"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring" ----- John Burroughs
I've noticed something these past few days...my writing has been more prolific, my creativity more fertile, and my dreams more focused. Best of all, I know why. The past four days, for me, have been a return to the simple life.
I took a mini vacation this past week and the timing could not have been better. Even though the time off was planned more than a month ago, I didn't realize the need until it actually got here. It started out as many of my vacations do, with a transitional day. I have a hard time winding down and usually spend that day cleaning house, doing laundry, and grocery shopping followed by a little self pampering. The added bonus...I enjoy my time off even more when I come home to a clean house, stocked pantry, and can crawl into bed with fresh clean sheets.
Friday was my "official" first day of vacation. I woke up a little later than usual (5:00am) and after polishing off a few cups of coffee, taking a hot shower, and throwing on my favorite clothes (jeans, tshirt and cowboy boots) I took my beloved furry companions out for a walk. It was still cool out, the grass was damp, the birds were singing and most everyone else was still asleep. The best time of day as far as I'm concerned! After kissing my dogs goodbye (on the forehead to avoid Patch's tongue) I headed up to Cheyenne.
I always take "the slow way" up there....Highway 85. It's mostly two lane and inhabited only by a few small towns (that resemble Mayberry), corn fields, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and oil field trucks. To me, this area is beautiful. Nothing on this road looks like it has changed in 50 years, it's almost like stepping back in time. I think that's why it makes me laugh when I read the writing on the Nunn, Co. water tower as I drive past that says "Watch Nunn Grow".
When I arrive in Cheyenne I head straight for my weekends main attraction, Cheyenne Frontier Days. I spent the day wandering around the exhibits surrounded by "my peeps"...nice people, similarly dressed and with common interests. By the end of the day my body was exhausted from the heat but my mind was refreshed and ready for day two. Saturday started out much like Friday but even more relaxed. I spent much of the day at home, finished blog posts, returned emails and took a nap before heading back up Highway 85 to see Eric Church and Toby Keith perform an amazing concert. I was a little apprehensive at first (I went alone because of a last minute invite and cancellation) but was soon at ease. It's hard to be nervous when you've just knocked back a couple of cold ones and are singing along to "Get Out Of Your Clothes or Get Out Of My Car" with your new concert "row buddies"!
Yesterday was the perfect "simple life" day. Again, up before dawn, coffee, hot shower, dog walk and drive up Highway 85 but this time taking a right when I got to Cheyenne and heading to Santa Sara Ranch. I like to head out there every few weeks to be sure it's still there, wave to my neighbors, and soak up some peace and quite. I did all of that plus picked wildflowers, took photos for the blog, sat and watched my neighbor plow their field, and wondered "what will they be planting". Last stop for my weekend was Pine Ranch for a riding lesson and some good conversation. It had been almost six weeks since my last lesson and I had a lot of catching up to do, both in riding and in gossip...I'm happy to say "mission accomplished" to both.
The drive home was a little sad, as it usually is. The simple life is coming to a close. My hope is that, one day, all there will be is the simple life...but for now...It's back to work with fond memories and a farmers tan to remember it by!