There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

The Last Swim

I had Thursday reserved as a vacation day from work. The weather was to be quite warm, almost summer-like. And we were planning a trip to the Hammersley Wild Area, which is sort of the holy grail of our fall backpack destinations: a place we talk about a lot, a place full of wildness and magic, but a place we actually hardly ever get to. It is also the hardest backpack I know of, and I really do not recommend it to anyone.

With the cat being sick, we decided it was not a good idea for us to leave him overnight. So we cancelled our backpack plans; that's probably it for the Hammersley until next year. But I did take the afternoon off from work, and we still planned to do something fun locally.

With the weather being so warm and sunny, we decided it would be nice to get in one last swim. And so we packed up our swim fins and my floatie, and went to a swimming hole that we know of in the woods, where we had a really lovely afternoon.

I like my water cold for swimming. It refreshes me and clears the cobwebs out of my brain. It also has an anti-anxiety effect for me: every worried thought leaves my brain when my skin is being pummeled by icy needles of wetness. Most people wouldn't like it. It calms me. I find it healing. And man, I have had some strange times indeed in the past week or so.

Last Monday, a tree fell and took out our power, phone, and Internet. We got that situation rectified on Tuesday. The next day, we started my Mazda for me to drive it into town for a visit with the oral surgeon, and it made a horrible sound. I thought it was a goner, and I had to take my husband's car instead.

We learned then that the fluid my car had been leaking - we thought it was just oil - was power steering fluid. Once we knew what was wrong, my husband got more fluid, filled it up, and it is good to go. (Once again, the Mazda lives!) And then the next day, the cat got sick.

There is one more thing I never got around to telling you, and it is pretty important news: I have quit my job! I have been employed with Penn State in one way, shape, or form pretty much since late May of 1985 (full-time since September 1986). Penn State has treated me very well, and I have loved my work and my colleagues, but the time has come: I will be retiring at the end of this year!

So a lot has been going on, and my head has been spinning with all of the decisions, stress, and change in my life. And a cold swim was exactly what I needed to get my head into a good place. So here, in the photo above, you can see where I spent my Thursday afternoon. Call it hydro-therapy if you like!

I blew up my floatie and jumped right in the water and swam all over the place. I was watching for snapping turtle noses, but did not see any. (My husband says he may have seen one.) T. Tiger kept a watchful eye over me from the cup holder in my chair; next year, he says, he wants his OWN tiny swim fins and floatie.

The foliage colors are just gorgeous this year, and we have been getting out to see them as much as we can. I particularly love taking foliage reflection shots, and I was pleased with how this one turned out. The leaves are starting to fall now, so I know it won't last, but oh my, isn't it a GLORIOUS show?

The soundtrack song is Marc Cohn, with Saving the Best for Last.

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