The gift of a day...

An early morning fog lays thin across the pasture and fields when I leave home for appointments in the city, but as I turn onto the rural highway and head west, the fog seems to melt in an instant in the sun's majestic rise.

The horizon behind me is brushed orange and wispy clouds streak across the massive globe's face, and the reflection in my rear view mirror is breathtaking.

I've been looking forward to this day for a week. Since Louis' retirement two months ago, I've yet to establish a new and happy rhythm for meeting my introvert longings for silence and solitude. I'm thrilled for Louis and incredibly grateful for this new season of opportunities for both of us, but like every life change, it requires adjusting to a new normal. The hour drive alone to the city and then back home appeals to my longings.

The appointment with my orthopedic surgeon is equally anticipated. As strange as it may sound, I've missed seeing him and his staff as frequently as before. A few months before my surgeries two years ago, I wrote:
My Thursday morning trips to the city to see Lizzie for knee injections are almost like going to church. I leave that office not just with medicine in my knee, but inspired and encouraged to steadfastness and hope
This visit I leave copies of our book for my doctor, his nurse and Lizzie (who, sadly, is on vacation), and we talk photography, church, and going to Israel as much as we do my health. And when the doctor tells me I'm a poster patient for recovery from knee surgery and he doesn't need to see me again for 5 years unless I have a problem, I'm actually heartbroken. 

My second appointment is for lab work and is less anticipated. I don't dread it, I have lab work often and schedule it ahead of time so I don't have to wait, so when I open the door to the waiting room with no empty seats and a heavy aroma of too many people in one room, I'm grateful I'd made an appointment. I arrive early so I'm not surprised that I'm not called soon after signing in, but when my appointment time passes I begin to wonder.

The receptionist informs me that she has no record of my appointment and that it will therefore be at least another 45 minute wait so I might want to reschedule. I resist the urge to argue or complain and tell her I live too far away to reschedule. I'll just wait. I'm learning again and again to accept challenges and inconveniences and interruptions to my predetermined plans with grace. They might be divinely appointed, after all. 

I shop for a few necessities, order a tall iced coffee, and return to the highway and the quiet and solitude of driving the rural route home. 

Along the way I briefly stop by a small and rarely visited park. The end of summer is merely a date on the calendar, and I haven neither the desire nor the fortitude to stay long in the heat and humidity that will linger well into fall down here, but I don't like to pass by opportunities to seek and capture beauty. 

I told my editor a few weeks ago that I'm a slow and insecure writer. As much as I wish I could tell her that I'll meet deadlines early, I know I'm going to hold on to the final second. I edit (and still miss errors) to the nth degree before I press send. That said, I'm going to try to be less insecure and more productive here in Pollywog Creek, but I'm not making promises. 

I have a couple of book reviews (and giveaways) scheduled over the next couple of weeks. AND I'm resurrecting Encou{RA}age, hopefully with the addition of many guest posts. I wrote a revised introduction here, and a fantastic contribution from Amy Smith was posted yesterday. Please visit Amy and consider subscribing and sharing Encou{RA}ge with someone you know who lives with an invisible, autoimmune disease like RA. 

Enough about me. What about you? Have you or are you experiencing a life change that is requiring adjustments in your routine? And are you an introvert like me who loves people but also craves quiet and solitude?