Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fox Through the Forest – Chapter 5


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Malcolm scampered off into the darkness, heading towards the laughter.  Normally, he would be cautious of running in the dark.  But the excitement of berry night and adventure flew with Malcolm as he leapt over logs and brush.  It was the same excitement he felt as the start of his journey for Nana Owl and the mountain and waterfall of his dreams.

As the laughter grew louder, Malcolm slowed down.  He didn’t know the etiquette for berry night and the last thing he wanted to do was intrude on someone else’s good time.  Still, Ozzie had invited him.  That should count for something.

The trees were beginning to thin as Malcolm made his way closer.  Moonlight now danced off the forest floor and overhead Malcolm could see stars twinkling in a deep blue sky.  He hadn’t realized in his haste to find Ozzie he was nearing the southern edge of the forest.

For a moment, Malcolm hesitated.  He had never been to this part of the forest before.  What would happen when he broke through the final line of trees?  What would he see?  Would he be safe?

The freedom and excitement of his nighttime run slowly waned as he realized the uncertainty of the unknown.  Yet, he was a fox of uncertainty, wasn’t he?  Hadn’t he proven that to himself when he started on this journey in the first place?  What would be the purpose now in being afraid?  Just because it was dark and he had never been here before?

Malcolm laughed at himself.  Had it been the daytime, these thoughts probably wouldn’t have even occurred to him.  It’s the same forest it’s always been, thought Malcolm.  The dark doesn’t change that.  Still, it might be prudent to get a better sense of the area.  Malcolm opened his senses to the world around him.

He heard new sounds, intermingled with the laughter from what he assumed was berry night.  There had to be more than just Ozzie there.  He could hear water running over stones, which reminded him of home.  But there was also a more forceful sound to the water.  A rushing, almost, as if the water was in a hurry to get somewhere.

A breeze ruffled Malcolm’s fur and he scented the air.  Yes, he could smell water, cool and crisp.  There was also the distinct musk of a skunk, though Malcolm could not tell for certain if it was Ozzie or not.  With another whiff, Malcolm confirmed there was not one skunk, but several.  Just as he was about to turn his nose back to the ground, a delicate sweetness enveloped him.  He inhaled deeply and let the scents carry him away.

Strawberry was the only sweet scent he could identify.  There was something else, too.  Not just one something else, but several, as their fruity bouquet swirled together into a mouth-watering aroma.  It made him want to sprint through the trees and dive head first into the berry bushes.

Malcolm could not see what was the out there past the tree line.  He imagined Ozzie and other skunks, soon to be his new friends, he hoped.  He pictured a creek, running over gray, brown, gold, and green stones.  He pictured bushes and bushes of berries, lined up for all to eat.

His mouth watered.  Malcolm’s feet began to move, as if he could not stop himself even if he wanted to.  He was running again, only this time it was a very short distance.  He burst through the trees and over a small hill.  Then he stopped, amazed at what he saw.

To be continued….

Memoir Monday, January 2nd, 2016


With New Year’s upon us, it’s a time when a lot of us reflect on where we are and where we’re going, metaphorically, that is.  I don’t know if it’s because of my measurement background, but this is something I do on a regular basis.  However, I’m still traveling for the holidays (which is why I didn’t write a Monday post last week) and

I find it hard to think about where I am and where I’m going spiritually when a lot of my time and energy is spent on physical transitions.

Since December 26th, my husband and I have gone from Norfolk, CT, to Harrisburg, PA, to Pigeon Forge, TN, to Smyrna, TN and today we are heading out to Leoma, TN.  We’ll be there until January 6th when we head back to Norfolk, CT.  Because we like to be leisurely when we travel, we’re planning on making it a three-day trip.  My husband likes to take many stretching breaks and sometimes a tourist attraction will catch our eye (I’m talking about you Natural Bridge).  Occasionally we also get stuck in a time warp and for inexplicable reasons it takes a much longer to get somewhere than we anticipated, like the time it took us over nine hours to get from Smyrna to Cornelius, NC.

It’s therefore good that we have the luxury of time to get us where we need to go, just in case.  On the other hand, I’ve been feeling a little bored with all of our time in the car, even though I consider my husband to be one of the most fun people on the planet.

Since we got married in February, my husband and I have driven over 30,000 miles on our housesitting adventures.  We’ve driven all over the Midwest, the South, and the Northeast, including New England.  We’ve listened to audio books, played games, and talked for hours about everything and anything.

The difference is since November, we have taken the same trips (Norfolk-Harrisburg-Smyrna and back) twice now, with some small trips of just Norfolk-Harrisburg too.  I feel like I’m missing a sense of adventure.  It’s always the same roads, same landscapes, same tourist destinations.  My husband and I both like discovering new places and it’s one of the reasons we try to find a new place to go every week when we’re housesitting.

When we drove into Pigeon Forge last week, it was a place I’d never been before.  There was so much for me to look at, I asked if we could turn off our audiobook because I had completely stopped paying attention.  I was filled with a sense of wonder and awe as we drove through the Smokey Mountains.  These feelings are something that’s not there when we’re on miles and miles of interstate with billboards, especially interstates and billboards I’ve seen what feels like hundreds of times over.

Funnily enough, I thought this was going to be a post about physical transitions but as I’m writing it’s clear to me this problem goes much deeper than just getting bored while driving.  Have I become ungrateful for the wonderful opportunities that have been afforded to me with this wandering lifestyle?  It sure sounds that way as I complain about the same-ness of it all.  That’s not who I want to be and no wonder I’ve been feeling bored lately.  When you simply let things go by in life,

you can end up missing everything and then you’re stuck somewhere where you have no idea how you got there and how to get out.

So I guess I will be going somewhere spiritually as I finish off these physical journeys in the next week.  I am challenging myself to pay attention to what I see around me even though I think I’ve seen it before and even though I think I won’t like it.  I challenge myself to watch the world go by me with a renewed sense of wonder and awe.  And to not just be grateful for all I have, such as a husband who is my best friend, a car filled with safety features, time for adventures, and the financial resources to have them, but to express that gratitude every chance I get.

Watch out I-40!  Things. Just. Got. Interesting.