Even though it's spring shading into summer, my weekend included some hibernation.
Work has been extremely busy in recent months, to the point where all of us have been feeling a bit overwhelmed. That prompted my wise and perceptive boss to declare a "hibernation" period where we are going to concentrate on finishing work we have already started, postponing or avoiding unnecessary meetings, and tabling new projects until we get more comfortable with what's already going on.
I did a bit of the same thing in my personal life, too, though it was only one day of the weekend.
The weekend actually started on Thursday night with my town's monthly street party, Alive After Five. They close the main drag downtown to traffic and it fills up with vendors, food tents, people, dogs, and kids. This month's theme was Seafood Shindig. Here's a very bad photo of the pirate ship that was parked in front of one of the restaurants. (I need a little more practice with Hal's camera feature, obviously.)
Afterwards we stopped in at the local blues bar. Real music, real people, real fun. The ceiling in this place is painted with chalkboard paint and when you are drunk enough they will give you the chalk so you can stand up on a table or the bar and write your own particular special message up there. The results are, shall we say, mixed. Not everyone draws pictures of hearts.
Friday was spent on the river, scouting for a paddling trip I'll be taking next month. Much as I enjoy the silence and closeness to nature of kayaking, it's fun to zoom along in a powerboat, too!
Saturday was the hibernation part. I stayed home all day, except for a brief foray to the community garden to do my spring planting. Such a luxury to do chores, do some organizing, and generally catch up on things. It seems that when work gets busy, I start cutting corners everywhere at home, to make everything fit into the time available. I am still learning that taking some downtime before things spiral out of control is essential. But please don't ask me how many loads of laundry that took!
Sunday started slowly with more chores at home, including some yard work. My house has the typical bare grass backyard with a few spindly plants here and there. I'm working on transforming it (with my landlord's blessing) into a welcoming space that shows the best of Florida's lushness, and provides food, water and shelter to birds, butterflies, and small animals. That means laying out a plan, thanks to the local native plant nursery.
Yesterday, though, I was just laying out mulch, hoping to keep the lawn guy from mowing over my latest plantings. They don't look like traditional landscaping, so I want to be sure he can tell they belong. Eventually I won't need to mulch except with my own leaves, but in the meantime: I need to speak to him in a language he understands. And that language is pine bark.
Sunday afternoon we went hiking, back to one of my favorite springs. It was a perfect day to be out, just hinting of the coming summer heat. The same place is so different in different seasons, and I never tire of seeing what's new in Nature.
This spring was restored 10 years ago, after being drowned under a lake created by a farmer who wanted to water his cattle. After the property was acquired as state land, a restoration project removed the dam and uncovered the little ravine where the spring vents and boils lie. After being entombed under so much water, the spring was barely flowing and the banks were nothing but mud. In the time since, though, they have become a magical forest glade surrounding clear, quickly flowing water.
We got back to the car just before a monsoon of rain began - real pouring rain, with thunder and lightning. We need it so desperately! At home, my back yard puddled right up. Now my rain catcher is full to the brim and the cycle begins again.