Day 145: What Used to Be (Abandoned Baseball Field Entrance)

If you know, you know. I’m obsessed with abandoned buildings. Obsessed. Take me to one and I’ll stare at it for hours, picturing the place alive with people. Alive with weather and music and food and smells. Today that sense of imagining of what once was took over. It was for an old abandoned baseball field ticketing entrance. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop wondering what this place meant to the people who frequented it, years ago. (Stillwater, OK)

Day 132: Finding New Trails

Day 12 into May, and we have walked/ran 62 miles. 12 days!! Over an average of 5 miles a day. It’s wild what you can do if you just start and don’t stop, kind of like this blog on wonder. Every day can be wonderful if you choose to see it that way. Even amidst total and utter global chaos. We can choose. It’s the tiniest choice, but the tiny choices add up.

To find new paths, we have been exploring more than ever. Here is what I call: Rain Forrest Bridge (and oh yes, everything gets a name…ask me about the Spooky Bridge or the Secret Path!).

I hope this weeks finds you in delightful new paths, no matter how small they are.

Day 121: How Fast Can A Fuzzy Caterpillar Move?

We are approaching the end of week 7, beginning week 8 of quarantine in this pandemic. Our town in Stillwater, OK was supposed to slowly reopen with masks being mandatory to be worn in public and stores. However, within 3 hours of this regulation, some people in the town got angry, even using guns to threaten stores for not letting them enter without a mask. The whole thing is irresponsible. The mayor reacted to this revolt with revoking the mandatory mask-wearing rule to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Only after a few hours.

Such a strange time to be a part of history. A woman yelled at Nick at the veterinarian’s office, “I’m not going to get you sick!” She was mask-less. Too bad she doesn’t know masks also protect her. A different part of the world, here, everywhere. Many people are upset, though, not just us. Today’s wonder may seem trivial. A fuzzy fast caterpillar. But maybe trivial is what we need.

Day 60: The feeling of lying in the grass

Today we went to The Gathering Place, a ginormous and extravagant park in Tulsa, OK. It was the first 70 degree day this year — and I think everyone in a 100-mile vicinity had the same idea. It was packed!

To escape the crowds, we found a quiet area with lots of grass. We all sprawled out, relaxing under the mid-southern sun. It was wonderful. Happy leap year day! February 29th!

Day 58: An Engaged Audience

During the semester, I team up with fellow PhD students and give graduate workshops to other students across the university. Students come from all backgrounds — history, STEM, agriculture, psychology, biochemistry, and etc. We teach everything from the abstract to literature reviews and how to write about your research for public audiences. Sometimes it is hit or miss with audience participation. However, this week and last week, we have had incredible graduate students ask thoughtful questions, engage in our activities, and leave feeling like they’ve learned something of value. This is not always the case! Sometimes they’re disinterested or distracted. So although this may seem like a small wonder, it is still a wonder to have a room engage and participate with what you are teaching!

A side shot of the library, where we hold the graduate workshops.

Day 57: Puppy Therapy

Today was the second day I’ve brought Shiloh, now nearing 11 weeks, to the university. I’m grateful to live only about ten minutes away, so I can bring her and take her home in a feasible amount of time.

When I walk her though campus, the joy I see on strangers’ expressions and friends’ faces brings me the feeling of wonder. It’s almost like a wonder domino effect. Shiloh brings delight to someone, I witness their faces, the delight spreads to me.

We all need more puppy therapy at busy college campuses.

Day 40: Puppy Asleep on my Chest

I’ve been sick. Literally, the night we brought our new girl home I had a slight fever. So I’ve noticed wonder slips out of my mind when I’m not feeling my best. I’m stressed, wanting my body to feel better. Bennett and I have had a cough for about a week and I think it’s just a viral thing that will go away soon.

I watched a movie today that invoked zero wonder in me: Joker. It was more angering than enlightening. (Maybe I’ll write a film review later.

But in the brief moment of a sick day, our new Shi Girl fell asleep on my chest like a newborn. Prepare your hearts for the most precious wonder ever from our new girl.