Saturday, September 24, 2011

Escape with Me, by Sandra Crowley

Have you ever worked too hard for too long and awakened to a ditto day compounded with a bad case of “Don’t want to!”?


That was me a short time ago. I had mimicked the methodical, responsible hero, David Graham, in my romantic suspense novel, Caught by a Clown, far too long.

It was time to flip sides and exercise a bit of the book's heroine, spontaneous, fun-loving Stacie Monroe. I stepped outside my bedroom door, curled dew-drenched toes in long grass, battled the impulse to add mowing to my day’s work, and inhaled crisp fresh air. Freedom, relaxation lay a few feet away.

I opted for a fresh adventure.

Bottled water and lunch packed, I drove higher to an area I hadn’t explored yet. Late blooming wild flowers colored an inviting meadow. Bees buzzed busy, zigzag flights bloom to bloom, unmindful of my intrusion or the clackety-whirr of grasshoppers that enhanced their name with short aerial feats. Was each of these insects laboring through a Mother Nature imprinted TO DO list made all the more imperative by shorter days and cooler temps?

This one flew in last year to see how I lived.

A Mountain Blue Bird flitted past. Wing feathers caught the sun’s rays in iridescent flashes that flicked my guilt at playing hookey.  

I pulled a deep breath and set my gaze and feet wandering the meadow. Bits of red scattered across the ground captured my attention. Strawberry vines criss-crossed dirt and stone. Their tough tangle tripped me as if to say, “Stop a minute. Enjoy my fruit. It’s tiny but flavorful.” Four legged critters had thinned the pea-sized morsels to a bare handful that I quickly discovered rivaled any plump farmed variety. Concepts of duty and responsibility dropped away as nature’s sweetness lingered on my tongue and sunshine warmed my face. I struck out across a thin track the meadow’s grazers had left behind. The chilly shelter of Ponderosa Pines foretold autumn’s shorter, cooler days. I explored the deep timber. Scents of pine and loam thickened the air as I ducked branches and climbed over deadfalls. In a small clearing ahead, a golden glow graced the ground within a patch of sunshine. I’d stumbled onto a prize of Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms.

Yum. Yum. This treasure was destined for a date with a sauté pan, butter, garlic and onion.  I gathered the funnel shaped fungus, brushing pine needles and woody loam away from the smooth caps whose gill like ridges ran almost all the way down the stipes. High in Vitamins C & D as well as potassium, my treasure would turn into a healthy dinner. To be certain, I broke open a few to compare against the poisonous Jack-O’-Lantern, whose interior flesh is yellow-orange rather than the true Chanterelle’s white meat.

Professional quality pic of Jack O' Lantern mushrooms courtesy of Wikipedia
I stored my find in my vest pockets and rinsed my hands in a nearby stream. The gliding water’s throaty murmur lured me along its path far from civilization.
Further on, the stream quickened:

You can see from the shaky camera work that it was time to head back. Refreshed, relaxed, I returned home with the anticipation of the golden chanterelles titillating my taste buds.

I hope the last few minutes have given you a bit of the peace I enjoyed that day. We all need a change of scenery or activity once in a while. That’s an underlying theme in my romantic suspense, Caught by a Clown, available in paperback and ebook at The Wild Rose PressAmazon Books, Amazon Kindle and others.
Thank you,
Sandra Crowley


  1. SANDRA--what a lovely journey through the countryside. I felt the peace and serenity through the beautiful photos. I wish I had been there. Thank you for a respite from the mundane.

  2. Sandy, thank you for my mini-vacation. I envy you the lovely landscape. And the videos were wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. We all should take more time to appreciate the beauty of nature--especially when your surroundings are so awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Good morning, early risers. Thanks for stopping by. Our second day of fall is opening beautifully. I hear Texas had a bit of rain and temps have lowered a few degrees.

    Barbara, it's lovely to meet you. Best of luck with your R/S, SECRETS IN THE SAND and your upcoming women's fiction, SECOND CHANCES.

  5. Sandy,
    Loved your walk in the mountains. The photos of the stream remind me of the family cabin and Sangre de Cristo Mountains north of Taos where we vacationed for many decades. I've been wishing I could get up to that area the past few weeks. Sometime we really need a change of scenery, and the mountains are calling to me to. Thanks for the mini vacation. :-)

  6. Hi Jeanmarie, I hope you break away and renew old memories.

  7. Sandra, that was a beautiful escape. Thank you so much.

    Every success to you.

  8. Hi, Savanna, so nice to meet you. I'm glad you enjoyed the mini-getaway.

    Best of luck on KANDY APPLE AND HER HELLHOUNDS. It sounds intriguing.

  9. I sometimes find myself in the 'Don't Want To' mode. A little me time to just breathe works wonders.

  10. You're so right, Marybelle. Good to hear from you.

  11. that was my kinda thing. I can imagine it in winter, all frozen and icy rushing...
    Thanks for the bit of nature Sandra!

  12. Sandra, that was some beautiful camera work you did! I could taste those mushrooms...did you ever see THE BEGUILED?LOL Lovely little mini-vacation. I'm slowly overcoming my need to do anything but what I WANT TO DO -- I think that comes with age.

  13. You're right Sandra. Very relaxing. Thank you. Beautiful pictures.

  14. Isn't it a shame that we don't take more days like yours to enjoy our surroundings. I live in the California Sierra Mountains, in a forest, and rarely go wandering. We have so much beauty around us, but I hardly ever take the time to visit it. It's an hours drive over the high peaks into Lake Tahoe Basin, truly worth a day trip. I am thinking this should be a must one of these days soon. Thanks, Sandy.

  15. Happy to be of service, Mary.VBS So good to hear from you.

    Yes, Cheryl, we do get spoiled with age. LOL I'll check out THE BEGUILED. Thanks.

    Calisa, so glad you enjoyed.

    Oh my yes, Paisley, you must spend a little time wandering--it's food for the soul.

    I'm pleased everyone soaked in a bit of peace.


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