September 23, 2009

My new happy place

Mr SmartyPants and I decided to join our church choir several weeks ago, and during the second rehearsal, a fellow alto (who had already inquired where we live) whispered to me about a long tobacco trail that runs quite close to our place. She had to whisper because the director was working with the men at the time, and in my experience, altos aren't very good at keeping quiet.

I scoped out the spot our songstress told me about, and sure enough, it is close by, long, paved, and the scenery is gorgeous. This American Tobacco Trail (ATT) used to be a railroad system for transporting North Carolina's main crop, but through several ownerships and plans, it has recently been converted into a 22 mile-long trail through the forest. And it's only 1/3 mile away from our front door. I thought I would miss the convenience and "fun" of walking/jogging the 5K around the Rose Bowl, but now I have something even better. See for yourself.

Tessa loves to join me outside, but only if she has her nosh.

Yup. Right in the middle of the path. Based on prior experience I'd say there was a homeless person lurking about in the nearby woods. That's a favorite phrase on the panhandlers' signs at the freeway offramps here: "lives in woods". Do they get more money by proclaiming this tidbit? Is one who lives in the woods more destitute than one who "lives" in, say, a back alley? Because honestly, I'd take woods over the stench of an alley any day.

I love the sun dapples in this one. I also love the word "dapples."

Song time! "It's beginning to look a lot like AUTUMN!!"

I [heart] swaths of cheery yellow.

It's taken some getting used to, but I really enjoy that everything around here was just built up in the middle of a huge forest. When you look out our back sliding glass door, there's a small porch of concrete, a smaller strip of grass, and then BAM! trees. Loads and loads of them. This picture shows the backyard of a nearby house. The trail runs alongside a main road on one side (that you can't see or hear most of the time), and back property lines on the other. Someone here decided to break up the scenery a little for all the trail-goers.

This is what Tessa looks like after a few miles. One morning, she was sleeping quite peacefully until some obnoxious old crone screeched, "Oh look! Your baby's taking a nap!" Not anymore, lady, but thanks.

And my favorite photo of the day:

Moral of the story? Go to choir practice.


Jean said...

Oooh, how pretty!! I remember nature. I remember liking it. It must be fun to have it out there. :-)

charrette said...

That would SO be my happy place! (Right after sitting next to you in the alto section, whispering and gigging.)

Kristi said...

Jealous! That is a happy place for sure!!

Sara said...

Hey, after you're fininshed 'gigging' with Charrette, who I ran in to here in my town, at Great Clips of all places, in July...We had a nice visit about how much we want to visit you.

Love you, miss you, thanks for your message, that I just listened to yesterday. I'm not really on the ball these days. Honey, you are the best and I appreciate all of your lovin'!

Emily S. said...

Is it just me or does she look just like Ted in that picture where she is asleep?!

Anna said...

Emily, it isn't just you! She does look like she got some Ririe DNA!

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