The last two Sundays Lisa and I have had taken some unplanned time. The first Sunday was so beautiful and warm that we went to lunch after church and sat in their outdoor seating. Then we went to the Overland Park Arboretum to do some walking and stopping to smell the flowers.
This last Sunday we had wanted to go to a local cider mill, but once we saw the crowds, we diverted our trip to a winery. After tasting several different wines, we walked out of their with 4 bottles, and were very relaxed. Neither of these Sundays ended up as planned.
My plan for the last two Sundays was studying for a work related exam. I am trying to finish up this series of tests by summer of next year so I can put all of this work study behind me (after 9 years of continuous studying). Once this is completed I want to focus on other things, like language study, music (in whatever form that takes), writing, and travel. The problem was that Kansas weather wasn’t going to cooperate with my study schedule. My dilemma became 1) do I take advantage of this unusually great weather and spend quality time with my wife, or 2) do I take advantage of the time I have left to study this stuff to be ready for my exam? I think I chose the better of the two.
When we lived in Florida it was easy for me to make plans and follow through on them. I could pretty well predict what the weather was going to look like, and I knew if I were able to get my work done, the weekend would be waiting for me to play. I also knew if I had a particularly busy few months where I needed to focus, it was OK, because next month would be a dream as well.
Since moving to Kansas City, I am learning to take life as it comes. Opportunities seem to spring out of nowhere, and if you hesitate or pass on them now, you may not get another chance. That is why on the last Sunday of September, when the temperature was 85 degrees, we went outside. We walked, we enjoyed nature, and we connected with each other. The studying and work I was passing on weren’t going to take care of themselves, but the stress was not going to affect me, because it was time to live and truly feel alive. This day was a gift, and it was my responsibility to honor the giver of it by truly enjoying it. It was worth it.
That is also why on the first Sunday of October, with the sun bathing the land in a wondrous fall, golden hue, and there was a slight chill in the air, we needed to just drive a little. The cider mill is about 30 minutes from our house, but it was packed with more people than I would ever want to count. I was happy that so many were of the opportunity, but we decided another opportunity awaited, and went to the winery.
It has been a long, hard road for me to get used to the taste of wine, but I had no difficulties on this day. The wine was fabulous, and better than that were the memories Lisa and I had of being in Portugal a little more than 1 year ago, and learning to fall in love with the fruit of the vine while there. The day also reminded us of being a child in Michigan, and loving fall for its color, sounds, and coolness. Seasons are so fun for kids, because they don’t have deadlines to meet, or yards to keep up. They just enjoy it for what it is. For one short afternoon, I felt like I could be that kid again. It’s amazing how life can be so enriching if you just take it as it comes.