Pie a la Mode for July: Did We Sweat?

close up of berry pie

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This month I dared Kristen to sweat (or, more specifically, to get outside despite the increased likelihood of sweating). I theorized that we’d experience beauty, connect with others and ourselves, dream a little, and get some exercise.

How’d we do?

From Kristen:

Oh, I sweated this month.

Twenty days this month were over 80 degrees, and no day was below 75 degrees. And I live in Massachusetts. We have what meteorologists like to call “the Three H’s—Hazy, Hot, and HUMID” So, yeah, I have gotten my sweat on. Literally.

I did my best to get Out There, too, though. There was the hiking up Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire, and the hiking at Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts with Mary. There was a beautiful saunter at the Sachuest National Wildlife Reserve in Middletown, on Aquidneck Island. I even kept up with my garden (mostly, Wild & Unruly is the look I have been going for, okay?!).

I’ve been thinking a bit more about the idea of pilgrimages, and of connecting with the Almighty, and of finding my way. In these few short weeks, I’ve not gotten very far.  It is something that I think I will be sitting with and stewing on for a while, yet.  And, I’m okay with that.



From Mary:

July in Maryland has been a bit challenging. We’ve had record-breaking rain the last few weeks (my cherry tomatoes actually exploded from the rapid input of water) with thunderstorms forecast almost every day. Despite this, I managed to connect with others more than I anticipated.

Early in the month, before the rains, we had some new neighbors over for s’mores. It was unplanned and delightful to watch our kids chase lightning bugs and smear goopy warm marshmallow on their faces after toasting them in our jack-o-lantern-shaped chiminea. (It’s Halloween somewhere.)


As we reported already, Kristen and I were able to bond in real life, which included a gorgeous day out seeing the Bridge of Flowers and exploring around the top of Mt. Greylock.

Also before the rains, I camped out several times in the backyard with two of my kids.

Once things got soggy, we started taking short walks anywhere we could grab a relatively dry spell. My oldest and her wife came to visit and re-introduced us to Pokemon Go, giving the younger kids new incentive to get outside. We also spent some time at a local manmade pond admiring the turtles and birds. It was gratifying to see that the actual wildlife still captivated the kids more than the screens (though I myself enjoy both, and refuse to demonize the fun little app—I’m not yet that curmudgeonly).

Because of travel and visitors, I didn’t get out on my own much. I did manage to grab a few morning walks, though, and even a few sunrises over the water.


The month didn’t include long hikes in state parks like I’d envisioned. I didn’t increase my endurance or shed a bunch of pounds. But I did get to connect with friends and family and expand my heart a bit. It was well worth every drop of sweat.


Blue Plate Special for July: Sweat!

picnic champagne strawberries plaid

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com


This month for our dare, we’re going to sweat.

No, not with ‘80s headbands and Olivia Newton John. (If you know her, though, please bring her along. I’d love to meet her!)

I challenge you, in icky sticky sweaty smelly July, to get outside. Go for a walk, or a run, or a swim, or a bike ride. Work in the garden or sit on your porch and drink lemonade. Listen to the birds. Feel the sweat trickle down the back of your neck.

You may be asking why. Or, if you’re like my kids, you may be asking whyyyyyyyyyy.

There are so many reasons to avoid going outside in the height of summer. I’ve experienced several pretty big ones myself.

A few years ago I had two surgeries to remove melanoma from my face—wear that sunscreen and those big floppy hats!

Last summer I was on an extensive round of antibiotics for suspected lyme disease that increased my chances for sunburn—use your bug repellant and more of the sunscreen and hats!

I’ve developed mid-life allergies—hello, Claritin!

There are all kinds of heat warnings and charts that show the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion that are downright frightening—drink water and bring some with you, much more than you think you’ll need!

But I realized this spring that I’ve missed a lot. Outside is where the birds are, and the fish and squirrels and frogs even the creepy spiders.

It’s where you can walk so long with your kids that they finally say what’s on their minds.

It’s where you can cross paths with new neighbors, and invite them over for impromptu s’mores.

It’s where a deep breath that includes mint and lilies and grass and distant water can flood you with a thousand memories at once that make you want to hug someone for no reason at all.

It’s where you can be alone, and still feel connected.

It’s where you can glimpse just how big the world really is, and dream accordingly.

Feel free to set goals if you like. I’m hoping to someday hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain, so I’m trying to expend my hiking endurance (and trying to learn how to not get lost—that’s a story for another day). But you can also just sit and breathe and take it all in—there’s an awful lot of beauty out there.

Hug the humidity. Accept the sweat. Come out and play.


More ‘80s sweating, just for fun: