My days have been quiet. My mind is at ease. It’s interesting what life without Instagram will bring you. I find myself thinking a lot more, listening to the bristling of trees, reading a lot of books. I pray and I read my Bible. I sip on wine slowly, without mindlessly scrolling as I do so. I keep telling everyone I’m bored. Which is hilarious, but honestly, I’d rather be bored than stressed or anxious. And this month has been one of the most soul-refreshing months I’ve ever had.
This month I have done a lot of riding on my bike. With a bike, I look at New York a little differently. Instead of looking at subway stops, I’m looking at miles. And get this—we’re only four miles north of the beach. So in the mornings, I hop on my bike and ride down to Coney Island beach. Compared to the usual hustle and bustle of this popular NYC spot, it’s quiet. There are a few runners, a few riders. Except for the constant game of beach volleyball (those guys are seriously dedicated), the beach is practically empty. I sit there and I take in the salty air as the sun rises, enjoying moments of quiet before I head back to my desk and log on for the day. It’s a routine I’m really going to miss in the winter.
This picture isn’t the best, but I just had to share. Look how happy she is! June (my sourdough starter, yes I named her, she’s basically my child) has really been loving this summer weather. And a strict whole-wheat diet. Before I was feeding my stater 1/4 cup of unbleached all-purpose and 1/4 cup of whole wheat. But when I went to feed June and I didn’t have any all-purpose left, I experimented with a strict whole-wheat flour feeding.
And this was the result! Lots of bubbles, overflowing out of the jar, super happy. I’ve been making lots of strawberry sourdough shortcake and crepes. But I’m in need of a new sourdough project. What should I try next?
For the first time since early March, I took a trip into Manhattan. And I cried. If you’re not a New Yorker (or you are and you just haven’t tried it yet), the subways are very clean. I mean, it’s really impressive. You can actually see the real colors of the floor! I still belly laugh thinking about how entering a dirty subway was just a normal part of my life for so many years. I guess there are some things to be thankful for during this pandemic…
I got off the subway at Washington Square Park and strolled. I did the walk up University Place all the way up to Union Square, relishing in the last bits of the lost summer in the city. Manhattan truly is special in the summertime. Or any season. Oh, how I missed it. I even popped into the Strand to just look at the bookshelves. It almost felt normal.
It’s official: I’m working remote for the foreseeable future. Our company ditched the office (for now), so I’m working remote at least until 2021. I do admit, I’m mourning the experience of going into the city and sitting in the office every day. It’s fun to be around my coworkers, bounce ideas off each other, and go to happy hours. But I’m also thankful for a company that is putting our health first.
So…meet my new at-home office! My husband and I decked it out with new shelves, and I ordered a bunch of at-home supplies on Amazon. I also did get a desk chair, it’s just still in the box as I type this out. It’s funny what a new mousepad, a folder organizer, and a few fresh pens can do to your mood.
My husband ditched me at the end of August to go hiking with some buddies in Utah, and to be honest, I’m really jealous of him. I would love to take a few weeks off and go hiking. So instead, my parents kidnapped me and brought me back up north to Connecticut, and one late Sunday morning we did a 4 mile hike in the Nehantic State Forest. It was fun to have them to myself, and we obviously celebrated with cheeseburgers after. This summer—and quarantine—has surely taught me how much I love to hike. Who knew?
To finish off the month, I enjoyed an end-of-the-year picnic with my younger cousins. They head back to school today, and yesterday they were all about having the perfect last day of summer. During my lunch break we took a bike ride, packed a picnic, and feasted in the back yard. The night before we stayed up late watching The Prince of Egypt and licked on ice cream cones we scooped ourselves. We’re going to be keeping a distance for the foreseeable future—to be safe during their return to school. So I was really thankful to have some time with them where we could hug, eat less than six-feet apart, and dip our hands in the same bowl of Cheez-its.
I’m really thankful for the time I’ve spent in Connecticut this summer—it was nice to spread out a bit and enjoy the warm weather. Even if I’m not returning back to school, there’s something about this Fall that feels like the start of something new. I feel giddy returning to my new at-home office, ready to set new routines and hunker down for the colder months ahead. Give me sweaters, chai lattes, and pumpkin oatmeal. I’m ready.