After a weekend in the company of animals and friends, it's been hard to focus and feel motivated at work. I suppose that's really no different than normal, but I'm feeling a little more hollow today than normal.
Friday after work, I trekked up to the northern tip of Virginia (not to be confused with Northern Virginia) with my friend Erin. I was thankful for the company - the trip would have been tedious without her. We arrived just after 11pm and we welcomed by friends, dogs and a nice warm wood stove. Saturday was peppered with walks outside, eating, warming ourselves by the fireplace and a rousing game of Apples to Apples. (Apparently, I'm too competitive at games like this though...) And Sunday, more eating and outdoor time (including me stepping in dog crap.)
The house was definitely stocked well for our arrival. Liz's mom is an amazing cook, and she deftly covered our many various dietary restrictions...and made a few amazing desserts as well.
Ultimately, I was really impressed with the amount of relaxing that we all did. I think it was needed. The house was in much better shape than the last time I'd been there, which allowed for the maximum amount of legal relaxation, as defined by law. We were surrounded by the right amount of warmth, the right amount of food, just the right number of animals (including, of course, Hector, the parrot - a cheeky, loud fellow), just the right amount of covers on the bed, and just the right amount of TV and internet time - None.
Being in the mountains surrounded by unadulterated land always has a strange effect on me. Not having been to the farm in a handful of years, being there brought back a lot of memories that I hadn't thought of in ages. Once we left and headed back to Durham, the view driving back made me melancholy. 5 years ago there was some minimal development between Frederickburg and Opal, but now, it's overgrown with shopping centers and cookie-cutter subdivisions. That stretch used to make me thankful for green spaces, animals, friends and family...and now, it just makes me a little sick to my stomach.
The transition has back to reality has been hard, but how can you come down from a delicious bed and breakfast type experience? Maybe they'll let me move in.... :)