Home > Life, Work-related, Writing and Poetry > Needed Relaxation and Nature

Needed Relaxation and Nature

Courtesy of BJ Jones Photography

Small excursions energize me most of the time. Over the weekend Sister and I took a quick trip to Central Washington. This was a trip planned for a couple of months. I could hardly afford the time away, I thought.

I did have numerous projects clamoring for my attention, things pushed aside or in need of initial contact. By Friday I’d concluded how much I really needed time away from computer and familiar surroundings.

I know we just had a break away with the Mountain Man Rendezvous, but what I didn’t need was stimulation and the constant movement of people around me. Instead, the need arose for personal quiet and peace, to allow me to recharge my internal batteries and my Muse.

The five hour drive Saturday morning began the recharging process. I sat back, listening to Sister’s running commentary of locations and wildlife passing by along Highway 2.

Mule deer and whitetail waited politely until they appeared in the rearview mirror before leaping across the road. Bald eagles kept pace with us from above the asphalt. Red-tailed hawks and osprey watched from their sky-scraper perches to make sure we left their territories quickly.

Rivers and small lakes rested in stillness, reflecting the forests lining their banks or the mountain summits that cast massive shadows across the sun-kissed mirrors. Canada geese nested with goslings yards from the blue heron and mallards, while red-winged blackbirds swayed precariously on last year’s cattail stalks.

The Kootenai River splashed along its bed heading back for the Canada. Clear skies colored with the peculiar shade of pale French blue spoke to us a warm temperatures and luscious clean air. The relaxation began, even as conversation flowed between us and the radio played softly in the background. There were no expectations other than our own. We were free for a little while.

Once we arrived at our destination, we had extra time to have a picnic. The city park in Connell was, as always, well-kept and ready for use. Under the shade of cottonwood trees we opened up the stocked cooler in the back and filled our plates. Sesame Garlic Chicken made room for homemade potato salad (a once monthly treat), and a stack of cut celery mingled with split baby carrots and sliced zucchini that kept the ranch dip separated from the rest. Zucchini nut bread waited for its chance to stand up and be counted as our dessert.

After our lunch left us ready for naps, Sister needed to take me down to one of the local eateries so that I had a comfy place to wait for her. She was going to be visiting her eldest son. I was going to work until her return that evening; a plan that suited my writing needs wonderfully.

From eleven thirty until seven in the evening, I worked with paper and pencil to catch up on work without the distraction on a computer or constant interruptions. It was bliss in so many ways. A low murmur of voices crept into my hidden corner on occasion to remind me that others shared the space.

A lovely young waitress slid in every other hour or so to refresh my ice needs or top off the iced tea picture. Otherwise, I was left alone to work. They’re used to me doing a day’s work there, which is a good thing.

By the time Sister returned for me, I’d filled dozens of pages with work. Editorial calendars for the next two months filled their section. Goals lists snuggled close by. A list of prompts to be used for a friend’s book of poetry waited for typing and a send-off. A guest blog was finished and awaiting the same fate.

Four new poems—three for publication submission and one for my poetry book “Ancient Reflections” filled their portion of my notebook. Notes on the epic fantasy I’m writing sprawled across their own pages.

I’d been on a writing, planning, calculating day’s journey and had tangible work to show for it. I was feeling smug, for my own sake. It had been one of the best writing days I’ve had in months, and I knew that I needed to plan at least one of these days away from home at least once a month.

The return journey was long and tiring. We got halfway home before fatigue forced us to sleep. Yesterday morning we continued home, where we crashed and burned completely.

Was it worth it? Oh yeah. BJ got great nature photos for use later. I got more done that I had much of the week before. And along the way we’d rediscovered what we’d enjoyed so much about traveling. I figure we did well, all things considered.

Today began the new schedule for me and one filled with even more than the previous week. Now, though, I have the key to getting it all dealt with. Re-energizing is necessary for both mental and physical health. I hope everyone can get renewed as often as I intend to in future. Be sure to comment with your own measures to re-energize. I look forward to seeing how others do it.

A bientot,



  1. May 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I can’t believe how much work you do! My shoulder and muse don’t seem to let me. Getting away from people and into nature is the best recharger, for me. Or somewhere not too touristy, at least. And then there is gardening and playing in the dirt. 🙂

    • claudsy
      May 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Carrie, it’s all an illusion, created to fool the eye into believing that my scurrying is impressive. Don’t you believe it, hear? You’ve got more than enough on your plate without looking for more.

      Getting away is going to get more and more difficult from now on. Sister is going back to school in June, which means adventures will be short and sporadic, depending on her class schedule in each term. So, I’m going to have to learn quickly how to recharge in short bursts, sort of like my cell phone. But I do have a personal charger attached to the car, which helps a lot.

      • May 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        I hear. Though, not entirely convinced. 🙂 Do you have a garden or balcony, or nearby park just to sit in and enjoy some nature? It’s nice to have a little time doing absolutely nothing, I find. Quite the luxury!

      • claudsy
        May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

        Our tiny balcony offers cigarette smoke from downstairs, too bright sunshine for burning in the afternoons, and too much noise for hearing yourself think.

        We take ourselves to busy, shaded parks to find peace and reflective time. Besides, we have Glacier Park less than half an hour away. Why go anywhere else for those short day trips. I get in free with life-pass.

  2. Veronica Roth
    May 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Lucky girl! I love that you got the chance to get away for a wonderful writing day like that. What fun. Sometimes I get a chance to have a weekend alone up at my cabin. No electricity and no cell phone coverage means peace and quiet for writing/art/photography. I live in Vancouver BC and love visiting Washington State. Next time I’ll go see Connell.

    • claudsy
      May 15, 2012 at 10:33 am

      I don’t know that you’ll be that impressed, Veronica. If you want to get away to Washington, try the Mount Baker area in NW WA–the Maple Falls area, or anywhere near Mount Baker. You’ll find more than enough to keep camera clicking and fingers writing.

      I’m with you on the less populated, off-the-grid places of the world. But then, I grew up in the woods and have a backwoods kinda gal at heart.

      So glad you dropped by, Veronica. Who’s to say when you’ll see me in person. That day will come, I’m sure.

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