It’s a quiet Sunday morning as I write this and I’ve decided to give myself the gift of a slow day. Gerry left in the wee hours of Friday morning to go fishing and I’ve been blessed with four days at home alone. I treasure these rare days and don’t want to squander them.
For the past couple of days I’ve spent much of my time tending my garden and in the kitchen preserving the season’s bounty. Our freezer is filling up, the dehydrator is humming away, and my canning shelf looks like a work of art with its rows of multi-coloured jars.
This morning I woke early and took Maya, our Yorkie, outside while it was still dark. Gerry usually takes her out once or twice during the night but I’ve been blessed with sleeping through the night since I retired so I informed her that she needn’t expect that kind of treatment in his absence. So far, she’s been good with waiting until I wake around 4:00am to go outside for her morning ablutions.
Once she had “done her business” I made a cup of coffee and we settled back into bed where she promptly fell fast asleep and I opened my iPad to catch up on some of my favourite blogs. I am enjoying reading Rhonda Hetzel’s Down to Earth blog and have been making my way through all of her posts since she started writing it in 2007. I love her philosophy of living simply:
If you haven’t already discovered the power of your own home you are in for a delightful and beautiful shock. Come closer and let me whisper in your ear, because if everyone knows this, it will cause a revolution. The work you do in your own home, by creating a warm and secure place for yourself and your family to live in, will enrich you and make you a different person. It saved me from a life of ridiculous spending and mindless acquisition and slowed me down enough to allow me to see the beauty here. When I took the time to change my attitude towards my home, it not only gave me the energy to do housework and the strength to make the physical changes so our home better suited how we live, it changed me in the process. It is a beautiful change that I am grateful for every day.
After a while, and a second cup of coffee, we rose and began the day. First stop was the kitchen where yesterday’s canning waiting on the counter: seven quarts of beet pickles, seven quarts of vegetable soup, and an amazing pint of Sungold tomato jam. I checked that all of the jars were sealed (success!), then removed the rings, wiped the jars, and labeled the lid of each one with a Sharpie. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to greet the day with a vision of the previous day’s effort knowing it will feed us into the winter.
I’ve been thinking that I need to get organized about documenting the canning I’m doing so I don’t forget details about which recipes I’ve used and other things I want to remember so I plan on working on that today. Some of that documentation may take the form of blog posts so stay tuned.
I’ve got so many ideas for projects and things I want to do bouncing around inside of my head that it may be a challenge for me to take the kind of slow day as my body is telling me I need to. It’s kind of funny that even in retirement I’m challenged to find that delicate balance. Still, I find that’s a good problem to have.
I like the way you included your blog readings. Glad to know someone else was up before dawn.
Ah, so you’re another early-riser, Letty? I love that part of the day when all is quiet and the day stretches in front full of possibility.
My husband, too, is off on a trip and I’m giving myself some slow days too. Yesterday I took myself to a movie in the afternoon and mostly vegged out. It’s not that I don’t like having the love of my life around, it’s just a great chance for some solitude and doing just what I want to do. Enjoy your slow days, Linda.
Enjoy your solitude, Joan! Like you, I love having my hubby around but I do treasure the rare days of solitude and silence now and then.
I thoroughly enjoyed your post, especially the excerpt about making a house our “sanctuary.” Gradually I’m gravitating towards spending more time on simple projects at home instead of always running around town for some reason or another. I’m sure that sharing your efforts with all of us is part of your fun too!
Yesterday afternoon we went out to run some errands and I felt overwhelmed by the busy-ness and cacophony of noise all around. I’m learning to appreciate simplicity like never before, Kas. I hope you find your own sanctuary a place of refuge as well.