When I found out this week’s Photo Challenge was Unusual Point of View, I knew my trip to the Adirondacks would provide plenty of inspiration. With such beautiful nature all around me, how could it not?! The weather this week has been less than stellar. Prior to the trip, our hearts sunk as we saw a forecast of 7 days of straight rain staring back at us. Things have improved (a bit) since then, but most plans have been up in the air with the weather so unpredictable. Like this afternoon, the weather forecast promised a full afternoon of sunshine. And it was for about an hour, right up until we pulled into the boat rental shop and it started pouring.
Generally we like to ease ourselves into a vacation, but after learning that Monday would be our only good day, we figured we needed to at least get one high peak in. We chose the easiest, Cascade, though I still found it a bit challenging. It was my first peak and my husband’s 8th. So many people focus on the obvious points of a hike, mainly the summit, or stand out features like a stream or waterfall. I was more inspired by the lesser seen bits of nature. A patch of moss, the crack of swaying trees, a baby frog (that I may or may have not almost stepped on). So here I present to you my hike of Cascade Mountain, with a little of the less obvious sights.
The more I explore Brooklyn, the more I fall in love over and over again. It’s amazing how much diversity one place can hold. Bay Ridge holds a nice balance for me. It’s urban but still has a strong sense of community. It might be a bit further from the city (especially now that the R train doesn’t go into Manhattan–thanks Sandy), but self-contained, it holds almost everything I need. Good food, a tiny greenmarket, waterfront access, parks and best of all affordable living. That’s not to say I don’t explore. Park Slope holds some of the best food in the borough. Walk into almost any restaurant on 5th or 7th Avenue and you’re guaranteed a stellar meal. Head a little north and you have Prospect Park at your fingertips. To the west is Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and a diverse selection of beer, cocktails and bars. Go way north and explore a world of its own in Williamsburg. I’m not yet sure I’d be content spending the rest of my life in Bay Ridge, but if my some force of nature I was never able to leave the boundaries of Brooklyn, I’d be a pretty happy person.
I’m quiet and tend to be a bit awkward. I prefer small groups of close friends to large gatherings, listening to someone else’s story rather than having the spotlight on me. Our wedding day was a bit overwhelming for me because there was really no way to escape being the center of attention. I think it was the white dress that gave it away. It’s not that I’m closed off, I just don’t always volunteer details. I open up to people through food. I share my soul. A basket of fresh-baked muffins can express “I’m sorry” more than any combination of words I could string together. I’d rather eat in than go out for holidays. I spend hours cooking for the ones I love, especially my husband, hoping that the meaning of my intricate meal is clear. I’d rather share ingredients than emotions.
Loving the brightness of the red onions against the muted carrots and greens
Summer gives me food anxiety. Every time I go to the market, not matter if it’s been a day or a week, there’s something new. I’m now spotting peaches, apricots, sweet corn, hot peppers, lemongrass and so much more. The pressure of wanting to buy everything, knowing that there is only so much my husband and I can consume before it starts to spoil is almost too much to handle. Winter’s easy. There are a finite amount of greens and root vegetables to choose from, plus shelf stable items, making it easy to create a menu. But summer meals are based off what looks good. It’s very hard to narrow down a dish when everything looks so good.
This week’s photo challenge asks us to look at companionship. When I think of companionship, the first thought that comes to my mind is my wonderful husband, Sean. Irritatingly optimistic, he sees the good in everything and everyone. There’s always a bright side and things have a way of working themselves out. Ironically, a lesson I taught him years ago, but I’ve never been good at taking my own advice. He is my number one supporter and does everything in (and often tries beyond) his power to make me happy, no matter how out there my plans may be (“Picking bucket-loads of dandelions in the park and turning it into wine is a fantastic idea! You’ll see…”). And while on more than one occasion I’d rather sit there and wallow in self-pity, he’ll find a positive angle and somehow extract a smile.