“Be sweet,” handsome hunk calmly says to me when my sarcasm or caustic mouth starts to get out of control. Sometimes hearing that only discharges both barrels, but most of the time I stop and tell myself, “Yeah, I need to get a grip.” It’s one of many little tricks we’ve devised to cope with each other’s humanity. Sometimes a successful relationship is nurtured just by humoring each other from time to time. Like yesterday when I agreed to get up early today to go on an excursion to the forest preserve in the ‘burbs for a hike. “Sure, sure,” I mumbled. Going for a walk in the woods sounded great, but getting up early on a Sunday less so.

This morning at 7:30, we left the clear skies of the city and soon encountered a blanket of fog and chill in the air. Thirty minutes later we pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead. Starting to lift, the fog still cloaked the trees; there was no one else around except a few random runners and we were enveloped by a tranquil, muted beauty. I stood still. Silence, except for a few chirping birds. Quite different from the sounds of trains, els and frustrated taxi drivers that punctuate our daily lives.

It was a 4.5 mile up and down trail through woods, fields and around ponds. The fog made everything pastel, even the pond “scum.”

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We encountered several beautiful spider webs, this one with the dew still on it. It triggered a discussion about the difference between a cob web and spider web – I still need to research that.

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Some things are still brilliant even in the foggy morning:

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We passed along a meadow as the sun started to burn through the fog and it sounded like rain in the trees. It was only the acorns and other nuts dropping through the leaves to the ground.

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We startled several sunning bullfrogs in this little part of one of the ponds:

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Getting out of the city was a healing change of pace for me. I’ve been in a very unsweet mood since Obama’s speech and the inexcusable rudeness that erupted threw me for a loop. In today’s NYT’s, Maureen Dowd has come to the reluctant conclusion that racism is at the crux of this. Sadly that is what I believe to be true too. My daughter tells me to get over it and consider the source, but this recent behavior really is like a kick to the gut. Sometimes we ponder if there is intelligent life on other planets, I wonder if there’s intelligent life here on earth.

Ok, be sweet.

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