Three weeks ago our neighbors moved to Manly, and left a fridge behind in our garage. It was nice of them to bequeath it, in spite of us not needing a fridge. A quick photo and underpriced post on Gumtree freed up our garage and gave me an extra $50 for Christmas. I had a notion to pay it back to them, but decided a payment forward was going to have to do for now. I knew right away that I wanted to get a used hiking pack for Nolan. How could we properly enjoy New Zealand without it? A lightweight, gently used pack is expensive, even on Gumtree. On Saturday morning I made a mad dash to pick one up and even talked the price down a bit. Now we needed a test run. Where better than to return to our favorite date hike, Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
The 1km climb to the top of the lighthouse is maybe a little shorter than Stone Mountain, but much steeper. There is sand on most of the steps, and several hikers were going barefoot. I was proud of Ana for making it to the top and watched several children hiking about that were equally as impressive. One daughter that looked to be 8 or 9 was training with her father in sleek running gear and was in better shape than either Paul or I. We took our time and Paul as always paid attention to detail, making sure everyone was hydrated and covered in sunscreen.
Today's view was on the hazier side, and I admit I enjoyed the ride along the coast home more than the hike. I needed the exercise, but still prefer going new places. I had been feeling down about missing out on so much of my families lives back home, and my husband knew just how to cheer me up. We drove down several private windy and steep roads near islolated homes with spectacular ocean views. All the while listening to Radio Paradise and dreaming about the future. I try to repress the loneliness I feel about living such an vegabond lifestyle - shouldn't I be used to it after 30 years? You never commit emotionally to a situation which eventually leads to consequences. The act of being disconnected feels more comfortable and awkwardness in social situations ensue. The more awkward you are around people, the more you want to isolate yourself and thus the downward spiral. It's not easy to escape this pattern in the digital age that provides you with every means of escape at your fingertips. I just take each day in stride, and realize you can always choose to have love in your heart.