walking again

by | Jan 10, 2023 | a slice of life, Running a Business | 29 comments

“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”  – Henry David Thoreau

As some of you know, I broke my foot back in May.  While it was a frustrating inconvenience during packing and a move, over time, I found the greatest loss for me was not being able to go on my daily walks.  Yes, it’s exercise and working towards a 10,000-step goal.  Yes, it’s taking Sebastian out, enjoying the sunshine, and getting some fresh air.  But, it has become an important part of my creative process over the years.  And I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I was able to start going out on long walks again.

going for a walk | miss mustard seed

I’m slow (we’re talking a sad 25-minute-mile), but I am walking again and it feels amazing.  I use my time walking mostly to listen to audiobooks and podcasts about creativity, creative work, entrepreneurship, business management, and productivity.  There is something about listening while I’m moving that helps me to ingest the information more thoroughly.  I’ll often stop and make voice memos of thoughts or send texts to myself of things to write about, to do, or to think about further.  I’ll also make note of quotes I want to add to my collection in my notebook. I’ll sometimes even collect little interesting bits that catch my eye – sticks, rocks, leaves, acorns, seed pods.

notebook of quotes and thoughts | miss mustard seed

While a walk seems like a prelude to work, it’s actually a part of my work and I have had some of my best ideas over the years while out on walks.

It’s not a surprise, though.  There are anecdotal stories throughout books on creative work about the benefits of walking and prolific creatives who were known for that daily practice.  Charles Dickens is said to have walked an average of 12 miles a day around the streets of London to gain inspiration for his characters and stories.  Einstein, Beethoven, and Virginia Woolf are others known for including walking as a part of their creative work.  We walkers are in good company!

One of the reasons we bought our house was for the neighborhood.  It is an older neighborhood with mature trees and houses that are all unique from one another.  It’s well-situated in the area, but it’s also a great neighborhood for walking, with lots of loops and route options.  I started with a 1/4 mile loop and have worked up to almost two miles when my foot is feeling good.

And, as an added benefit, I get to admire the lovely homes.  These are a couple of my favorites…

williamsburg reproduction home | miss mustard seed

The architecture and details of this house, which looks like it was plucked from Williamsburg, are just so lovely.  I always catch myself staring as I walk by.

williamsburg reproduction home | miss mustard seed

And I also love this home that looks like a 200-year-old New England four-square…

reproduction new england home | miss mustard seed
reproduction new england home | miss mustard seed

There are so many other beautiful homes from mid-century homes embracing modern roof lines and picture windows to traditional colonials with dentil molding.  As someone who loves house-peeping, it’s always stimulating.  I see new things I want to paint, to draw, to take pictures of, and to write about.

So, if you ever find yourself thinking, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Try going for a walk.

antique French pencil case | miss mustard seed

29 Comments

  1. beverlee

    I have to walk about 3 miles a day. Live in a town home, and have a dog, so off we go. I need to walk more. Working up to it.
    I am happy to know that you are getting to do the things you love.

    Reply
  2. Kim

    I LOVE to go for walks, and actually prefer to walk through neighborhoods because I like to see houses, flowers, trees, decor, fences, pathways, etc. I live in a small town with lots of visual variety, including waterfalls. It is always disheartening when I can’t go on my walks thanks to illness or weather conditions.

    And WOW, that is one beautiful neighborhood you live in now!! Like out of the pages of architecture and decor magazines!

    Reply
  3. kim price

    Love me a colonial style homes and Williamsburg is a favorite of mine!

    Reply
  4. Vikki Nay

    I’m an avid walker. My husband and I usually walk two miles every day. I love getting out in the brisk air, really invigorates me for the rest of the day. Glad to see that you are back walking again. I can’t imagine how frustrating that has been for you.

    Reply
  5. Betsy

    I understand your attraction to those homes. I could picture you living in either one.

    Reply
  6. Sarah

    I lived in Williamsburg for 8 years and I did a double take on that house. I had no idea that Hagerstown had houses like this!

    Reply
  7. Nan, Odessa, DE

    When you couldn’t take your walks was sitting outside in the sun as bennical
    I am curious. What gadget do you use to send your self notes? Reminders?
    To listen to music?
    I can’t walk well and would appreciate this info. Any one have any suggestions for me to enjoy the great outdoors daily?
    Note: I am in Delaware so many days are windy and 35 degrees.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I did enjoy sitting outside, but that was uncomfortable in the summer because of the orthopedic boot. Any sweating would be itchy and uncomfortable, but I did do that or go on very slow, short walks in the booth, but it just wasn’t the same as moving briskly. If it was something that was permanent or very long-term, I probably would’ve figured out something I could do, like a recumbent bike. I use my cell phone for all of that. I listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, text myself, and make notes or voice memos. It’s all on an Apple iPhone.

      Reply
  8. Susanne

    Dentil.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Well, you learn something new every day! I always thought it was dental because it looks sort of like teeth. 🙂 Anyway, I fixed it.

      Reply
      • Denise Pierce

        If you love that second house you should go to Deerfield Village in Massachusetts. It has houses that date to the founding of the country (some that look just like that one) and each one has a story of how the field of preservation has evolved over time. Unlike the Yankee Candle Factory site just down the road, you’ll practically have the place to yourself or at least I did back about 10 years ago.

        Reply
  9. Terry

    If I need a pull out of the doldrums a good walk is always the answer. And a journal of quotes what a brilliant idea. I’m starting that today.

    Reply
  10. Kimberly Howell

    So glad to hear you are able to get back to your walks. I too find much inspiration for my illustrations and manuscript ideas as our two dogs and I trek down our gravel drive and up our neighbor’s property (with permission of course).
    Those homes are beautiful! What really caught my attention was the detail of the straight lines of the nails on the siding. It took a careful eye to do that.
    Thanks for the share 🙂

    Reply
    • JoAnn

      What a gorgeous neighborhood! Enjoy your walks.

      Reply
  11. Vickie Shields

    I bet you and the ladies of both of these homes could be fast friends! Looks like y’all have a lot in common <3

    Reply
  12. Darleen

    I too miss walking..hopefully will be able to get back….have arthritis issues.
    Love your pencil box….a real box not a case. May I ask where you obtained it?

    Reply
  13. DianeH

    Good for you. It absolutely does not matter that you take it slow. It’s about absorbing the beauty around you. Last thing you want to do is cause more injury.
    We have a beautiful downtown here in Lodi, i very much enjoy seeing how the houses and gardens change with each season. If it means talking a friend into joining me or packing up a dog, I think i will plan on more of it. Thanks for inspiration!

    Reply
  14. Teresa

    We have actually been blessed in central VA with some nice, warmer temperatures for January which is ideal for walks. The first home you pictured looks like it was plucked right out of Colonial Williamsburg! There is a small subdivision in our county that features all Williamsburg type homes. It only has about 25 homes, but it is so unique and charming!

    Reply
  15. Rebecca DeGroodt

    I love early American style homes, they’re classic. I live in a neighborhood, built in the 60’s early 70’s — my brick rambler is probably similar to yours, all in that style. But it’s in a desirable area in a rapidly growing city and builders have been tearing them down. They’re building almost exclusively what I guess you’d call “transitional” style and there seems to be an unwritten rule that they all have to have black metal window frames and white brick. Makes me kind of sad, but we’re getting near to the end of our time in this area — so maybe it will make it easier to leave.

    Reply
  16. Cathy R

    When I first moved to S Az, my neighbor walked the cart paths of the closed golf course we live on. During the shutdown it really saved our bacon! It was at that time I also got an Ebike from Craigs List and wow!! As a 70 yo I couldn’t get up the hills around here and 3000’ altitude didn’t help either. What a sense of freedom I have!! I feel like a kid again?‍♀️?‍♀️?‍♀️

    Reply
  17. Ruth

    Boy, can I relate. I rolled my ankle and re-injured my foot early last summer. It has affected my foot, knee and hip. I for the last several years walking has been my inspiration for my landscape paintings. I have been unable to walk outside in the snow and ice all winter. Currently counting the days until our month long vacation in the south. Looking forward to dry sidewalks and paths. Here’s to more walking!

    Reply
  18. Nicole Mangum

    I love going for walks, especially in nice neighborhoods that have beautiful homes. The black home you took a picture of looks like the house from Little Women. Both of those are beautiful homes. Enjoy the movement!!

    Reply
  19. Melissa

    What a lovely neighborhood, maybe you get to meet the neighbors soon, and then be invited inside their house!!

    Reply
  20. Deanna

    I live in the country and we have lovely property, but I long to live in a neighborhood in order to walk and look at houses. I used to have an apartment in Duluth, years ago before I got married, and loved walking and looking at houses. The fun thing there is that I could just go up a block or down a block and have a whole new row of houses. Thank you for letting me walk along with you!

    Reply
  21. Pam Emma

    I love the pictures you shared of houses on your walk. I love to walk too. I live outside of Charleston, SC and when I get the time, love to go and walk the Neiborhood, the architecture is amazing, the iron work is wonderful and the small secret gardens are wonderful. I think I remember reading some time ago a visit you had here.

    I walk at lunch with a work friend, but when I am alone or with my fur baby, Abbie, I listen to music. I am going to have to try audios or pod cast and see what inspires me.

    Reply
  22. Shelly F

    I love walking and I used to do it at least 5 days per week, however, a bad knee put me on a recumbent bike for over a year and now I am recovering from knee replacement. I can’t wait to feel normal again. I am really over the feeling that I am walking like a Frankenstein! Nothing against, Frankenstein, but I am so ready to feel good about walking again.

    Reply
  23. Karen B.

    Oh my, what a beautiful neighborhood. I walk daily so I sympathize with your absence due to your injury. My walking buddy and I find it soothing to the soul to walk in the park we walk in daily.
    Happy you’re back.
    Karen B.

    Reply
  24. Kate

    Walking is one of the best experiences for clearing my mind and inspiring creativity. Your photos are amazing and thank you for sharing. I walk four days a week for 2.2 miles on a 400 acre tree farm in the Nor Cal foothills.

    Reply
  25. Megan McQuillen

    I also love the homes in our neighborhood! (Same neighborhood:)) the house down the street from that English four square has the most beautiful tulips in the spring! And I hope you got to see how that English home decorated with pumpkins in the fall! You will love it this year if you didn’t. The house up on the corner looks like a bunch of shipping containers stacked oddly on one another. But then again I’m preferable to home. Our yard is full of toys and always in slight disarray but there’s nothing better than front porch sitting with a hot cup of tea or a nice glass of wine come spring.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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