My time in the windowless Airbnb is drawing to a close and while I won’t miss the feeling of being confined to a basement, I am going to miss this place. It has been fun, in a relaxing, low stress, kind of way. I spent some time working. I read 3 mystery novels, something I haven’t done in ages! I made a few hats (what can I say, I like to knit hats). I got caught up on all my favorite TV shows and I even started decluttering my computer. You wouldn’t believe the amount of junk I have collected just from work projects in the past 8 months!
Aside from just vegging out though, I did quite a bit of exploring too. You see, for all that it isn’t, this little Airbnb is centrally located in the heart of a thriving city. Just outside the door, there’s access to arts, entertainment, food, parks, and so much more. So went on a lot of walks.
I walked past beautiful architecture that reminded me of the times when my friend Barb and I would go on urban photo hikes in Denver. I walked past the baseball field which reminded me of all the fun Angie and I had sneaking hot dogs into games in Florida. I walked past the ice skating rink that made me think of the time I decided to take skating lessons to impress a girl who played hockey.
I walked past shops full of things that reminded me of Fran (and one day, I walked with Fran to these shops). I walked past the coffee shop and popped in to see people working on laptops and having conversations, over real cups of coffee with milk-foam hearts drawn atop them. I walked to the Arts Center and listened to carolers singing while a man dressed as Scrooge handed me a kit to make a gingerbread house. I walked past the Farmer’s Market, that I’m sure in the summer hosts wonderful booths full of farm-fresh vegetables from the community.
Our gingerbread construction projects. My dad said his collapsed due to not being able to get enough cement from Lowe’s. 🙂
And as I walked, I saw people playing in the park. I saw groups on a scavenger hunt that looked so fun, everyone who wasn’t involved was talking to each other about it. I saw dogs of all shapes and sizes, and petted a few. I even saw a sign for non-dairy ice cream and a new cookie store that delivers until 3 AM. I drank in everything around me – the sights, the sounds, the people – and I felt the joy of discovery and nostalgia combined.
I also spent quite a bit of time with family this past month, and that too has been amazing. We worked on all kinds of projects together, from hanging holiday lights to updating the cab area on Van Geaux. And we ate. Boy, did we eat! So much so that I’m going to have to spend the next month riding my bicycle just to get ready for the Christmas dinner party.
New carpet, a newly painted console/engine cover, and new door panels in a style that’s unique to Van Geaux. We also removed the passenger seat to make a space for my clothes and recycling bin but, should someday I need a passenger seat again, that’s an easy fix.
This week, I have a few projects to finish, and I want to drive down to see my nieces and nephew. The little guy turns 3 this weekend and it’s so sweet to hear him say my name on the phone. I do miss them a lot. As I’ve explored, I’ve discovered so many things I know they would enjoy seeing and it makes me think ahead to summer and spending time showing them the joys of being outdoors.
The next few weeks after that, I’ll be back at the beach. My friend Suzanne strongly suggests that I never tell anyone exactly where I’ll be but if you’re in Florida, just be on the lookout for a big blue and white Scooby Doo van with a growing collection of stickers on the back. LOL! And if you happen to see us, don’t be shy – stop by and say hello.