Only about 80 miles outside of DC and 100 miles outside of our former home in RVA, is Shenandoah National Park. This massive swath of land contains some of the most beautiful scenery in VA. There’s hiking, waterfalls, camping, loads of nature, animals everywhere, AND it’s part of the Appalachian Trail!
It is certainly one of the most serene and beautiful places I’ve been in during the fall season. We camped and hiked on a very, very, cold and rainy October weekend. The pictures don’t really do the beauty of this place justice, but it’s a good start.
This just came to me watching the rain right now. Hope you enjoy it :)
| Read Strangers in the Night Series | Tumblr | AO3
It was on a cold, snowy night that she saw him for the first time.
The world was wrapped in white all around their small townhouse and the little snowflakes were continuing to fall. For a few hours, she’d been out with her dad, tasting the snowflakes on her little pink tongue, making small balls with her hands and wetting her thick mittens. But the chill had gotten too bad so she’d come inside to her warm, delicious-smelling house, had cleaned up and sat her tush on her chair beside the dining table.
It was then, while drinking from her hot cup of chocolate with the marshmallows as night fell outside, while her parents sat before her with their backs to the large windows, that she saw him.
Gaunt. Thin. Pale.
He looked so cold. His teeth visibly chattered in the wind she could see blowing outside, the paleness of his skin matching the falling snow. And in that pale, thin face of overlong, messy blond hair, she saw those sad blue eyes, blue like the beautiful sky on a clear day. He was looking into the house, his eyes roaming all over the place, taking in everything with such longing on that tired face that her eyes filled.
He caught her looking at him.
Fear flashed across his face.
And then, he was gone.
Before she could utter a word.
She went to her warm bed that night, thinking of the cold boy with the sad blue eyes.
She went to her soft bed, an eight-year-old who didn’t know her life had changed.
She caught him outside her window the next night.
Her little heart beat faster when she found him, leaning against the glass, peeking inside her small bedroom. Before she could stop herself, she climbed down from the bed and without turning on the lights, went to the window.
She leaned her head back at looked slightly up at him, seeing his blue eyes widen for a second upon seeing her awake. Tilting her head to the side, she took in the thin, ugly sweater he wore with a small hole near his shoulder, the jeans that had faded to an almost light color, and the scuffed shoes. Then, she peeked down at her own thick red socks, her tummy hurting for him.
But she couldn’t invite him inside. She couldn’t talk to him either. He was a stranger and talking to strangers was bad.
Biting her lip, she looked back up into his sad eyes, and slowly placed her tiny hands on the glass opposite his.
His hands, just slightly bigger than hers, shook.
Before she could question herself, Felicity ran back to her bed, plucked out her favorite blue blanket - with the big brown wolf looking up at the big yellow moon that her mom had made for her - and dragged it to the window, almost falling down twice under the weight of the thing.
The boy watched her quietly, stepping back when she opened the window, thrust the blanket into his arms and slammed the glass down again before he could snatch her away.
She saw the boy look down at her favorite blanket in his arms, saw his fingers curl around it, and saw him look up.
And she grinned.
His eyes weren’t so sad anymore.
She woke up extra early the next morning, just to see if he was there.
Quelling the disappointment down, Felicity jumped to the kitchen, a new mission on her mind.
He came that night, wordlessly, soundlessly, wrapped in her blanket, and pressed those hands upon the glass.
She got down from the bed on her tippy toes, wordlessly, soundlessly, and pressed her hands against his.
Then she snatched the Tupperware of pie she’d been saving for him the whole day, opened the window a peek and thrust it into his arms before slamming the window down again.
He looked down at the box for a long time, his lips trembling, before looking up at her.
This one is a little messy, and is made in mind for the fellow pluviophile who loves a good rainstorm. Get ready to turn into a five-year old, you’re going puddle-jumping.
Indy’s When It Rains It Pours Spell For A Better Perspective
What You will Need:
A good rainstorm
A change of dry clothes
Your best puddle-stomping boots or shoes
How this works: I am dead serious about my puddle-jumping. In fact, I swear it should be an Olympic sport. Here’s how you puddle-jump.
Go outside during a seriously awesome rainstorm, find a puddle that will produce a good amount of splash. Pretend you’re five years old and it is literally the Loch Ness of puddles you have ever seen and you’re going to jump into it because it is the best idea you have ever had in your whole life. Get a running start and JUMP. Jump like your life depends on it!
