So today started out full of foggy gloom. Not rainy, but with the air full of moisture and gray as damp felt. Church was somewhat less than inspiring and I thought the afternoon would be not much more than laundry, the gym and grocery shopping – none of which was stirring any kind of positive energy in my soul. At least the house was quiet, because Dad had taken himself out to lunch.

Then, just as I was getting through load number two of laundry, the sun started to break through. I was still trying to figure out how to work a dog walk into my afternoon plans when the sky turned bright blue, and I thought, hell with the gym – I need to find a cool place to walk the beasts.

I’d heard of a state conservation area the next town over – Harwich – called Hawksnest State Park, but I’d never been there before. I piled the dogs into the car and headed out. On the way, for a lark, I pulled into a little inexpensive antique shop just down the road from my house, thinking I’d check to see if they had a dining table to replace the about-to-collapse table in my living room where dad and I eat dinner. I was just about to walk back out again when a little gate-leg number caught my eye. The finish is a little beaten up, but it’s structurally very sound, with nice little turned legs. I took some measurements, but left pretty sure it would fit in just fine.

After a little exploring, I finally found the trailhead to Hawksnest and drove the Subaru in a bit, before the potholes began looking deeper than the car’s roofline. I found a place to pull over, called the dogs out and proceded to have one of the nicest hour-or-so hikes I’ve had in a while. It was almost deserted and it was like we had acres and acres to ourselves. One of the little trails led down to a really beautiful pond, and I spent 15 minutes or so tossing sticks for Bart into the water – I only wished I’d had a suit on under my jeans, because the water was awfully enticing to me, as well. We wandered on for another 45 minutes or so, before heading back to the car, knowing that we’d be back to do more exploring soon.

Then it was back to reality and on to the Stop & Shop. As I was unloading the three stuffed grocery bags in the kitchen, I called out to Dad to ask him how his lunch had been, he said “Great. But I had an accident.” Apparently it had been a Sunday buffet brunch he’d found, which can bring out the worst in him. He’d had a cheese and onion omelet, with sides of bacon, ham and sausage. This was followed up by multiple trips to the dessert table to pick up a piece of lemon meringue pie, two brownies, a couple eclairs and who know what else. (Did I mention that he’s diabetic?) The result could be found in the bathtub, with the boxers, socks and washcloth he’d left to soak, and in the stains all over the bathroom floor tile. Out came the bucket and mop and amonia, down went the dirty clothing to the washer. Dinner-menu plans changed in my mind from chicken cacciatore to broiled salmon. And, of course, there was the toe bandage to change.

But, I’d still had a wonderful afternoon, and that helped me just sigh instead of slump. And I’d learned a good lesson, to boot: the shit will always be with us, so it’s up to us to look up and appreciate the sun and blue sky when we can.

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