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The Best Things in Life...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

photo by Shila Wilson

As I think about this blog, it seems to me that much of its mission statement is holding true, even four years later. "I hope to show what happens when you make room in your life, every day, for the things that bring you joy. Strange--most of them are free."

Walking is free. Autumn is free. It's free to take a dog along; it's free to sit down and eat lunch under a pale lemon sun, free to take hundreds of photographs and sift through them. All these things take is time. But the joy that comes from one good hike in fall...priceless.

Shila and I couldn't wait to find out how bad the road got beyond where I almost got the Subaru stuck. We wanted to know whether we could have gotten through had I not dropped a wheel over a precipice. We were not to be disappointed.

I'll organize the post as the walk unfolded, so you feel as if you were along with us.

Chet Baker was stoked about the squirtle and chiptymunk possibilities. He got bizzy right off the bat. (Note his trim waistline. Subnote: I take better care of my dog than I do myself. Mmm, Almond Joy.)

Shila and I were stoked about the decrepit outbuilding possibilities.

Being in a progressive state of decrepitude myself, I am fascinated by the process of decay as manifested in old barns and outbuildings. I love to imagine what's under their roofs. I love to wonder if there is some wonderful glassware or tools or one-lung engines. My dad didn't wonder--he waded right in and started throwing tin and boards aside. He carried a crowbar in the car for just such things. I got that gene, fer sure.

Traces of man were everywhere. But there were no men. Here's a mossy ladder, leading up the side of an oil storage tank that's probably been abandoned for 20 years.

Dean's Fork rushed by, making little waterfalls, with shadders of minnows darting. Streams are called forks around here.

Two barns stood sentinel in a pasture still used by cattle. The late autumn tapestry made a beautiful backdrop.

Shila moved on ahead, the walking stick a wise bringalong in case we came upon any territorial dogs. (We didn't).

I wonder if this barn was made of chestnut, the dominant forest species before the blight. Many were, and it has wonderful longevity. Whatever the wood, the width of the boards merits a second and third glance. Beautiful.

Beautiful! She's leaning back into the hillside, taking a well-earned rest.

Now, that is one I'd like to poke around in.

We watched the road as we walked, noticing that it got a little worse the farther we went.

We looked back upon the barns, loving the scene, loving the silence.


Oh how I would have loved to have gone on that walk with you and Shila. Walking around my neighborhood just "ain't" the same!

Love the old barns too--exciting to think of what may be in one, but melancholic at the same time. I watched The Grapes of Wrath for the umpteenth time last night and your barns remind me of the home of the poor Joad family.

I just did a post on sweet distractions...the good things in life that are free to enjoy and that distract me from blogging sometimes!

I bought "Letters From Eden" this summer at a book signing, but have purposely kept myself from reading it, I wanted to wait until winter... to enjoy it then.

Your photography tells a wonderful story here, Julie, but your words always please. I am waiting for more and wishing I were there... The tenth photo: you must frame it!

Wanda, read it now. Return to it this winter and you will love it again. I do that a few times a year - a chapter here and there is good for the soul.


It's like slowly unwrapping a present, having no clue what you'll find.... oh the anticipation!

Love the barn pictures.

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 5:42 AM

Oh, my. There are several paintings in there just calling out to be claimed.

Such a joyful, peaceful post - and it is always a treat to see the handsome Chet Baker!

Fall is so perfect for exploring. Dropping leaves reveal treasures tucked behind them. Warm wraps make it easy to step off the path, hills not the sweaty prospect of summer.
So glad you could take the day and a friend for a walk.
Yes, priceless.

Fall is free--absolutely. My favorite season.
As for the lovely dirt roads with decrepit barns along the way--savor savor savor them.
They are going fast...

Beautiful photos, Julie. It was a pleasure to see them and read these thoughts.

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 1:02 PM

I wish we could go for a walk.

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