Today I wake up feeling like I’ve been relaxing and sitting so much that I am ready to move. There are still a few things around the cabin that could use some attention. It was just a hunting shack and poker getaway when we bought it less than two years ago. Thanks to our son’s vision and drive, and the help of many friends and handymen, it is now a comfortable, cozy, and beautiful mountain retreat. But even a retreat needs maintenance.
First I eat a hearty breakfast and make a list of things I want to get done (my wood element is in charge today). I apply spray-on glisten to the granite countertops, and honor the bathroom walls’ request for touch-up paint where they were scuffed by tile setters working in earnest. I use my new “power broom” to sweep dried purple berries off the deck. Then I hike a short way up the hill to explore a different part of the neighborhood before continuing my tasks.
Next I attend to the souvenirs left behind by various critters who have invaded us over the last few months. In June it was the ants. Big black ones. Tiny red ones. Trails of them – in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, kids’ room. Continuously there are spiders, whose handywork graces the windows and ceiling corners. These archetypes of activity create work for me as they go about their business.
Recently we have been visited by a family of small mice. They prefer not to show themselves in the daylight, so we rely on their telltale droppings on the window sills, pillows, and kitchen cupboard for clues to their whereabouts. The men in the family have been successfully setting traps, and now that I’m here on my own, it is my job to monitor them. Thankfully there have been no captives and a lack of evidence these last few days, and as I check the traps, I respectfully ask any remaining unseen mice to leave the property.
I have had a long-standing rule regarding these matters, but nature’s creatures don’t always follow it (don’t they know I’m in control?). The rule is: “you get the great outdoors and I get the great indoors.” There are plenty of woods, rocks, ravines, old overturned logs, and deserted, dilapidated old cabins that can provide a more suitable habitat than our home away from home. Happily, today I do come to an agreement with the yellow jackets… they stay on one side of the deck and I stay on the other side, and I get to eat lunch peacefully in the fresh mountain air and sunshine.
Afternoon comes, and the lake is beckoning me. I walk along the shore, admiring two ducks sleeping as they stand on a rock in shallow water. I rediscover a forgotten path down to the river and do a mosquito slapping dance on my way to deter the buzzing bugs. The water rushing over a small concrete dam inspires me to go back to the lake and jump in (actually I slowly tiptoe in, eventually taking the plunge).
On the way back, I venture off the main highway to check out the county library and park. Today has been a busy day, a fulfilling day, a “doing” day… very different from the “being” energy of the previous two days. And the most satisfying thing is that the doing was by choice… my choice!