“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.”
I’m very uncomfortable talking (or writing) about myself -personally- because I usually don’t think anyone will be interested; however, I’m happy to answer questions about personal things. Most often, in real life, I don’t usually talk about myself or tell tales unless someone asks me. So…someone asked me what I do to relax and here is my answer! 🙂
For most people, I’m guessing that ‘relaxation’ and ‘fun’ go hand in hand. For me, not so much. So when I was recently asked the question, “How do you relax?” I was taken aback. I was afraid the person was expecting an interesting response and the truth is that what I do to relax is probably pretty boring to most people. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be an interesting person. I also hasten to add, that the only reason I’m back writing this blog, is that someone recently encouraged me to do so, saying that there are many people who have never had the experiences I’m having at our new place (no matter how mundane, at times, they seem to me.) I figure there are only so many times you people want to see pictures of that old house across the pond, huh?
Our property here is about 30 acres (the pond is actually not on our property, though i would love to have it.) Though we have walked the perimeter of our property several times, and part of the ‘middle,’ I’m sure there is a lot of it we have not yet explored. We live in a ‘hollow’ between two tall hills. Believe it or not, the original road through these parts use to run along the edge of those two hills around the perimeter of the ‘hollow.’ We have walked the length of the remnants of that road several times. About 3 acres of our land is pasture, and the rest is hardwood forest. It was logged about 10 years ago, but they left enough big trees that it doesn’t look barren.
Just being this far out into ‘nature’ is quite relaxing to me. Walking through the woods is relaxing to me. I love the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and all of the different bird songs, not to mention all of the animals and plants you encounter. One of my secret dreams is to walk the Appalachian Trail someday. It takes 4-5 months to make it from one end of the trail to the other, traveling through multiple states. You live on the trail all that time with just a backpack! (Though many people take a break and stay in a motel or hostel.) I don’t think this interests Bud too much. To me, it would be the adventure of a lifetime.
When we have to go into to town and we come back and hit the gravel road, I can feel the stress melting off of me. Being in crowds of people, and ‘hustle and bustle’ really stresses me out. Being alone, or with one or two other people is relaxing.
Sitting on the porch with Bud or even alone is relaxing to me, and we do a lot of it. I particularly enjoy having coffee out on the porch. We have some really nice rockers that Bud’s students gave him as a retirement gift and we have put them to good use! We also recently got an ‘Amish-made’ porch swing. I have a neighbor (The Soap Lady) who often comes for coffee on Saturdays, and I enjoy that a lot. We have easy conversation, and have a lot in common.
Bud and I watch a lot of what our neighbor calls, “Chicken T.V.” Though we have a T.V. to watch movies on (and haven’t set it up since we moved here) we haven’t watched Television Programming for about 10 years or so, and we haven’t missed it a bit! Our chickens keep us entertained. They are always doing something funny.
They each have their own distinct mannerisms and personalities. I also find it incredibly relaxing to watch THEM relax…taking a dust bath, or sometimes, they take a sun bath. They’re walking along, pause, and it’s as if someone has hit them with a ray gun, they go weak in the knees, hunker down, roll on their side, extend their wing and just lay there with a glazed look in their eye. Sometimes I wish I could go weak in the knees and roll over on the ground to bask in the sun, but you don’t dare lay or sit on the ground here because you’ll get chiggers.
I start ‘crashing’ about 4:00 a clock. I get really tired and my brain doesn’t want to function anymore. We eat supper about 5:00. I wash the dishes, make preparations to shut the chickens up (getting their food inside, etc.) and then I wait…not so patiently…for them to go to bed so that I can lock them up for the night! Because all I want to do at that point is go inside, take a bath and get in bed so I can READ! I love to read at night until I fall asleep. Reading is relaxing to me because I can forget everything that has happened during the day, my body is relaxed, and I can be transported to a different place and time for an hour or two.
Writing for my blog is relaxing to me…especially if I can take the time (uninterrupted) to compose them. I enjoy writing emails, too. I’m better able to express myself if I am writing than I can in person, in fact, if you met me in person, you might wonder who I am and what I did with, ‘Kara.’ When I write, I’m able to take the time to creatively express what I really want to say. When I’m talking to people in real life, there is too much to process and take in, so my brain usually spins out of control and combusts! Combustion = Zombie.
What do I like to do for fun? There are a bunch of antique/junk shops in this area, and Bud and I like to go to those. I enjoy thrift shops, too. That is totally exhausting, though. I always need to sit down for an hour and vegetate on the computer in order to decompress for about an hour after we have been to town.
Last weekend we went to ‘Crawdad Days.’ There were lots of food and craft booths, plus entertainment stages. We didn’t stay long. Again, though it was fun, I couldn’t wait to get away from the crowds. On the way home, we got an ice cream cone at the Daisy Queen, then we stopped by, ‘Dogpatch.’ It use to be an amusement park. It went out of business and sat abandoned for years and years. A Millionaire (who made his millions by inventing an ant-proof dog dish) just bought the place. He envisions making it into an Artisan’s Colony, where people demonstrate and sell their crafts. Last weekend was a ‘tour’ to give people a preview of what it will be like, and to raise money to fix it up. Interesting and fun…but absolutely exhausting! My legs and back hurt and I think I got dehydrated. That place is huge! I wish I could have seen it in its heyday. They have a long way to go in getting it fixed up, but it will be interesting to see how it all ends up. I bought two bars of hand-made soap while I was there. My sister bought some refrigerator magnets. Bud didn’t buy anything.
After that, we drove to Jasper, and ate at the Ozark Cafe (another thing I would put into the ‘relaxing’ category.) They were going to have live music that afternoon, and we got a preview while the musicians ‘warmed up’ and did a sound check. The name of their group was, “Jazzper.” (A word-play on, ‘Jasper.’) The couple (a man and a woman) were the sum-total of the group. I think the must have been in their late 60’s. He played keyboard and sang. He had a ‘Ray Charles’ quality to his voice. She played guitar. They sounded pretty good! My sister and I got burgers and seasoned fries. Bud got a dinner plate that had some kind of chicken, salad and a baked potato and green beans.
I like to cook if I have plenty of time and uninterrupted peace and quiet to do it. It can be a creative outlet, unless I’m tired and just want to sling the slop and get it over with. Bud likes my cooking, no matter what, and that makes me happy and encourages me.
Though I like certain crafts and think they are fun, they are not relaxing to me, either. I use to make candles and handmade soap a lot, and I enjoyed that. I do it only infrequently now. I taught myself to knit several years back and made a bunch of wash cloths. I have forgotten it all, but would like to teach myself again. Again…fun..but not what I would call relaxing. I’m too intense with most things I try to do, I think. I have a nice sewing machine, and have taught myself how to sew a few things. (Draw string bags, coasters, and an apron.) That was fun, but stressful. I will be pulling my machine out once the house is done, and I want to make curtains for the house. I would also like to learn how to quilt. I made a lap quilt once, but I didn’t feel confident that I was doing it the right way.
So…there you have it. ‘How I Like to Relax, Plus a Little Extra Thrown In For Free,’ in a nutshell. Pretty boring, huh? 😉