I’m Nathan, and this is how I roll with it.
There was a time, not too long ago, that I hated when things didn’t go as planned, when something I was looking forward to didn’t happen. But I’m finally learning how to enjoy spontaneity. More on that in a bit.
My weekend started Saturday when a good friend and I headed out to Ohiopyle (a state park here in Pennsylvania). First we stopped by the gorgeous Cucumber Falls (a bit low, though, due to a recent lack of rain). Always nice to stop there and just take in the beauty. I’m not generally too fond of being out in nature, but places like this are an exception.
Then we moved on to the main plan of the weekend, touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. A brief history lesson: Fallingwater was built for the owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store in the 1930s by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s generally considered to be his greatest work, and it tops several lists of must-see places. It utilizes and incorporates the natural landscape (including a stream) into the house.
And it has no air-conditioning. The Kaufmanns and, more importantly, Wright felt that the air from the stream was natural air-conditioning. I think they were crazy and at some point over the years before it became a museum, I would definitely have installed real central air. Walking through splendid but rather tight-fitting home with a bunch of other people in 90-plus degree weather wasn’t the most pleasant (or pleasant-smelling) experience of my life. But it is a beautiful and interesting place and was well worth the visit. Read more about Fallingwater on Wikipedia.
Today, I was supposed to go to my company picnic at the Pittsburgh Zoo, which I enjoy visiting and haven’t seen in a couple years. I was quite looking forward to it, and my cousin, who hasn’t been to the zoo in over 25 years, was excited, as well.
It was the first time in the nearly six years I’ve worked there that the company picnic was held on a weekend offsite. It’s been in our parking lot during work hours since I’ve been there, though I understand in years past they did hold it in various places. Also in the years I’ve worked there, I don’t think it’s rained for our picnic.
Today, however, it rained. The weather forecasts I saw said the rain should start around noon and would last most of the afternoon for “most of the viewing area.” We hoped we’d get there and be able to walk the zoo before the rain hit, then go to the cover of pavilion and enjoy the picnic.
The rain started hardcore about 10 minutes into our hour-long drive. My mood fell. My cousin and I decided, based on the radar information on the weather.com app on my phone, that this wasn’t leaving anytime soon, and we rerouted and altered our plans.
This is the point where, not long ago, I would’ve freaked out. I didn’t used to be big on improvisation. I like schedules and order. I like knowing exactly what I’m going to be doing and when I’m going to do it. But I went with it, I let the day take me where it led, and it turned out to be rather enjoyable anyway. We wound up seeing “Predators,” which I enjoyed, though not enough to write an entire dedicated review. It was well-done, and I’d certainly watch it again, but that’s about all I can say.
And then I had fantastic chicken parmesan and possibly the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had at Bravo! Cucina Italiana. Yay for good food!
I understand the rain didn’t last too long at the zoo (apparently, the rain clouds just followed us, because it rained much of the day where we were) and those who went wound up enjoying it, so I’m glad that it wasn’t a total wash. I’m definitely really disappointed that I didn’t get there and hope no one was upset by my absence (though perhaps I give my presence, or lack thereof, too much credit), but I still enjoyed the day. And I consider that pretty significant progress in my attempt to relax in life.
That said, I really hope little “surprises” like that don’t happen too often. I’m relaxing, not changing completely.
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