While Raul has been truly hard at work and getting settled in Germany, I am staying busy here at home, especially working on my dissertation, which I want to finish as quickly as possible. But now that I have more time for myself, I have done some things for pleasure as well. I took two Continuing Education classes through the local community college which were about Forest Ecology and Agronomy, subjects that interest me. I also visited one of our state parks south of Saint Louis, Mastodon Historical Site. They have a few trails that I traversed. I normally like to be in nature alone and in the peace and quiet, but on the last trail the morning of my visit, a middle-aged woman intercepted me, warning that there was a large snake across the path. Once she realized that I was not fazed by snakes (only spiders) and was going to begin the trail, she attached herself to me, and thus we walked the mile together. No snake was sighted. I tried to be an attentive listener, so I was unable to pay attention to any of the scenery around me, but I did learn all about the lady’s children, her workout routine, and her plastic surgery plans.
Another morning, I went to Forest Park on a whim, something that I probably would not have done if Raul were here. Now, the time in the mornings that I used to spend packing his lunch or making his breakfast I can employ for whatever I want. It is one of the benefits that have arisen from our situation, but I cannot say that I would trade Raul permanently for the time to myself.
An additional delight that has lifted my mood since Raul has been gone is sighting animals. That same morning at Forest Park, I saw a turtle (my third-favorite animal) hustling toward a tree. I went over to him, but he felt me approaching and drew up his little legs and head into his shell so that I couldn’t see him. I left him alone and watched him from a distance as he cautiously exposed himself again. I also watch for rabbits (my second-favorite animal) around our house, which gives me great pleasure. They are very energetic in the morning and are not too hard to find. Finally, I have also spotted the resident fox who lives in a wooded area a short distance behind my house. He is very beautiful and graceful. I watched him bound over a tall fence with ease. And of course, his red hair, like mine, is a beauteous sight to behold indeed.
The upcoming weekend will bring my move into the house of my gracious parents-in-law, and then the cleaning, preparation, and selling of the house will commence.
Since it is already May 23rd in Germany, Happy Anniversary, Raul!