Hello, Springtime!

The weather this winter in the Pacific Northwest (and much of the West) has been nothing short of incredible—as long as you're more a fan of sun and warm temps than any mountain snow whatsoever. And apparently I am. Mentally, I feel so much more at peace with everything right now than I probably would be if I were stuck under the usual grey cloud-cover while walking along streets that never seem to dry. (I feel weird using the phrase "at peace," because it sounds like something my free-spirited sister would say, but I don't know how else to describe it.) Instead, the last several weekends have been consistently clear-skyed, unseasonably warm, and full of promise for what I hope will be an equally nice spring. In fact, it's hard to believe that it's not spring already, since the flowers and trees are already blooming.

This weekend the forecast was for more 60-degree days, so all I wanted to do was be outside as much as possible. I'd been wanting to go for a hike for a while, since so many pictures I'd seen showed that the trails were relatively clear of snow and ice, and I finally decided to do Annette Lake on Saturday.

I didn't try too hard to find anyone else who might want to go, since I thought it would be good to take my dog and let us go at our own pace. I'm glad I did that, because it was nice to just be out there in nature, not trying to make conversation along the way. It was a freaking gorgeous day, and warm enough to wear just a sweatshirt for most of the trek (including at the destination). Ellie walked the first mile or so, and then (as expected) I carried her the rest of the three miles to the lake. We had lunch there, took some selfies, and then started back since there were a lot of groups arriving. I was so impressed that Ellie walked almost the entire way down! I carried her for half a mile, and that's it. She got lots of attention along the way from dozens of people who stopped to say hi to her. Life's rough for a cute, tiny dog. Overall, the hike was really great, and I'm looking forward to doing it again this spring or summer after the lake thaws out.

Continuing the outdoors trend, Sunday was all about softball. I honestly didn't do very well today, but we played for about three hours, and then got food and drinks after. And, I'll admit, I felt like such a spaz today that on my way home I stopped at Big 5 to get a bat and some balls, and had my own little practice at Ballard Playfield. Hopefully I'll do a bit better next time. It really is fun and I'm starting to learn, but it's been so long since I've thrown a ball, let alone tried to catch one in a glove. Practice makes perfect?

Next weekend isn't supposed to be quite as nice, but I think I'll try to do another hike, this time with my sister, and I'm pretty sure softball will be involved again, as well. Lather, rinse, repeat. No complaints.