The weather was beautiful today.
I took my exercise mat and towel outside in a fit of over-optimism, even after having closed the kitchen window at lunch because the wind it was letting in was too cold. But I discovered that, if I was lying flat on the ground, very little wind would reach me, and I quickly shed layers of clothing to maximize exposure to the pleasantly surprising heat of the sun. It's nice to bake in the sun sometimes when it's not really all that hot out. It's nice to know that you can't really overheat, because you can always sit up into the wind stream or move over to the shade where it's less than 60 degrees.
I've discovered that the combination of my exercise mat and beach towel is the perfect "lying on the grass" configuration. The slight padding of the exercise mat under the length of my body, and my towel lying across it perpendicularly to a) create a non-stick buffer between my skin and the vinyl mat and b) allow me to spread my arms wide without the constant tickling of grass and ants.
I tend to bore very quickly when I'm "trying to get a tan". There's just something so unengaging about lying on the ground, waiting to be cooked, with a little timer to tell you when it's time to flip over. So, while I wouldn't mind getting a healthy-looking (cancer-causing?) summer glow, I just can't lie outside with that purpose for more than about 7 minutes, when I start to wonder if someone might have updated their blog in the time I was away. But, I have discovered that if I go outside with the purpose of just relaxing in the fresh air and sun, bring a book with me to read if I want, spend some time listening to the birds and doing meditative exercises, etc, then I succeed in passing a lot more time outdoors without getting bored.
The birds really amaze me. There are so many varieties of dog, and they all look so different, but they all bark basically the same (with a few variations in pitch). But birds, who all basically look the same (with a few variations in size and colour) have the most disparate calls imaginable. There is one that I'm still trying to track down the source of. Are any of you bird people? Maybe you could help me. I would write the call as something like this: "Whirreee Wooreee" followed by a staccato "Tyu tyu tyu tyu tyu". Maybe it's the cardinal?
Tonight, I have to work. But honestly, if I had to choose between working in the daytime and being cooped up indoors with all that beautifulness in my backyard going unenjoyed, I would take the evening shift anytime. But I know the extended family feel a little bit cheated that I moved all the way down here to be near them, and now I never see them, because I am working in the evenings when they are more likely to try to get together. But I'm really not that hard to see. (Aside from whatever punny comments about my weight I am tempted to make here.) In fact, if anyone wants to see me at work tonight, there is live music at my store, starting at about 8 pm. I have no idea what the band is like, but my coworker who is in it is cool, so that's a good start.