I should probably tell you that Mike and I are out of town. On a mini va-cay, which was BRILLIANTLY timed, as it has been 60 degrees in Missouri for these particular days. I have a great post stewing about how my outlook on vacations has changed since having children, and how there is now always an undercurrent of FEAR that time and freedom is running short, and so we need to get after it and go hiking (or something brutal) at 10 a.m., or else we will miss this opportunity to do something GREAT and WORTHY and PHYSICAL. I can tell you that this wasn't my mentality in my early 20's, and that I did very little hiking--and even if I did so, it wasn't before 3 p.m. because I was ASLEEP.
So, Mike and I went hiking this morning--despite entertaining thoughts of laying in bed ALL DAY--and our path started near some horse stables with the *distinct* smell of sh#!. I blamed it on the horses, but Mike INSISTED it was indeed human, mostly to mess with me, I think. We looped ourselves up to a view of the lake, and it was beautiful and warm, and it appeared that we were circling back, but then we kept going up-and-freaking-down what appeared to be one, single valley, and REALLY, how many times do we have to change elevation on one hillside? It was annoying. Mostly because we were kind of lost, if that's what you call it when you are never more than .3 miles from a resort, and you just keep traveling vertically, and not so much toward anything (besides the sky, and the bottom of the valley). There were LOTS of plaques identifying trees, but not so many directional arrows. There were, however, PATHS and the constant sound of cars, and this is what prevented me from panic and produced a more intense irritation, as if the universe was punking me.
At some point, we ended up on a horse path and there were trails EVERYWHERE and Mike just decided to wing it, which is how we found ourselves in a large-ish area of what looked like green grass, but was really a sort of ground covering made up of very small plants. It was kind of magical, all this color amidst the gray/tan tones of winter, almost like we had stepped into that meadow in Twilight where Bella and Edward laid around, glistening and smelling each other in.
Except that it's JANUARY in MISSOURI. And everything here is dead. And vampires are MAKE BELIEVE.
And that's when it hit us that, perhaps, raw sewage was feeding this rather fertile ground. Mike thought this was AWESOME, and I instantly saw sewer rats--and just when I thought we were surely going to mutate 4 extra toes, we spotted our actual condo building. Which was NOT where we started the hike, nor where it was intended to end.
But we survived and I proceeded to wash down half a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips with three diet cokes, thus returning order and balance to my multiple vacation personalities. It was a GOOD day.