Calming Autumn Scenery
One View of My Weekly Walk

Despite the cliché post title, this week for me is seriously the calm before the storm!

Not only are we making the 15-hour drive in one day up to Spokane Washington this Friday, but I also have 80 final papers to grade to the tune of 135,000 words, over the next 10 days.

My students used to submit hard copies of their papers in which I could read while my hubby drove, but in the classes I teach these days, students submit their assignments online through the university portal. So much for multi-tasking.

Other frenetic moments looming include food shopping, packing for the road trip and waking up at 3:00 am to begin the drive. Not to mention, enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with 35 other people occupying multiple generations. And the threat of Black Friday deals, the stress of overeating, then the inevitable long drive back home.

Winter Scene Spokane
Last November’s walk in Spokane, WA

For the Thanksgiving holidays, we are staying in a dog-friendly hotel which should help with the feeling of calm. Usually, we stay with family, but other family members beat us to the available guest rooms. Believe me, I am thankful for our large family and we have loads of fun, but daily walks and hikes (weather permitting) and some downtime are the only ways I can cope with most holiday gatherings.

A Leafy Path

Autumn is my favorite time of year and enjoying the fall leaves and colors brings me peace. Hiking in the woods with my dogs provides a calm respite from the craziness of the holidays and helps me work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie. Unlike many, when walking outdoors, I choose to unplug any tech and just listen to nature and the wind in the trees. Breathing in the cold, crisp air is also calming.

leaves red riot
Calming effect of nature’s beauty

Walking along the water is another way to calm my spirit when stress is nigh. Before we traveled home from San Diego in October, we took a walk on the bayside of Pacific Beach near where my step-daughter lives.

Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront
Walking Along Pacific Beach Bayfront

I am blessed to live in a decent suburban neighborhood where it is safe to walk my dogs. I’m linking with Restless Jo’s Morning Walk this week and sharing why walking in nature brings me calm!

I am also linking with Dawn’s Festival of Leaves.

As I seek some calm this week, I hope you can share your version of “calm” in your creative ways through images, poetry, music, and stories.

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85 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Walking Through the #Calm Before the Storm

  1. Oh my, that is quite a trip you have lined up. I hope it goes well and the weather cooperates. I also have to smile about your school papers. I remember when computers were going to make our lives easier with more free time, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. (Of course, I am communicating with you instantly over several thousand miles of ocean so it’s not all bad!)
    Here’s my calm offering:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find myself feeling sorry for the hostess, Terri. I had a gathering of 12 here the other day and the room was full. 🙂 🙂 I guess you all ‘muck in’ together. A special time of year for friends and family but we do create our own stress sometimes. I did enjoy sharing the leaves with you though. Thank you very much! Happy Thanksgiving, when it rolls around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo, so much fun to share a walk with you! My sis-in-law is amazing as a hostess and preps long before the big day. And they have the house for it. All the kiddos will create a little stress for us but we can retreat to our hotel when it gets crazy. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm..seems to me there should be a way to read these papers. How about a tablet and hot spots? Download to your kindle?
    Remember when all the interent was dial up and we had the option to “View Page Offline”? You somehow saved the page to your PC and then you didn’t have to go on lone to look at it, of course you would miss changes and updates but…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. EEK…those are a lot of papers to read. You can’t do it in the car online. I swear, that’s how I spend most of my time when Rob is driving here or there lately? LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Know just how you feel Terri. I had 4 family members last week and 4 more due next week. Much smaller numbers but always harder to host vs visit. I too seek walks outdoors to find calm but our 4 days of awful weather hindered that! I finally put my golf rainsuit on and walked in the cold rain. Well worth it! Loved your images this week

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s some drive ahead of you, Terri. At least you’re leaving during the calm of the early morning. I know it means getting up extra early, but it’ll be worth it.

    I’m also a huge fan of Autumn and the cool crisp days it brings. I never want Autumn to end. Good to hear that you also go technology free on your walks. The same goes for me.

    Here’s my vision of calm.

    Enjoy the calm before the storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can feel the stress. Having that many papers to read is intimidating because it’s so many hours of work in front of you! Enjoy those nature walks and I think you already know that you will get everything done in time! Enjoy Thanksgiving with the family! It’s my favorite holiday! I”ll miss it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Terri – it sounds like you too have experience finding calm to get you through challenges. Planning is the hard part, you’ve done well to ensure the weekend trip goes well. Too bad you can’t download all the papers to your laptop so you could review while you ride in the car. Technology is nice, but as you said, it has drawbacks for multi-taskers! Your photos made me smile – I love all the colors and the feeling of calmness. Ahhh…just what I needed! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I did enjoy them! Your photos always tell such great stories, your composition is inspiring. I admire teachers and how much they have to balance to get their jobs done. Thank you for your dedication to your students. I hope you do get them all done so you can take a relaxing walk and enjoy family fun without worrying about papers!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. 15 hours! My sister just moved up to Seattle area. That makes my drive north of 20 hours to see her (I’m in SoCal). Yikes!

    On another note, I happened to stumble on your Rate My Professor page (looking for your blog–I can’t remember the details). Your students love you! Congrats on that, Terri.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I couldn’t agree more with your walking in nature without headphones (or blaring music, which seems to grow in popularity among the younger crowds), Terri. Nature is the #1 deliverer of calm to me – forests and seaside.

    Enjoy the holidays with family! We won’t have any around this Thanksgiving (which also happens to be my birthday) and Christmas. Usually, we have friends or each other around and I don’t care too much, but Mark will be working nightshifts those days as well, which takes away any festive spirit!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Terri! Great post – fall delight I call
    And can you grade papers via Portal
    On your phone ? I was able to do this with some applications a while ago – like canvas had a way to scroll
    Word documents –
    Either way – best wishes with those papers and the holiday sounds fun with a large family!
    And when visiting family –
    There is a time for using a guest room (well
    When available) and a time to get a hotel – and then there are times to get nice hotel vs going on the cheap! And well –
    I guess there is also a time
    For dog friendly

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yvette! As much as we love waking up to fresh coffee at my in-laws’ home, we do have to share the wealth this year. I’m getting ahead of the paper grading game with only a few left, so I will have to find some other entertainment on the road 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh that is awesome that you are able to knock out the papers before hand (angels singing above – hahaha)
        And there are times when staying in the guest room allows for more time together – like at morning coffee and all the in between times – – and so nice of you to share the wealth so to speak.
        And seriously cannot believe the holidays are almost upon us! My neighbors put up their Christmas lights on the weekend and I know some say it’s too soon (and we will wait til after thanksgiving for any of ours) but they have brought light and joy to their corner – and I texted them a thanks
        – and in a way – your post has gotten me in the mood for thanksgiving ….

        Liked by 1 person

  12. The thought of that drive is enough to stir me up! But if the same sights await you as you captured from last year’s walk, the trip will be well worth it. Plus being with all of the family – a hectic but treasured time.
    Need to get busy on my photos as the month is slipping by.Safe travels my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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