En plein air is a French expression that means in the open air and is usually used to describe the act of painting outdoors.
However, part of our son’s recent visit occurred in plane air as Len piloted us to one of the many adventures we had during his stay.
Cruising at an altitude of 9,500 feet and a speed of 140 knots in a Cessna 182, the whole family — including Willa — enjoyed a bird’s-eye view as Len flew us over many of Idaho’s gorgeous peaks and valleys.
Much of Idaho’s rugged terrain is threaded by blue ribbons of rivers — many of them tributaries of the mighty Columbia River — whose fresh water eventually makes it to the salty brine of the Pacific Ocean.
What’s your most recent en plein air (in the open air) experience?
Our son is coming for a whirlwind visit — Woohoo! As we plan how we’ll invest our time together, we’re referring to the “Idaho Bucket List” we received when we met up with friends at “Story Story Night” in downtown Boise.
Published by Boise State Public Radio, the lengthy list includes:
Spend the night in a forest fire lookout Picnic at Shoshone Falls on the Snake River Pan for gold Bike the Hiawatha Trail Catch an Idaho trout
What sights or activities would you take visitors to see or do in your neck of the woods?
The historic Warm Springs district in Boise has a plethora of beautiful, ornate gates and doors that we admire on our daily walks, but my favorites are the well-worn, rustic ones that look like they belong in a Hobbit shire. Seeing them reminds me of a song we used to sing when I was growing up:
One door and only one And yet its sides are two Inside and outside On which side are you?
Do you feel like you’re on the inside or the outside?
We love Boise, Idaho. Absolutely love it! On one of our regular walks, we discovered a new addition to the neighborhood, a Take a Book — Leave a Book stand. Completely weatherproof and chock full of good reads, I could hardly wait to get home, find a book, run back, and trade it in.
The give and take concept works beautifully in this context: Take one book. Leave one book. A delightful balance.
Their both important — give and take — yet sometimes they can be a bit unbalanced:
With seventy-percent of the earth’s surface covered by water, it’s no wonder the ocean is nature’s most spectacular force.
Colloquially known as Paddy’s Milestone, Ailsa Craig—a beautiful island just off the west coast of Scotland—is where the stones in our pendants were collected. The stones were smoothed by the tumbling waves of the sea, and are now worn by my husband, son, and self.
Strength to weather a storm
Be calm and patient
Be yourself—down-to-earth, non-superficial
Flow—move forward with the natural current of life, don’t fight against the tides
In Scotland, it’s traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns grow ever larger. An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn — “I’ll put a stone on your cairn.”
With recent brutal temperatures (we’ve flirted with 50-degrees below zero with windchill factored in), I’ve been listening to my favorite rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside — a duet Rod Stewart shares with Dolly Parton.
In these frigid conditions, schools close, numerous employees telecommute from home, and some people become homebound. For many, the world can look downright dreary, even on the inside where it’s warm and toasty.
To beat the winter blues, do you:
Exercise inside — yoga, tai chi, hula hoop
Exercise outside — ice skate, snowboard, sled
Read books, watch movies, meditate
Bake, scrapbook, build a ship in a bottle
What boosts your spirits in the winter months and keeps you from feeling gloomy?