Today I am grateful to alive… it was a long hard day physically. I know that doesn’t sound very Sabbath-y, but I will explain. The thing is, nearly every person I am related to loves hiking and being out in nature. I can’t really say that this is something that really resonates with me. But lately I have been overwhelmed and sad that I really don’t have anything in common with family and friends when it comes to hobbies and relaxing activities. My husband longs to be outside, away from the yard, but he is so busy with project after his long work week that he doesn’t really have time for hiking, canoeing, and fishing – all of which is his relaxation thing… but not mine.
This week he made the comment that he just wanted to do relaxing things this weekend because he will be leaving for a business trip next weekend, and he was tired of projects. So I mentioned that I would be willing to attempt finding “the Valley of the Giants,” a hiking trail I had heard about and had also heard that is very hard to find. I had even heard that the hike wasn’t so bad – just over a mile long – to walk the loop and to enjoy the forest. He was pretty excited. He mentioned how he gains such a feeling of closeness to God when out in nature. He thought it would be the perfect Sunday activity.
After a short, but nice, Sacrament service, we packed up a “lunch-ables” type meal in the cool backpack cooler I found a couple years ago with some water bottles, and off we went. John had done some research and followed the map, while I drove. I loved the drive. I could look around and enjoy the view. We arrived at the trail head an hour and a half later. At first we took off over something I didn’t think was a trail. Wrong way. I struggle over logs at first because I was ditched while everyone looked for the trail. We eventually got on the real train and headed out… straight down! OMG! I was not ready for that. I am so THANKFUL for walking sticks. I had to lean on them all the way down. I’m not exactly sure how far down we went, but by the time we got the creek at the bottom, my Fitbit said I had traveled 46 flights of stairs. My feet and knees were killing me.
We rested at a picnic table across the little creek. I sucked down some water while everyone enjoyed grapes, crackers, cheese and lunch meat. I was determined to make it through my intermittent fast and wait for my eating window. Lilli and Riley decided not to go further, but to sit at waterfall. John tried to convince me to give up and head back up the trail, but I had come this far and was determined to see the giant trees. Every person I personally know that had looked for this trail had found it. I had come this far. I wasn’t going to give up yet. I hobbled down the trail a little further until we got to the “Valley” and we took a couple pictures before heading back.
All the way down the trail I was freaked out about falling and about BUGS! They were everywhere. They kept biting me. I am covered in bites. Every breath I was saying out loud, “I appreciate you as God’s creations, but GO AWAY BUGS!” I’m sure the other people on the trail thought the fat old lady struggling down the trail was freaking crazy. However, I am thankful that John was willing to take off his hat and bat at them. Seriously, I HATE bugs.
Going back up the hill hurt. My legs felt to heavy. My whole body was getting a work out as I used the walking sticks to help me push myself up the hill… every other step stopping to huff and puff. I cried all the way up the hill. Good thing I was wearing sunglasses and sweating hard for the tears to blend in. I didn’t want the people passing me to know just how hard I was struggling. I’m sure John knew, but he was patient and kept telling me to look up at the pretty trees and pointing out how relaxing the creek noises and bird sounds were. I wasn’t buying it. All I saw was dirt. I had to keep my eyes on the uneven steep trail. I knew that no one would be able to pack me out if I were to go down. Plus, I couldn’t get away from those darn d@*# BUGS!
Nearly 3 hours later I made it back to the car… only casualty being Lilli’s iPods that fell out of Riley’s backpack into the creek.
An other hour and a half drive home and my feet and knees and hips could barely move and I slugged into the house to make dinner. I am thankful that John ran around like a crazy man to help. My knees and feet can hardly hold me up now. You should see the bruise on the top of my foot!
I am grateful for John mopping the floor when Holland dumped a gallon of apple juice on the floor. I am also grateful that he cooked the burgers and put everything away after the meal and cleaned up the kitchen.
I am grateful he was willing to keep bringing me water. I needed so much water.
I am grateful that Lilli was helpful with dinner too.
I am grateful that Kimber, Ray and the kids came for dinner. I sure love those guys.
I am grateful I got to chat with my parents. it is always fun to catch up with them each week.
I am grateful for the salve my friend Jamie made because it is really helping all these darn bug bites.
I am grateful for a post on a Facebook group I belong to, Eat Like A Bear. This lady posted about her journey and it was so inspiring. It sounds like we have started our journeys in a similar spot, we both like building and gardening, and being independent women. We both struggle with physical pain. I cried when I read it. I was feeling very lonely, even though I had spent the day with family. But I was lonely because today’s adventure was just a huge reminder that I very little in common with my family. I hate hiking. I hate being hot. I hate the bugs. I did not feel closer to God. I did not feel up lifted. I was wondering if the sacrifice of doing stuff I really don’t enjoy was really worth it just so the people I care about got to do something they enjoyed.
I am grateful I made through a 23:1 intermittent fasting day. I am grateful for the “Big Mac” salad with “Big Mac” dressing, lettuce from the garden, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, and a scoop of pea salad with green peas, mayo, cheese bits and purple onion. I am also grateful I was able to get a little more of the salsa from my friend Vidal. It was so yummy and now I can share it with family. I am thankful for the watermelon I ate for desert.
I will need to work on a “thank you” prayer this evening…