family · fitness

Strolling through the holidays

This year I’m spending the Christmas holidays with my family in South Carolina, where it is unseasonably cold (but nearly as cold as most of North America right now). This is no news to anyone who knows me, as it’s my usual holiday routine– fly or drive from Boston, arrive at my sister’s or my mother’s house, and divide up my time between towns and relatives. It can get a little hectic, but it means seeing more family, which I love, and listening to more audio books or podcasts, which makes the shuttling manageable.

What makes my holidays most meaningful, though, is the sweet combo of nature, activity and loved ones. I thought I would share a visual holiday stroll with you, my dear readers. I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share some of your holiday activities with friends, family or yourself.

In no particular order, here goes.

First up, a stroll and chat along the Riverwalk in Columbia, SC with my nephew Gray.

We talked about music, what to make of Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), urban walk spaces, and whether an adjacent ant hill was occupied (he poked it with a stick despite my recommendation against it, but nothing terrible happened. Whew.)

Some years, my sister and her kids (and friends) head to Litchfield Beach right after Christmas. There are fewer tourists, so we have the shoreline to ourselves. We walk all we walk, collect shells, and catch up on each others lives.

When I’m in Darlington, I always take the opportunity to walk in Williamson Park, which has a cypress swamp. It’s always interesting to me how the swamp changes and adapts over the seasons and years.

Then, of course, there are times when it’s necessary to try out some of the cache of Christmas toys the kids received. Gray let me go for a ride on his three-wheeled swivelly scooter. I think I did pretty well. By the way, that December it was very warm, so I was in short sleeves– another South Carolina holiday treat.

I'm concentrating to get the hang of swiveling on this scooter.
I’m concentrating to get the hang of swiveling on this scooter.

And of course, there’s a lot of dog walking. I have dozens of holiday photos of us taking out Kiwi the Yorkie and Bailey the Golden Retriever.

My niece Gracie, Kiwi, Bailey and my sister Elizabeth, at a moment with the dogs at Sesquicentennial State Park.
My niece Gracie, Kiwi, Bailey and my sister Elizabeth at Sesquicentennial State Park.

There’s always more to share, but my sister is reminding me that I still have to gifts to wrap before heading to my mother’s house. I wish all of you a peaceful, nature-included, happy December 25.