surprise free time

pop-pop came and got the boys from me a little bit ago. we loaded their booster seats into his new-ish bright red jeep liberty so they could go to his house and help him with putting up a castle in the tree house. so i have some unanticipated free time. time to myself. i haven’t been alone in a really long time, since before our trip.

i always have trouble deciding what to do when time unexpectedly falls into my hands: when a baby’s nap runs long, when friends invite the boys over, or like today. i thought, i could go running again! i could mow the front hill! i could sit on my computer and read something mindless! instead, i cleaned up the kitchen from lunch, brewed myself a cuppa, and here i sit, practicing being a writer, even to write about something like getting some free time and using it to write. since i don’t want to leave it at that, i will share some of my favorite details of our trip. this might be a short list, cause i don’t remember if i wrote any of them down in the moment. my journal keeping is pretty lacking.

walking anywhere, even the bathroom, after sitting in the car for sooo looong

the feel of a bouldering pad strapped to my shoulders

topping out on a boulder and taking a moment to look back behind me to the ground, wanting to go back and do the boulder problem again

tough fingertips after two weeks of climbing on rough granite edges

sitting in the starlit dark in the cool of the evening with friends after a scorching day

the taste of salt blown into my hair off of the ocean (okay, this is probably way more romantic to me, and you all are thinking, gross, why is your hair in your mouth? what can i say? sometimes it gets in there)

the smell of sunshine on the hot crown of a young boy’s head

a winding road through hills of yellow and green

musky wet creosote bushes

the metallic smell of wet rocks when the sun comes out to dry them off

watch our charming boys make new friends, adults and kids alike

hummingbirds zooming

pine trees in the mountains

a playground at a rest area with monkey bars and swings

a little body making it to the top of a big rock

wide open blue sky meeting bright yellow green rolling land

a dark streaked thunderstorm in the distance while i’m standing in the sunshine

my skin molting at the end of a trip, my body shedding it’s vacation self

my bed in my house

i guess that list was kind of long. all of these little things make a trip memorable. they also make me long to get back out there. well, not yet. i’m content to be home. for now.