A walk under California’s blue skies

The New Year is really here!

I always love this time. However much I love celebrating the year-end hols, it feels so very good to take the decorations down and get back to daily life. 2010 had been a tough year for me (though I certainly don’t emphasize that on this blog.) For one thing, we’ve just gone through the sale of our home in an unbelievable, down-sizing, move. This alone would have been enough, but other things were thrust upon us, too.

While I wish I were a person whose reaction to stress is to stop eating, my problem is the opposite. Thus, in the past twenty months, illness in my family and other high stressors have taken their toll. I’d pretty much abandoned my exercise regimes and my weight has crept up much more than I like to admit.

Now, (even though I have a mountain of work to prepare data for our income tax returns) my family and I are in a bit of a “lull.” Nice timing for some  stay-at-home journeys in nutrition and exercise. In accordance, the day before yesterday, I went out for a ten-minute fast walk.

The day was sunny for this time of year and the sky was vastly blue. I walked for almost an hour! The crispness of the air, the warmth of the sun, and mundane details–yes, beautiful details–of life here in Northern California gave me another gift of today.

I began my journey outside my hotel’s door and walked along a busy street.  The street would be of little interest from a car, but as I walked, things of beauty appeared before my eyes. This simple walk on a so-so street served me poetry on a sunshine platter.

Here’s a sampling.

Some might deem this street dull and non-descript, but observe the little flowers by the sidewalk.

Perhaps the flowers sharpened my senses and made me see additional beauty.

Here's a quite ordinary apartment complex, in the "California" style. Quite lovely, I thought, for a (mainly) commercial area.

And then, I looked up beyond the palms and into an amazing blue.

A flawless blue sky day

The gift of today during this walk showed me how ordinary things can really be sublime. Such are things we miss when we speed through life. But  we see such things when we slow down.

I looked up the street and then discovered–without even realizing, I’d neared the Italian-American market.

Italian-American markets are favorite haunts for my stay-at-home travels. I found myself walking in.

Remember, this was the first week of the year, so besides new goals for exercise, I’m working on nutrition, too. Imagine my chagrin when I realized I hadn’t yet planned my lunch. As things turned out, that was no problem at all. See what this market had in store for my hunger.

Don't these veggies look luscious?

Oh, and possibilities for a healthy dessert spread before me, too!



Don't these fruits look delicious, too?

Thus, it happened that I bought all I needed for my healthy lunch, and I hadn’t even gone through the planning.

These are the gifts my walk brought me the other day. What gifts would a walk around your neighborhood bring you? Please note that all these pictures were taken with my phone. Be sure to take your camera-phone with you. If you took a walk and snapped pictures of your surroundings as if you were a tourist from abroad, what things of beauty and enjoyment would you see?

Bon voyage,

Rita Elizabeth

P.S. A few months ago, I posted a topic on the gift of today. I’m delighted to say that post was picked up by a new and interesting blog. Click here for the link to that blog, which I’ll talk about about in a future post. (Or, you can see the original gift of today entry in my October 9, 2010 post on Stay-At-Home-Traveler.)


About RitaElizabeth

I'm a recently widowed wife and mother who loves to use ideas and experiences from travel to enrich my family's life at home. I blog to share ideas with you and to hear your ideas and comments.
This entry was posted in Gifts of today, New Year, Poetry in daily life, Travel near home, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A walk under California’s blue skies

  1. Janet Murtha says:

    Congratulations on accomplishing your huge job of downsizing! My husband and I are also entering that process at this time in our lives. At least we are talking about it and taking “baby steps”. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with all there is to do, but I made a master list and am checking off one thing at a time–slow progress! I enjoyed reading about your feelings about being in the new year and all the many colorful sights found on your uplifting walk. Best wishes for you and yours in the bright new year!

  2. Thank you, Janet! Oh, and do I ever understand what you’re embarking upon!

    Actually, though we’ve sold our huge home and moved out, we’re still living in temporary quarters until the remodel of our small home is done. So, when we move in to our new home, I’ll still have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Since I was working with a tight deadline to get out due to selling our home, I didn’t have time to go through everything to decide what to keep and what to donate or toss, so a lot of it is still in storage.

    Please keep me posted on how things go with you, and I’ll be your support from right here. I wish you all the very best in this endeavor and remember, I’ll be thinking of you!

    Hugs, Rita

  3. I send you a big, warm, cyber hug.

  4. Thanks for the warmth and support, Kate. And a hug back to you.

  5. What a beautiful way to start a new year. That sky was stunning and the vegetables gorgeous. It is when we slow down and live in the moment we experience and see the most magical of things. Wishing you much peace, good health and more magic this year. Hugs, Diane

    • Thanks for stopping by, Diane. I know you’ve had some wild weather there in Atlanta this winter. Here’s to blue skies and flowers for you and everyone there, and for peace and health and fulfillment, too! Hugs, Rita

  6. Dear Rita,

    I think it was the architect Mies Van Der Roheo (spelling?) who said, “God is in the details.” Maybe he just meant architecture, but there’s so much more to notice. When better than on a walk, when you can stop for a better look, as the spirit moves, can you notice details?



  7. Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany. I love that quote, “God is in the details.” I do think so!

    I can just see you walking around Paris, finding God.



  8. kenny2dogs says:

    Hello Rita.
    “OH” what would I give for a blue sky above my head right at this moment. To sit among a few Palm tree’s with a large plate of cucumber and Salmon sandwiches. oh dear me, I’m California dreaming again ! 🙂
    Hoping things are going according to plan for you Rita.
    Your English none believer friend Kenny !!!

  9. Kenny,

    I’m so happy to hear from you! I send you a good dose of California sunshine all the way across the Pond!

    (And if you don’t mind, I think I’ll make myself a salmon and cucumber sandwich!

    I hope things are going well for you, Kenny, and that every day they get better. I think of you often!

  10. kenny2dogs says:

    Just passing and thought to say hello to my California girl ! Hoping things are going well for you. I understand you must have a great deal on your mind. What with one thing and another.
    I am recovering nicely from my transplant and it shall soon be Spring, how nice !!!
    I shall call back later to make sure you are ok.
    BTW. I think of you often also .
    Take care you lovely person you.
    Kenny !

    • My dear Kenny,

      I’m so glad you’re doing well–so very glad! Yes, SPRING IS COMING!

      I’ve been away due to computer woes, and a few things keeping me very, very busy. However, my dear husband and daughter and I are okay.

      Can’t wait to get back into our lovely little blogosphere with you and other “regulars.” I think that will happen in a few more days.

      Here’s a hug from across the Pond, and some pre-Spring sun from California!


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