camping.

September 27, 2008 § 1 Comment

Let’s talk about camping.  I went this weekend.  It lit up my soul.  But I came to some realizations about myself and how I’ve changed over the past…while.

Here’s how I used to see myself as a camper:

  • Light-packer.  If it’s not absolutely necessary, it doesn’t come with me to the wild.
  • Do-it-myself-er.  Thanks for coming everyone, but I’ve got this.  I will find a good spot, eat my Clif Bar for dinner, choose the best hiking trails, and make sure I accomplish everything that needs to happen to allow me to have plenty of stories at the end.
  • “Camping is not about rest”-er.  If we’re not doing the hardest hike in the area, then it must mean we’re slackers.  Why would you NOT want to see the parts of this park that not many people (i.e., slackers) get to see because it’s too hard to get there?  Stay up late, soaking up smoke around the fire, and get up early to make sure we don’t miss any of the sunrise.
  • Loner.  Neighbors are a nuisance.  End of story.

So I’ve changed a little bit since whenever.  I went to Krause (say the ‘e’–like krauw-zy) Springs, about 30 minutes west of Austin, this weekend with my roommate, Mary, and her brother John.  Here’s what I’ve turned into, for better or worse:

  • Cover-all-the-bases-er.  I brought my work out stuff in case I got a chance, some nice clothes in case I couldn’t go home before I needed to look decent, a change of camping clothes, some books, and, yes, I did bring make-up.  Can you even believe it. (For your information, I used everything except the change of camping clothes.)
  • Grateful receiver.  I got there after work and Mary and John had set up the tents, strung a hammock between two trees, put out three chairs for us, and packed a rockin’ ice chest, complete with ready-to-go hobo dinners (which Mary had spent the day slicing and seasoning…after she cleaned our apartment to a state of spotless beauty), s’mores fixings, pears, cookies, and chips and salsa.  No, I’m not kidding you.  And they built the fire while I watched.  I did light the match.
  • Slacker.  We took one walk down to a magical waterfall.  The rest of the time, we sat around the campfire and flapped our jaws.  Gloriously.  It felt so good.  We just…enjoyed.  I think I missed out on the majority of Krause Springs, but, honestly, I don’t even care.
  • Neighbor.  To the most amazing dads-and-sons foursome next to us, who happened to be ISRAELI.  The boys, Itay (pronounced E-tie) and Jonathan, were five, and they were the most precious friends I’ve made in a while.  I sat there in my camp chair while the prowled around “looking for danger” (their words, not mine).  We saw a coon, which I watched from my camp chair while they freaked out, until they saw it “scamper away” (again, a direct quote).  They were so thrilled just to be out, even though Itay admitted he was tired and his “shoulder was the tiredest.”  Poor little guy.

Enchanted Rock is next on our list of places to go.  I’ll probably hike a little more then.  But only if there’s plenty of time afterward to enjoy the fire that someone else builds.

coconut lime crock pot chicken.

September 23, 2008 § 1 Comment

I made fab chicken yesterday.  And it was too easy not to share.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Put 4 bone-in chicken breasts, rubbed with garlic-cilantro salt, in the Crock Pot.
  2. Added three enormous garlic cloves, mashed.
  3. Threw in a lime, sliced in half.
  4. Poured on some rum and coconut milk (like 1/3 cup each, maybe more of the milk).
  5. Left it on HI for about 5 hours, then LO for an hour when I got home from work.

It was so yummy and juicy!  Try it!

things i love about my life.

September 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

Let me preface this by saying that it has been a hard week.  That’s all I’ll say on that.  Or is it?  Can you relate to feeling caught between a rock and hard place who are both crying out for you to make them happy?  And can you relate to feeling that every drop of glamour, excitement, and idealism has drained out of your life?  Can you relate to hating bureaucracy and getting paid to wade through it with no shore in sight…not even a sand bar.

Well, I had a better day.  I sort of got some breakthrough today, even.  And as I was walking to take the trash out after my run, I felt absolutely exhilarated (thank You, Lord, for endorphins).  I started to think about things I love about my life:

  • I am never in a hurry anymore.  Want to have coffee with me?  I’ll give you my whole evening.
  • I can run without feeling competitive, driven, or guilty (for not going farther/faster).  I just run for fun.
  • The glorious people who care for me and I for them.  It means more than I ever thought it could for someone to hear me and take it to heart and tell me their hearts in a way that shows trust.
  • Sitting on my couch in the morning with the most incredible Man Who takes care of me and speaks life to my soul and goes with me to my office every day.
  • The emails that appear in my inbox every couple of weeks from someone I so love being friends with.
  • The gentle rhythms of my days and weeks, like the waves.  If I let them, they get monotonous.  But if I look beyond them, into the deep ways of the Mastermind, they are so beautiful.

that time again.

September 8, 2008 § 2 Comments

It’s time for work again.  In 11 hours.  Actually 10 and a half.  I would like to say I am thrilled, refreshed, and chomping at the bit to go to work again.  Unfortunately, there are approximately zero (0) things I would like to do less.  

But here’s a list of things I would rather do, for your perusing enjoyment.  And if you are one of those lucky independently wealthy individuals or unlucky unemployed individuals, you can use this list for ideas about how to spend your Monday.

  • Watercolor.
  • Mail my watercolors to all the people I love.
  • Lay by the pool with my library books all around me. (Books include Leap Over A Wall, by Eugene Peterson, Etiquette, by Emily Post, The Circle of Simplicity, by a lady who’s name I can’t remember, and The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, by Judith somebody.)
  • Bake bread, and be around all day for the multiple risings and restings and long baking time.
  • Go on a run so long that I would have to walk some.
  • Go to Austin House of Prayer, which is only open during hours I’m at workie, and soak…
  • Paint my dining room table white, instead of spinach-colored.
  • Go buy fabric to sew curtains.
  • With all my extra energy from the day, take my mtn bike to a great trail and have at it.

Okay, so I might need a whole week.  Which could be okay.  

What would YOU do with a day off?

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