The pandemic is over in my little world right now. I’m vaccinated. I’m back to work. Summer is here. Downtown St. Joseph is full of bikinis, bicycles and Illinois people. This afternoon I actually broke a sweat outside of a workout for the first time in a year. My mood is lighter. I’m running again. My future is secure, and my dog is pretty happy for the moment. Right this minute, I can’t think of a thing I’d want that I don’t already have.
Last week Michigan strawberries came in. I picked up two quarts on Thursday and after leading a hike with a coworker this afternoon, I stopped to pick up two more. I know they won’t last long. Strawberries are a flash in the pan here before the season gets rolling with peaches, blueberries, raspberries and everything else. I’m eating strawberries for breakfast, snacks, dessert and out of hand. They are so good, and I don’t have to feel guilty at all for that high consumption of fiber and vitamin C. This precious treasure literally lights me up when I put them in my mouth.
Forte Coffee opened a location downtown. I’m literally a block away from my favorite coffeehouse, and today I walked down after work and grabbed a mocha frappe to celebrate the fact that it is hot and muggy in Michigan. I no longer have to hate it because literally tomorrow it’ll be cooler. Last weekend I was wearing a coat. Today I was sweating. The rest of the week will be moderately warm and rainy. Unlike Louisiana or Tennessee, I’ll only be hot for a moment and the rain is desperately needed. Summertime in Michigan is civilized and welcome.
I bought a pressure cooker a couple of weeks ago. For dinner I made the most perfect brown rice to accompany my pressure cooked Cuban beans. I don’t know how I’ve lived without this thing. It makes my meal prep for the week a cinch. After Thursday’s grocery shop, I had that pot running for hours cooking chickpeas for hummus, Cuban black beans, and brown rice. By the time my vegetables and fruits were chopped and stored for the week, my cooking was done. And now it’s so easy to throw together my meals at short notice. It’s helping me eat out less, eat healthier and eat some pretty tasty meals.
I’m running again. After my stint with the physical therapist I’ve been settling in to a regular running routine. Once a week I climb stairs or run hills, and two other times I run intervals. Eventually I’ll add some speedwork just for fun, but I need to heal and get stronger first. I feel great afterwards, and it helps me hit my step goal everyday. I just hit 7 days in a row with over 10,000 steps and quite honestly I’ve been over 15,000 most days. Being able to walk around at work instead of sitting home on my sofa helps. I feel so much better and am feeling stronger every day.
I got the interior of my house painted a month or so ago and hired a contractor to come in and repair some damaged plaster and paint my interior and exterior doors. I’ve ordered some blinds, and they come in next week. My house looks so good and all of those little imperfections that nagged at me to fix them are repaired. I can relax and not worry about it. My little house is not perfect but it’s perfectly me. There are a few more things I can do in the not so distant future or maybe I’ll put them off til next year. After all, there is no hurry here. Both my house and me are a work in progress.
This time last year I was preparing to be “retired” at the end of June and not really knowing what to expect. A pandemic was raging, and everything in the world was uncertain. I was trying to get all of my work transitioned, and I was honestly afraid to get near other people. I spent my days in Zoom meetings on my dining room table in that uncomfortable chair, and I just wanted to be done already. I was baking and eating junk most days and sitting around on my sofa getting soft and flabby. I even bought some really loose clothes to ease my expansion. Who knew what was about to happen, but I wasn’t going to starve to death.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today I’m pretty content with my lot in life. I have a backpacking trip planned in a couple of weeks, and the rest of my summer is stretching out before me unencumbered with events and responsibilities. I’m learning my new job, and I quite like it. I love being downtown and being part of the hustle and bustle of other people’s vacations. They are happy and relaxed and talking of weddings and the beach. They are jonesing for St. Joe, and quite frankly I am, too.