Bucket List

Great news!

This evening I initiated the creation of a Bucket List page compiling numerous ambitions and goals I wish to achieve throughout my mortal life.

The beauty of the list is limitless, continual growth. Even as I check off completed goals I will constantly be adding new desires, both random and meaningful. Each achievement will warrant an elaborate post, smiley face sticker, and maybe even a cake.

I look forward to all of you joining me on my journey.

Pick Me Up

No matter how awful I feel or how miserable my week has been, there is one little town with the gift of melting away any anxieties or suffering, Warwick, NY.

Cruising along Route 17, windows down, XM’s The Highway blasting, the feeling of anticipation heightens as the highway turns into small town roads leading through Sloatsburg and Tuxedo, before abruptly transforming into a 55mph serpentine along the side of a mountain. Reaching the top, drivers witness stunning views of the surrounding countryside before disappearing into a mass of foliage. The journey is all part of the experience.

Warwick is the ideal small town. It consists of a lively downtown area with boutique shops and restaurants as well as jewelry stores and salons, but directly outside of the downtown area is the country. Rolling hillsides meet orchards of apple trees, low valleys filled with wild raspberry bushes. Horse farms are in abundance and everything is lush and beautiful. The downtown is constantly host to county wide events such as the Applefest in the fall, farmer’s markets every weekend, and festivals of all sorts.

I have been horseback riding in this country town in upstate NY for the past fourteen years, never truly appreciating its quaint, country charms until the past two years. My routine visit usually includes breakfast at Le Petite Cuisine, a fabulous French restaurant across from the train station with marvelous concoctions and fresh, warm, buttery croissants. Their breakfast crepe is to die for. I follow this lavish meal with a long horse ride through the 200 acre plot of hay fields, woodland and rivers that makes up Quiet Creek Stable. After a cool down, I meet up with my cousin Lindsay for some family time, usually over more food.

This past weekend (Columbus Day Weekend), I ventured outside of Warwick to the small town of Sugar Loaf, NY. Known for its crafts and artsy crowd, this town was host to a Fall Festival featuring local artists and designers. The street was closed to make way for tent after tent of jewelry, paintings, baked goods, leather wares, and gifts of all sorts. I took my 10 month old puppy, Darby and everyone fawned over her. She is such a beautiful girl.

The fair was great! I even found a baker with organic dogs treats; Darby devoured them in moments. It was perfect. I look forward to exploring some more towns in Orange Country.

[I’ll add some photos to this on my next trip.]

Good Ol’ Days

“Catherine, sometime we need to sit down with Shutterfly so you can show me how to do this.” This statement has been repeated to me four or five times in the past two months, never actually achieving what it intended until early this morning.

Clad in spandex and Vibrams, chugging from a beat up Nalgene while getting mentally prepared for a strenuous workout, my Father approaches. He casually mentions Shutterfly as I browse through CNN’s articles on the recent legalization of Gay marriage in New York state. With about twenty minutes before I need to leave to catch a Pilates class, I featly slide in front of the monitor and begin to breeze through old photographs.

The days of taking film to be developed are long gone. Our childhood memories were all caught by the old fashion method and developed at the local camera and film shop. My father brought countless rolls of film as we was permanently attached to the camera on every family vacation and holiday. It took some time, but the shop finally went out of business a few months back. Soon after we received notification of all our memories being captured digitally on Shutterfly.

A decade old, most of the photographs were of us children running, playing, and making silly faces at the camera. Some of my father with a full head of hair or my mother cooking cottage cheese pancakes and roast turkey. Another that struck me, my childhood riding instructor, Virginia Martin. A brilliant woman, innovative for her time. She passed a few years ago after a long struggle with bone cancer. Others are of my childhood dog, Shelby. The best Golden Retriever known to man. She is fourteen now. Time has finally caught up to her as she struggles to get around, but manages to wag her tail a million times a minute.

Time seems to get away with us sometimes. I look back on these photos, remembering the times shared with family and friends almost wishing I could go back to those carefree days of rolling around in the snow and searching for starfish among the rocks at the beach.

Needless to say, I never actually made it to the gym this morning.