Monday, August 27, 2007

At My Fingertips, Under My Nose

This morning I decided to put my vanilla yogurt in a lovely cut glass dish and top it with granola and fresh blueberries. Normally, I eat it out of the container, but not today. I thought, I have these beautiful dishes that my stepmother gave me, why not use them and enjoy them. And thus, I had a breakfast that was definitely more elegant and pleasant than my normal fare.

I find I overlook many things that are easily accessible to me—things that are at my fingertips and under my nose. Ever since my last blog entry, I have continued to think in this vain. (I talked about having the gorgeous Rocky Mountains so close and deciding I needed to enjoy them more often.) I asked myself what I might be missing. What little blessings and opportunities are waiting for me to notice and take advantage of them?

Often we think we don’t have the time or money to go here or do this and that. So we wait for the planets to align. Yet in reality, there are multitudes of ways we can enrich our lives, many of which cost nothing (or very little) and take very little time.

I came up with several things that I will chronicle in photos below. Some I have already enjoyed, while others are on the horizon. I have some wonderful experiences to look forward to. So read below and be inspired to open your eyes and come up with your own list of opportunities that you can’t wait to take advantage of. Don’t miss out on a thing. Seize every opportunity.

There are only three public rose gardens in the state. Longmont has one of them. Even though it's five minutes from my house, I hadn't been there in several years. So on my birthday, my younest daughter, granddaughter, and I went to enjoy the fabulous blooms and sweet fragance of dozens and dozens of roses.

In the course of my busy days, I fail to enjoy my upstairs deck. Late one afternoon, I decided it was time to take advantage of my shady deck and enjoy the view. So I made a glass of iced peppermint tea (see below) and had a 20 minute vacation without ever leaving home!

This is the view from my deck. Isn't it great? I think I should enjoy it more often.

This is my peppermint patch in my garden. Rarely do I ever use the peppermint even though I'm a fan of peppermint. I decided to change that. See next photo.

I picked some fresh peppermint and made iced peppermint tea. Delicious and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon!

I walk by my bicycle everytime I go in and out of the garage. Yet it's been years since I've gotten on it and taken a spin. So in the next few days, I plan to go for a ride.

I have lived here for 0ver 18 years and have never taken the time to visit our local musuem. I intend to remedy that very soon.

I haven't been to the public library in ages. I have plans for a book of fun fiction very soon. And it won't cost me anything!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Drive

Andrea's---restautant in Lyons, Colorado

The historic Stanly Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Just one on the many rivers and streams.

Plein air painter

Rocky peaks taken at the entrance of MacGregor's Ranch

More peaks taken in a different direction (Notice the rain clouds moving in.)

Bed and breakfast in Glen Haven, Colorado

My tendency is to allow myself to be a slave to my to-do list. However, yesterday, I reminded myself that God ordained a day of rest and that perhaps I needed to honor what he has ordained. So I ask my husband if he wanted to go for an afternoon drive in the Rocky Mountains up toward Estes Park, Colorado. He readily agreed.

First we ran a couple of errands. I wanted a few last minute items (vanilla, cumin, dental floss, and erasers) to send to our family in Bosnia. I also needed to buy a birthday gift while it was on my mind. Then we started up Highway 66 towards the mountains. We stopped in Lyons at Andrea’s for lunch. We both had sauerbraten, spaetzle, and red cabbage—our favorite meal at this restaurant. Then we drove on up into the mountains to savor the scenery.

People come from all over the world to enjoy the beauty of the mountains near here. On almost any summer day, one can spot license plates from nearly every state in the U.S. in and around Estes Park. In a few seconds time, I saw plates from Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and California! Sometimes those of us who live here get to busy to enjoy what is right at our fingertips. I wonder how many other things I fail to enjoy or appreciate that are easily accessible to me.

Over the course of the day, we drove down highways and byways and dirt roads. We saw a plein air painter painting lily pads on a mountain pond. We found an old, perhaps now abandoned, youth camp where my husband and I had attended a retreat together not long before we were married. So we also took a trip down “memory lane.”

Much of the time we had our windows down so we could hear the rushing streams and smell the freshness of the pines. My eyes took in the delights of everything from majestic mountains to tiny purple and yellow wildflowers. Such beauty in creation always causes me to acknowledge and praise the Creator.

As we started back towards home, I knew the afternoon drive was exactly what I needed.
I am left to reflect on the importance of moments of rest from all my doing and striving. I will also consider what other things (or people) might be right at my fingertips that I need to savor and enjoy more.