But this heat wave was a bit more than I was up for. The worst thing was it was trapping me in the house under a fan, and since it's summer, I want to explore my new surroundings.
One morning, I got out around 8:30, right after Mario left for work, and headed west from our house. We'd already walked north a ways, and south and east led to areas covered by our drive back to Philly each day.
I followed the arrow on the sign to the next sign, and the next. Eventually, I came to a sign that said "swedish cabin, 3/4 mile" with one last arrow. This took me up a quiet, paved road along Darby Creek.
There were mid-week fishermen along the banks, but no other traffic. I walked for about a half hour (longer than it would normally take, but it was already in the 80s), and eventually, the trees on either side gave way to a clearing.
By the 1970s, it had fallen into disrepair and was heavily vandalized. A "friends of" group formed, had it designated historic and began restoration. Now it's open on Sunday afternoons for a few hours for tours, but otherwise, it's just this lovely quiet spot at the end of a quiet road. With water.
I found a bank that wasn't too muddy, took off my shoes, and did just that. It was cold, fast-moving, and the feel of the water moving over my feet took my body temperature down a good 20 degrees.
I sat there for a while, until I heard voices on the path, and a few joggers arrived with the same idea. We nodded and said hello, and after a few minutes I got up, shook myself dry, and started back toward home, in a totally different frame of mind.
It's just been lovely finding so many quiet, green places close to home that make me feel like we've moved much further from the city than we have.
The best part of this little morning wander away from home was the clearing effect it had on my head. I'd been puzzling away on how I wanted to start on a project (the happy family of critters I wrote about recently), and when I got in from my walk, I went right to the machine and started work and it all made sense.
Coming back, we took a slight variation that I had noticed on my walk, but not taken. I already wanted to get back to my sewing machine, and I was afraid that another side trip would distract me - and it would have. Turns out there's a whole recreation area down there by the creek, with areas for cookouts, a swimming hole, a water fall, and - most fun for me to watch - ropes for adventurous swimmers (all adolescent boys) to swing out over the water.
Driving can be nice if you know where you're going, but if you're trying to explore a new place, there's nothing better than getting lost on foot, and finding out for yourself what's close to home.