Walking to a farmers market in a nearby city park.
This post is part of the weekly celebration link-up hosted by Ruth Ayres at her blog, Ruth Ayres Writes. Check out what other bloggers are celebrating this week!
I’m joining the Celebrate Link-up late this week. Check out Ruth Ayres’ site for others’ celebrations.
This week I’m celebrating long weekends. A down side to being a journalist is that newspapers (in print and online) don’t close for weekends or holidays. The upshot is that I can sometimes manipulate the weekends I do work to allow longer weekends at other times. Like this past weekend, when I got to go down to Richmond for 3.5 days. Here’s what’s pictured above (click on the image for a bigger view):
1) The James River seen from Belle Isle. Richmond is the only city in the country with class IV rapids, apparently.
2) The Virginia Fine Arts Museum, which is awesome because it’s free and fabulously designed both on the interior and on the grounds. I loved the fountains and the way outdoor sculptures and building floors were lit up in different colors at night. I also enjoyed seeing an exhibition of photography from the Civil Rights Movement. It made me want to look through the whole archive of Life magazine.
3) Jake and a vegan watermelon treat at Carytown Cupcakes during the Watermelon Festival. Delish!
Those are just a few moments from a surprisingly activity-filled weekend. Some other highlights from Richmond were:
- The murals. They’re all over Virginia’s artsy capital, and they’re not boring, historical ones. They’re funky and colorful.
- Chop Suey Books, an indy book store where I purchased Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me. A few essays in, I can’t believe I hadn’t read anything by this woman before. Now I want to read EVERYTHING by her.
- A high ropes/zipline course adventure (an early birthday present from Jake).
- Getting away from home/work and also spending time with Jake before he starts to have class and homework again.
The second leg of my vacation with Jake was in Nashville. I loved visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame, though I didn’t take pictures there. We also saw a cool exhibit on the history of animation at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. For a slice of not-so-Southern culture, we stopped by the novelty shop attached to Jack White’s recording studio, Third Man Records. It had a sort of dark-Willy Wonka aesthetic/vibe that was trippy and fun.
I insisted that we hear live music while in the Music City but instead of hitting the tourist trap bars downtown we headed outside the city to a barn dance/show at the Loveless Café. This was a great decision.
The Loveless Cafe is a 63-year-old purveyor of comfort food and good music on Highway 100 outside Nashville. I loved riding the country roads to get there.
A sure sign we were in the South. I did not eat at the Loveless Cafe, but I did have some awesome vegan tacos and vegan cake at The Wild Cow in East Nashville.
Jake and I took a vacation in June that started in Asheville, North Carolina. Here are a few photos.
This is my friend, Pramad, who I met in 2011 at the Gesundheit! Institute. She’s an artist with a compassionate heart. She and Jake talked a lot about meditation and related topics.
Pramad took us onto the grounds of the Biltmore Estate with her season pass. This is a rear view of the house, which was built in the 1890s by George Vanderbilt. The inside tour is crazy expensive, but the grounds are large and green and beautiful.
A small lake and bridge on the Biltmore grounds.
Blue Ridge Mountains at dusk with storm clouds overhead.
I haven’t joined in Ruth Ayres’ Celebrate Link-up in quite a while, even though I make a mental list of celebrations most weeks. I just usually don’t end up at my computer to write on post on Saturdays. But I love this link-up so I’m joining in late this week and just making it a quick one. Hopefully that will spur more celebration posts in the weeks to come.
My celebrations this week are both work-related.
- I work with good people. There’s no particular event or anecdote that prompts this one, but it’s true, and it’s important not to take that for granted.
- I’m still not bored. During the school year I often told people my job was hectic but I was glad I wasn’t bored. Summer is slightly slower in that I’m not actively visiting schools or events, but there were those minor things known as district and state budgets over the last month, so I’ve still been busy. And while I love observing classes and interviewing young people, I’ve also been delighting in a lot of data crunching and spreadsheet exploration in recent weeks. I love that journalism gives me the chance to practice different skills and learn about a range of subjects continuously.
A public art project I helped start with the I’m the Evidence campaign is opening a new exhibit this week. Our first photography workshop and exhibit was in Perry County in October. Last month, I led another workshop with a new group of people in recovery from illness (+ their supporters) at Montgomery County Community College. The Faces of Mental Health Recovery exhibit will open with a reception there on Thursday evening.
Here’s a peek at the 2×3-foot wheat paste portraits.
More photos coming soon. I promise!