Today is not the last day of October. It’s not even the first day of November. Four days into November and I still haven’t written a Best of October post! What a disorganized blogger I am. Although in my defense, I finished a book and I’m 4700 words into a NaNo project, planning on getting back to it as soon as I post. So, yeah, words are being written.

October — wow. It started out at a driveway in Maine, included a quick Boston visit with some fantastic sushi, a night in a parking lot because of lousy weather, and a too-brief family visit in PA. And then, of course, my adventures in Virginia and North Carolina. Two national forest campgrounds and dispersed camping in a national forest, a national park campground (on the Blue Ridge Parkway), an Army Corps of Engineers campground, and a county park, followed by two more familiar driveways.

scenic view
The Jefferson National Forest, according to my photos app.

Looking back over my daily words, I was sick for a tremendous amount of the month. Not the kind of thing I blog about usually, but boy, did I whine about it a lot in my morning words. Fortunately, that’s not going to be what I remember from the month. Instead, I will remember writing good words in a beautiful forest, feeling peaceful and happy while walking Zelda, appreciating some really incredible scenery while I drove — the Blue Ridge Parkway is gorgeous — and lots of nice sociability with family and friends.

But for my favorite place, the true highlight of my month, I’m going to pick Little Fort Campground in the George Washington National Forest, where in my morning words, I wrote:

Today is a day for thinking about Fen and appreciating my life. 

Ooh, I did mean to write about moments of awe. The best part of my drive yesterday was when I actually starting thinking about 2019, trying to remember where I’ve been and what I’ve done and it was… amazing? I feel like that’s such a strong word, but the reality was a canyon in Texas and the night sky, and feeling awed, and a farm on the Olympic Peninsula with Pam and loving the air & the oysters, and those sand dunes with Suzanne and sitting in a beautiful parking lot, and Fort Bragg, rainy sea glass beach, and cupcakes, and sushi with Chris, and a shooting star in Maine, and the front porch of Trish’s house, writing with a view, also in Maine, and so many, many beautiful memories.

But the things that really stood out were things like last night, listening to the wind in the trees, feeling these moments of awed surprised connection with nature. Night skies and water sunrises with fog and the music of the trees. Z is now up and just about to tell me that it’s time to open the door and it’s also time for me to eat breakfast, but it was really — well, amazing — to drive down the road and feel grouchy about driving and rain and traffic and have that turn into memories of beauty. And all beauty of the single past year. I am phenomenally lucky and blessed. Yes, my choices brought me here, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am lucky and blessed. 

Morning words are a little more incoherent than words I would usually post, but the three days that I spent in that forest were, for whatever reason, days where I really savored my life. Really good days, in other words. And I’m going to call them the best days of a solidly good month.