This is another good-humor spell. If you need a laugh, dance around in that puddle like it’s a brightly lit stage and you’re a majestic water-bender. If you’re having the seriously worst day and everyone is just pissing you off, imagine you’re jumping on their face and do an angry rave-stomping frenzy on that puddle to get out some of the pent-up aggression you might have.
You might be too busy leaping around to think of an incantation for the moment, but if you are the type for some kind of formality, you can approach the puddle and think/say something like:
“I come to you vessel of water,
Teach me how to play,
I leap into your unknown depths,
To forget any woes of the day.”
Obviously once you are done, you can switch out your now awesomely-drenched outfit for a warm, cozy one and take some time to warm up and snuggle with a good book or a movie.
Why I chose my components:
What in the world does jumping around like a fool in a puddle of rainwater have to do with perspective? I’ve noticed that sometimes, we get so caught up in what we should do, what others want us to do, what we want to do, etc, etc. that we forget ourselves sometimes. Life gets so confusing that we don’t know which way is up, which way is down, and which way is the way we’re supposed to go. This is another one of those “Throw Caution To The Wind” kind of casual spells that can be used before or during a hectic moment in your life, be it that you’re getting calls left and right from your metaphysical friends or that you’re getting pulled in several directions at once from people on the physical plane. Whenever you get confused, angry, or just want to lighten up a little bit, go jump in a puddle.
It seems silly, but I’m once again weaving in a little of my personal experience here.
Some of my favorite times as a kid was running outside like the heavens had just ripped open and the world was on fire when in reality it was just a passing storm. My childhood self literally had no fucks to give, it was raining and I was going to go out, get soaked, and have fun in it, by thunder! Even as I got older, I still run outside and jump in puddles like a fool because it makes me feel better and it reminds me that sometimes, you just have to indulge yourself. You have to remind yourself that a storm (metaphorical or otherwise) can be something that keeps you inside, or it can be something that makes you run outside and turn it into something that makes even the metaphysical realms look down at you and say “Well damn, that’s one way to handle a storm.”
Everyone talks about how dancing in the rain is a romantic term for being positive. This really isn’t about being positive so much as, in a somewhat magical way, saying “Fuck it!” and doing something so ridiculous you end up grounding yourself and saying “Alright, that wasn’t so bad”.
Even if you don’t end up feeling better after running around outside, once you switch out of your wet clothes and put on some more comfy ones, you’ll probably feel at least a bit better by doing that alone.
A week ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the most important events in the English sporting and social calendar with the company of other fellow bloggers. Hosted by whisky brand Royal Salute, this is the largest annual international polo match in the world. For a first experience at the also known Sports of Kings, I have to say that it exceeded all expectations.
It was an early start! At 9AM in the morning we had an introduction to the sport, with tuition from top league polo player Malcolm Borwick. I didn’t know that the sport actually originated in ancient Persia (circa 6th Century BC). Later, the sport passed to other regions in Asia, where it became very popular, including the Indian subcontinent.
Ran nice and easy after work yesterday! The weather lately has been in the pits though! So cold, windy, and rainy. Hopefully it changes before Saturday! But these miles felt fine. A bit sore, but I knew because I didn’t have my foam roller this weekend. And it’s taper week so we all know our bodies like to make us think they can’t run a little right before the race ;)
Indy Mini W18D2 - easy 5
Another nice easy run today after work. More poopy weather. But I love all the easy runs during taper week :) only 2 more runs until race day!!
I realized as I was running that I was wearing 3 different Detroit articles. My shirt, hat, and gloves all came from different Detroit events :)
I can’t believe it’s RACE WEEK!! I’m getting excited for race day and excited to see what I can do! Hopefully the weather improves. Right now it’s saying cold and windy. I know I could manage, but it would be nice if it improved! We will see!
Our next stop on our Colombian adventure was to travel to my family’s holiday house in beautiful Villa de Leyva! Villa de Leyva is a little colonial town just outside of Bogota with a really unique landscape. It’s almost a desert, with dry cracked ground and an abundance of cacti, however within 100 meters you could be looking at luscious grass filled with grazing cows. It’s a really interesting area. Thousands of years ago the whole valley was filled with water so it is a hotbed for fossils.
We stayed with my grandparents in the house my grandmother’s sister built and it was really really nice to have such a relaxing few days surrounded by family. We had a big lunch one day with three of my grandmother’s sisters and their families and it was wonderful seeing everyone again after 4+ years.
There was lots to do in Villa de Leyva, and when we weren’t lazing around the house playing games and reading our books, we off were exploring the picturesque little Colombian town!