Writing a first post on a new blog is always the most bizarre part of starting a blog. I feel like I should introduce myself or something, but I’ve already done that here...so…today!
Today, and the last few days, have been unusually cool, weather-wise, in New England…like, mid-60’s cool, following our multi-day 100-plus degree heat waves the last two weeks. This week seemed like a perfect time to start training for The Jimmy Fund Walk (here’s my walker page, if you’re interested in donating!), which is on Sept. 8 in Boston, where I’m planning to walk 13.1 miles all in the name of curing cancer with my amazing friends as part of the Project Cupid team. I figured since that’s half-a-marathon, I might want to start practicing walking more than two miles at time, so I began my training with different distances and routes all week (thanks Map My Run!) and nearly made it to eight miles today with my pup Izzie, who surely never wants to walk that far ever again.
The best part of walking is discovering places you never knew existed previously, which is exactly what happened today. I used to explain to people how I would always walk in NYC home from the East Village or up and down the East River, or even across Central Park to get to class or auditions from my apartment and I always got the, “why don’t you just take the train/cab?” question. Because, I’ll tell you again: You find things you’ve never noticed in your life.
I’ve lived most of my life in Longmeadow, with the exception of the five-ish years I spent living in Pennsylvania and New York City combined. I’ve driven down the road I walked down today, hundreds of times and it’s the road I used to take to hop on the highway to drive back to NYC when I would come home. Never, ever, ever have I noticed the sheer number of historical houses that are preserved by the town’s historical society. There have got to be at least fifty and they are all gorgeous in their own ways. Many have barns, large gardens, or wrap-around porches and I promise, I will get pictures of them!
What else did I discover? The amount of preserved land here. I always knew about the preservation of land near our town’s recycling center, or as we affectionately call it, “The Dump,” and in fact, that land, “The Meadows” is one of my favorite spots to exercise my photography skills, and has been since the first time I took a black and white photography class in high school. There you can find still in-use train tracks, multiple ponds, outlets to the Connecticut River (and several small, deserted beaches!), fields full of wildflowers and populations of animals that have nowhere else in town to live. It’s a popular area for locals to hang out and relax, fish, or during the winter, play ice hockey and ice skate.
But today, I discovered more preserved land, more than 26 acres of it (much more, since I discovered not only these woods marked, but also unmarked preserved land across the street)
Not only did I find woods, but I found flowers. Yep, it’s a Tiger Lily, but it’s a peach-champagne color that I’ve seen only a few times before.
After my walk, I decided to reward myself with a small shopping trip. I really need a new piece of luggage for weekend trip, but I struck out tonight. Next weekend I’m heading down to Atlantic City and to Asbury Park, NJ for a few days to celebrate my cousin’s 21st birthday (finally!) and I thought it might time for a new weekend bag, since during my trip to NYC last weekend, I noticed my Vera Bradley duffle bag is on the verge of needing to be retired after six great years together (my mom gifted it to me my freshman year of college!)
While I wasn’t walking for this moment, I did pull into a secluded spot off the road to nab my favorite picture of the day, the sunset over the Springfield, Mass. skyline with my iPhone. Not too shabby, eh? (And no, I didn’t use an Instagram filter, it just was that perfect.)