Thursday, March 8, 2012

A walk in the park and then some

Sunday afternoon we ventured out for a walk with the dog. I have a website I use to find hikes within 30 miles of our house and it's great because it includes the length and difficulty and also the approximate time required to complete different hikes in the area. In addition, hikers who have taken the various hikes leave helpful notes relating to any issues they ran into along the way. Comments like, 'Lovely walk around the reservoir, didn't make it to the other side as we encountered two bear and felt the need to turn around.'

Like I said-helpful.

Now normally hubs and I are on the same page with this sort of thing but on Sunday it seems we were not. We were both prickly. Actually, hubs was prickly and I responded in kind. He may dispute this point but suffice it to say moodiness was plentiful when we started out.

He was not too keen on this destination from the get-go but I didn't pick up on that until we were en route. Normally hubs is not one to beat around the bush, that's my department. He's more of a tell it like it is kind of guy except for some reason on Sunday he wasn't. Or maybe he was and I neglected to listen which is also a possibility to consider but I'm telling the story so we'll go with my take on the whole thing.

Which always ends well so don't you worry.

We didn't have the sat nav with us so we were winging it a little and as we got closer we could tell this hike wasn't for us. Okay, maybe hubs could tell long before we got close and then when we got close there may have been a little I told you so but whatever, there was too much suburb and not enough woods and space.

Not only that but we couldn't figure out the crazy parking which only made one of us more irritated. We turned around and drove back towards home, each one feeling disappointed and annoyed with the other. It doesn't make sense but that's how married life is sometimes.

It's quite often the little things.

As we were zipping along in our respective silences we noticed a sign with an arrow pointing to a lake and at the last minute hubs turned off and asked if I'd 'seen any trails in this area' and... 'remember when we lived in NJ a long time ago and I used to go to the office this way' and 'there's a sign for a bear crossing!' and giggles and 'oh shoot, I wish I had a picture of the sign' and ever so slowly the tension in the car began to ebb. We wound around and around and over and through, away from the edges and back to the middle. While it wasn't where we thought we were going we did end up in a really beautiful place.

That's also how married life is sometimes.

The trees parted as we came round a bend and there sat Ringwood Manor which has a long history dating back to our #1 President-

Let's not forget to mention the fabulous grounds with plenty of geese to chase-

We rambled and peeked and photographed and as the clock ticked we found our way back to our everyday normal.

Lenape Indians once lived in this area and nothing would make my hubs happier than to stumble across an artifact from those days. They're still finding what the park service refers to as 'new old roads of historical significance' in this park so ya just never know, do you?

We stood where George Washington stood and we thought about that for a while. Ringwood Manor was at one time home to Robert Erskine who managed three iron making plantations from this location and went on to become the army's first geographer and surveyor and General Washington's mapmaker.

I love finding a small slice of history pie on a Sunday afternoon in March.

We laughed at our crazy wannabe circus dog and decided to extend the day, taking the long way home. Suddenly it didn't matter that we weren't sure of our precise location and when or if we'd hit the main highway. We felt our way back...around the lake, thru a little village, stopping for a late afternoon meal, and then finally pulling back into our own driveway.

When you've been married for many years and you're feeling cranky, blah, or just inexplicably touchy its easy to use a sharp tone. It's equally easy to use no somehow expect your other half to read your mind, know what you're feeling and act accordingly. Doesn't work that way.

Will I never learn?

We have choices. Every minute of every hour of every day.
When moodiness rolls in I tend to like to wallow in it for a while.
Not attractive I know, but there it is.
Hubs does not wallow. He likes to put it all out there. No holds barred but then let's move on.

I've learned thru the years that little things in married life are not really so little. Those are the kinds of things that wind up pinging around inside your brain. Little things need to be dealt with before they pile up because we all know what happens when stuff gets stacked too high.

Did you know swans generally mate for life?

Thankfully so did we.

I love that my husband can make me laugh even when I want so badly to be mad. He knows that's what I need to shake a mood. I know that's what I need too, even when I'm too stubborn to admit it.

Sometimes married life really is a walk in the park.


  1. wow this is amazing!!! i love history and the feelings I get when I stand where people have stood...I live not to far from one of the places Belle Star looked out and it is so amazing.

    thank you for sharing with us


  2. Wonderful post about marriage. Prickly moments that turn into laughter happens with all good marriages. It's when prickly moments stay that way is when troubles begin.
    I love the pictures you took about the historic history of our country. Have you ever been to Valley Forge National Park when you lived in the area? The pictures remind me of Valley Forge, where George Washington camped.
    Have a good weekend.

  3. Can you email me that website? we like to do things like this too.
    Your husband sounds very much like mine!

  4. Love it and your are so's not always easy but well worth the hike together. Lovely pictures! Have a wonderful day!

  5. Lovely story. It's amazing to me when I stand where history took place ... DH and I are talking about taking a tour of Civil War battle sights. Your post has gotten me to thinking that maybe we need to plan a tour of Revolutionary War sights, too. ;-)

  6. Nice post, Joyce. Sometimes we all have those kinds of days. I'm glad yours ended well--and with lots of nice photos :)

  7. My family would love to know what web site you use to find/vet trails. Will you share it with us? Thanks!

  8. I start everyday by looking for and reading your post. Every cactus has a prickly exterior. In my case there is also a cactus flower. That would be you. Corny I know but the thorn / flower partnership anology works. Sorry - I'm not the writer you are. Oh, by the way...this is HUBS.

  9. Wow...that is a gorgeous place and I loved the running narrative. Thank you so for sharing it.

  10. Hi Joyce, first time visitor here. Great pics. Makes me want to take the fam to a historical place and spend the day.

  11. Your view of married life is so true. It works when we know and care for each others moods. Great pics of the Ringwood Estate. Have a good day.

  12. I love it! Love the description of marriage and the awesome pics from your walk. :)

    Marriage is hard but its worth it.

  13. I'm glad to hear that other couples have days like that too. Thanks for the pictures - Lovely!

  14. You live in a beautiful area. Not what I thought of NJ at all.
    Yeah, marriage. Challenging sometimes even after all these years, huh?

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  16. This whole senero seems so familiar... I think I am going to have my soon-to-be-married girlie read this post!

  17. Such a wonderful post, Joyce...been there myself many times! At least you ended up in a beautiful place to explore, right?

  18. This is such a great post! So very true. Sometimes it's those surprise detours that end up being the very best. What a neat place you ended up finding, and that manor is gorgeous. I'm glad your day wasn't ruined.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  19. what a fun post! your pics and words are great...and what a walk it turned out to be!!! I have a good man too...guess I should be telling him that more!!
    i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  20. We all have days like this. I want hub to read my mind and some days I am so exhausted after school, I need him to read my mind immediately-which of course he doesn't! Silly Me, right?
    Pictures are beautiful.

  21. I wonder how many young couples would have ended up in an all out brawl and let the weekend be ruined? As we get older I think we just roll with it. We have been married almost 25 years and I don't go anywhere without a pair of tweezers. They really help when Art gets the prickles. :)

  22. Very nice photographs, nice narrative about married life.

  23. Great post Joyce and great pics too. And was that a first comment from the Hubs?? That was very nice too!

  24. A lovely walk, sightseeing or afternoon tea (I share your love for "all things England"!) are three of my favorite things when I need a break. Ringwood Manor looks charming.

  25. Oh, what a wonderful post. I love analogy - so true! I am going to try to keep your post top of mind whenever I find myself being prickly.

  26. What a sweet story Joyce. Looks like you found a lovely place to walk around. So pretty!