Words for Wednesday: break

We all had to take a break whether we wanted to or not – at home.

Because of the pandemic and the resulting edicts to “shelter in place,” all of us, in one way or another, were forced to take a break.

Oh, I know, those who were fortunate enough to retain their jobs because they were deemed essential workers still worked hard and we’re so thankful for them. And scads of others, who were able, worked from home.

But a vast majority of us took a break – albeit a longer one than we thought it would be – from the daily routine and normal life.

Since both Papa and I are basically retired, we didn’t have to worry about jobs. We were busy though caring for our oldest granddaughter during that time.

But for the most part, we seized the opportunity to step away from the normal busyness of life and enjoy our time at home. And we didn’t squander that time at all.

“The opportunity to step away from everything and take a break is something that shouldn’t be squandered.” ~Harper Reed

So what did we do? In between playing with our granddaughter, helping her with her preschool homework, and providing new things to discover and learn, we enjoyed some simple aspects of life. And I took quite a few photographs to prove it.

I’m sharing some of those photos from our “break” with you today. Despite the trying time that it’s been, we managed to find joy. And doesn’t that make every day worthwhile?

So how have you managed staying home during this time?

Enjoyed the blooming flowers
Spruced up the yard
But we still had time to just relax outside

“Find what brings you joy and go there.” ~Jan Phillips

©2020 mamasemptynest,wordpress.com

Locally happy

blogdscn8083

A local restaurant/golf course

It’s over a month away and it falls on a day after Thanksgiving.

No, I’m not talking about Black Friday. That event is just not my thing. Too crowded and too crazy for me. I’m not referring to Cyber Monday either although I have taken advantage of the online savings you can find on that day.

No, I’m thinking about a day sandwiched in between those two – Saturday. A few years ago, a movement began to categorize the Saturday after Thanksgiving as “Small Business Saturday.” The idea was to visit actual brick and mortar businesses and shop there, helping your local business owners and local economy.

And that’s the key to my thoughts this week – local. It just so happens to have been the theme of a weekly photo challenge as well.  What photo could I capture that expresses the theme “local?” Several ideas came to mind.

Here at Mama’s Empty Nest, we live in a rural area a few miles outside of our small town. There are plenty of photo ops in town with the beautiful river that flows through and the lovely waterfront park alongside it. We have a picturesque bridge over the river with hillsides on either side full of trees changing their summer clothes of green leaves for their glorious, colorful fall ones.

Or maybe I should just wander down one of our many country roads and snap away at the local views I find – in the woods, alongside a clear stream, a vista of farmers’ fields.  There’s always something worthwhile to photograph.

But then, I started thinking about local in terms of what our mostly rural area offers as far as businesses go. We have our fair share of big chain stores and restaurants just like the rest of the country, that’s for sure.  And downtown in our little burg isn’t quite the same as it used to be when I was younger and it was the place to shop. Many of the locally owned stores have closed but there are still enough around to enable us to support our own community.

From local pizza shops and restaurants to gift stores to florists to appliance stores to newsstands, we have a number of local options in our area without having to drive to the city or the suburbs.  And a sweet gal I know and her friend just opened a new shop which features items from local artisans that I want to visit soon.

So when Saturday, November 26 rolls around on the calendar, you may find me supporting our local businesses to shop and/or eat instead of following the masses by driving to the mall down the highway to shop or dine at big chain restaurants.

You see, running with the crowd doesn’t make me happy. It usually just stresses me out. And I’m pretty certain I can find a little happiness right here in my little town.

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local and that’s kind of the same.”~ Unknown

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com