The waning of summer

This summer was a remarkable one. I can think of few periods in my life where I crammed as much in (mostly great, fun stuff) as I have done the last four or so months. I’m honestly a bit daunted by the attempt to even summarize it all. Let’s see.

This summer’s motto for me

Hiking
This summer I hiked. A lot. I did four four-thousand footers (Osceola, Osceola East, Eisenhower and Pierce). I hiked Chocorua. I hiked Monadnock. I hiked Welch-Dickey. I hiked small trails centered around Tamworth New Hampshire, like the Big Pines trail, Mt. Major, the Boulder Loop Trail and the Castle in the Clouds. I bought a new hiking backpack and new poles. I did several long, full days hiking morning to evening. I was a founding member of the “Stoneham Mountaineering and Libation Society” (it started as the Stoneham Hiking and Drinking club, but these things tend to evolve over time). And this might have been my favorite part of the summer. I loved being in the woods, strapping on my boots, and heading towards the sky.

Travels
We went camping three times this summer, as is our custom. Nearly two weeks of the summer was spent in tents. We also journeyed back to near our family’s (and democracy’s) foundations in our trip to Greece. It was so glorious – the history, the food, the cool clear waters of the Aegean. I also sent my sons on a rather ill-fortuned RV trip to Canada, cut short due to mechanical failures. Grey spent four weeks at Camp Wilmot, Thane spent two. I took a week to myself in New Hampshire (wherein I mostly hiked…). Adam went to Gencon. It felt a little like a French Farce, where someone was always entering one door as someone else left through another.

Iconic moment

Home Improvements
I’ve been deeply remiss in the whole blogging as autobiography thing. I think you’ll understand when I tell you that the week before we left for Greece, we finally got a contractor to come in and replace the (awful) carpet in our hallway and stairway with hardwood. There was a lot of panicked last minute moving, and since then has been a lot of painting etc. This was the first step on a long journey to built in bookshelves!

Before
After

Friends
I’m just now coming back from a weekend spent with friends. While we were gone a lot this summer, looking at my pictures I see us at the newly opened restaurants in town, at BBQs and rock band nights, whitewater river rafting, tubing the Saco, catching live music, celebrating birthdays, watching the (incredible!) Women’s World Cup or running into each other in the climbing gym.

My selfie form leaves much to be desired

Exercise
My abysmal time in the Camp Wilmot 5k notwithstanding, I may be in some of the best shape of my life. I didn’t run a great race on Saturday (although I ran the race!) in large part because I’d hike 13 miles over ~10 hours with several thousand feet of elevation change the day before. Then slept in a puppy pile of air mattresses in a cabin with a bunch of my friends. This might not be considered optimal race preparation. But I have run, climbed, hiked, and biked to such a degree that I’m feeling stronger and more capable. That’s an awesome feeling.

Ask yourself: are you in top physical condition?

Filling in the corners
And in between all these bigger things were other things… like going to work every day. I’m engaged in some of the most interesting, difficult work it’s ever been my privilege to undertake. Even returning to the home sphere, there was jam to make (I didn’t manage to find any plums this year, alas!), spending time with my beloved husband, going to the beach with the boys and catching the book signing for the latest Randall Monroe masterpiece.

How To

I was once told that “Life is rich and full”. Life is so rich and so full, and I am so very grateful.

Published by

bflynn

Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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