Ever have a day that seems like it came right out of a romance novel? Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had one. Well, maybe my wedding day although it was so long ago I don’t remember. I do remember I was deliriously happy, and the pictures agree. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of really good days, but to have a day right out of a Hallmark movie seems a lot to expect in life. Well, on a Saturday not too many Saturday’s ago, it happened.
The near perfect day.
I still can’t believe it, but I have the pictures to prove it.
We woke up early to attend Run Club in our local park. It’s a few people, young and old, who get together and run or walk with the intent of community and accountability for our fitness pastime. It was twenty seven degrees and I’m pretty sure I deserve some type of outdoor person of the year award for getting out in the cold. We, my husband and I, bundled up and drove the three miles to the park and met the small group.
It was bitter cold, but gloriously sunny.
Sunshine helps everything as far as I’m concerned.
Most of the group run a self-timed 5k, but I walk/run two miles because I’m so much slower than the rest. This does not bother me in the slightest, I’m very comfortable in my “slow but trying” pace. As I was walking and occasionally jogging, I listened to a Joyce Meyer podcast about self-doubt and the damage it can do. I was “amen-ing” and nodding my head right along with the podcast ladies, not at all concerned with how it must’ve looked. That’s something positive fifty has done for me; I’m a lot less self-conscious. I haven’t been totally delivered, but it definitely doesn’t have the hold on me it used to. Anyway, two Jesus filled miles later and I met up with the group. We stood and talked movies and restaurants and did some random cool down exercises for a bit before parting ways.
It just all felt so happy.
On the way home my guy offered to drive me through the Starbucks drive thru and I knew right then I’d married the right man.
Once we made it home, we spontaneously decided to go on a hike. We live at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so hiking is pretty popular around here. The sun was so bright and the sky so blue, it beckoned us to be out in it. So, we put on our hiking boots that our daughter coerced us into buying when we first moved here, loaded the dog, and headed out; excited for a low key hike around a beautiful lake. It was still very cold and I couldn’t find my ear muffs, but that didn’t deter us.
We were high in spirits and drunk on sunshine.
The drive to the State Park where we would hike is always so pretty; there’s plenty of trees, golf courses, mountain homes, horses and striking views.
We made our way down the stone stairs, weaved in and out of picnic tables and crossed over a wooden bridge to find the start of the trail that would take us around the lake and up into the mountain. Not too far down the trail, and down an embankment, was a waterfall. We tried to take selfies with the water cascading down the rocky mountainside as the background; that was an epic fail. Of course, my selfie stick was in the car so the only thing you could see in the pic was two old people with toothy grins and some indiscernible element in the background. So, we kept going. We wound around the lake passing a few friendly strangers and happy dogs. Then we walked along a Creekside and enjoyed the sound of water flowing down stream. There were a few hearty plants trying to push their way through the tough winter ground and lots of reasons to hold hands while we walked. We continued up the mountain trail a bit and then turned around and headed back to the lodge where the lake was shallow and met the sand. There were toddlers and small children running along the sandy beach squealing while dogs barked and ran along the dock. I had to pinch myself to make sure it was all real.
Remarkably, it was.
Once we’d made our way to the end of the trail, we decided to head home for lunch and relax. I spent the afternoon reading and watched a movie that came highly recommended. It was after dinner when my husband checked his phone for the temperature and realized it was snowing! Keep in mind we’d just spent hours in the great sunny outdoors, how could it be snowing? For some of you who’ve been steeped in the north your whole life, this is no big deal. We spent a few years in a snowy place, but it was a long time ago and I’d forgotten the weather has personality swings this time of year.
My husband knew immediately that we should walk around in the magical fairy dust falling from the sky, but I was convinced we should look at it from the window. And that’s what we did, for a while. Finally, after some discussion about this being “so special” and “who knows if it would happen again this year” and “why not’s,” I was convinced I really did need to go outside and enjoy the moment. So we put on our boots and warm coats and headed out the door. Oh, and of course, we brought our rescue pup. Can’t step out the door without her, she thinks she’s human. We strolled around the loop of our neighborhood, snow sparkling in the moonlight as it fell all around us. It really was amazing and I would’ve been so disappointed if I’d missed it. The kids from nearby houses were squealing and rolling snowballs into snowmen, laughing and catching snowflakes on their tongues.
I was completely in the moment, taking it all in.
That’s another thing fifty has taught me.
To be in the moment.
To savor and appreciate the “exactly where you are” moment, it won’t come again.
I listened carefully as we walked and took in the sights and sounds, it was all so perfect and wonderfully imperfect. These days have been so hard on so many of us. Sickness and fear have run rampant in the last year. But, in the midst of it all GOD IS STILL CREATING BEAUTIFUL THINGS for us to enjoy. It’s true, we have to look a little harder in times of trouble, but the beauty is there for those who seek it.
So there’s my perfect day.
Full of the simplest things.
Nothing glamorous or expensive, just spending time with someone who means the world to me while taking every opportunity to appreciate God’s creation. The simplest things really are the best things; at least that’s my opinion. And for this Hallmark loving girl, walking in the snow with my beau on my arm was all my rom-com dreams come true.
Father God, I’ll take more days like this, please….