Today’s Walk 1.017

When:  Late afternoon
Weather: Got up to high 50’s
Observations/Thoughts

When I left work at 2:00, the sun was out.  I drove home the non-highway version.  I wanted to feel comfortable avoiding the highway and the ramps tomorrow morning.  The weather guys have engaged in substantial GroupSpeak.  We have been convinced the precipitation will mix with the VERY cold temps.  It is likely these fears that made my walk virtually void of any encounters.  I passed one guy just after I left the house.  The rest of the walk was sprinkled with a couple of teenage boys enjoying their day off of school.  (MLK day).  They were zipping around on one of those battery-powered skateboard things.

The only other thing of note was a comment from a fellow diner at the restaurant my daughter and I ate dinner at.

I told him what I was ordering for dinner.  He had one comment, “There is only one problem with the chicken fried chicken…there is nothing wrong with it.”  The way he said it told me he enjoyed the meal.  His smile left no doubt he enjoyed his life, too.

i replied, “I think that is a flaw I can live with.”

 

 

 

 

Today’s Walk 1.016

When:  Late afternoon
Weather: Supposed to be above freezing tonight, sunny and mid-50’s with breeze
Observations/Thoughts

With many having a day off tomorrow for MLK day, I thought the sidewalk might have been more crowded.  (Maybe they will be walking while I am working.) . The cold temps coming in were an additional incentive for me to be out.  I may or may not miss a walk, but I want to give myself the luxury of NOT walking should the weather take the expected evil turn.

  • Merry Christmas:  Most of my walk is on a sidewalk.  While walking on the side of the road, I heard a conversation from the ranch house ahead.  A small boy was in his superhero underwear holding his dad’s hand. The dad while holding a bundle of what was likely little boy clothe looked over his shoulder and thanked the people sitting in the car in his driveway.  Before they went into the house, the 4-year old boy said, “Merry Christmas!” Not sure if this was some sort of shuffling of a young one due to a divorce or just a visit to an auntie.  He came home in the holiday spirit, so it sounds like he had a good time.
  • Three Dog Walk:  Along the railroad portion of the walk, it is not surprising to see a dog walker.  Trying to walk 3 dogs of varying sizes and interest levels are certainly challenging.  The Chihuahua was holding back the pack.  The poor guy was letting them dictate the speed.  Twice the dogs pulled him to the side as he crossed the path of oncoming bicyclists.  Finally, he decided to dedicate one hand to carry the small lagger while balancing the leashes of the other two dogs on his other hand.  He still found time to mutter a “Hello” when I passed.
  • A bicycle built for 2 revisited: Previously, I saw this couple riding the bike.  I felt comfortable saying the guy who was sitting in the front seat was providing the propelling strength for the bike.  Today, I saw his companion, likely his spouse, sitting right behind him.  Her facial expression was nearly expressionless.  I believe her husband is making every effort he can to be a good husband to the shell of his wife.

Todays Walk 1.015

When:  Interspersed throughout the day
Weather: Freezing overnight; sunny and high 40’s by afternoon
Observations/Thoughts

I used the day to bond with my daughters in different ways.  I didn’t take a dedicated walk.  I did not hit my normal walking quota.  I find it special to do unique things with them.  Their mom is the one who does crafts with them and plans their parties.  I have to carve out my niche where I can.

  • Mistletoe:  Our elm tree in the backyard is full of mistletoe.  My oldest daughter considers herself a tree climber.  She climbed up into the tree with a little boost from her father.  Climb as she might, the mistletoe was out of her reach.  She continued to cut the new branches that had sprouted up along the main branches.  I retrieved the extendable hand saw from the garage.  I “trimmed” off all of the mistletoe I could reach.  When the ladder was added to the equation, I could reach a little more.  The trimming was unsteady when balancing on a ladder.  It was especially so when wielding a tool while doing a sawing motion.  My daughter tried her hand at the trimming.  It felt necessary to complete the bonding.
  • Picked up their car:  Earlier in the week, my daughters had a little problem with her car stopping in the appropriate length of time.  Dad sweated it out for one day as she drove the car the next day.  She got home and back again, so dad was happy.  Her car ended up at the dealership the next day.  After going thru the diagnosis, it was found the car had a bent rim and a few other things.  The bent rim was playing with the sensors and preventing the car from stopping in the expected time.  A commitment to pay a fee and a few hour wait was all it took to be greeted by our “new” car.  Without the girls having a safe car, it was hard for dad to relax.  Now, I can let my guard down a little in this area.
  • New bank account:  Going to the bank to get something done on Saturday before a 3-day weekend is not a guaranteed quick trip.  Today, it was not.  My youngest daughter and I waited for over half an hour before I could meet with a bank officer.  Getting an account set up is not hard.  But, sitting in the lobby will not get it done.  When we were able to speak to Daniel, he multi-tasked.  He spoke of rattlesnakes from West Texas, his 10-month old son, and his desire to make a difference in the world.  We contributed some info on my daughter’s robotics team, and maybe a little bit of what life looks like thru my eyes.  The minutes flew by as the account was created.
  • Cleared out the garage:  The final task was well overdue.  Recent illness and cold temperatures kept the project from going forward.  The project took on some steam when my son moved out with his dog.  The edges are still in need of some clutter removal.  The center is almost car worthy.  The ladder (a couple head injuries resulted from the suspended ladder) and the bikes are now engaged intimately with the garage’s ceiling.  The soccer balls and water guns of old will fill the garbage truck when it next travels our streets.  Furniture and other things of no further adult purpose were also discarded OR guided toward more suitable homes.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another nice day.  A walk of the more conventional type is sure to take place.

Today’s Walk 1.014

When:  After work; mid-afternoon on 1/12/2018
Weather: Lower 40’s with little breeze
Observations/Thoughts

  • Armadillos last stand: The armadillo must have decided the dining was still best where he did his last foraging.  After a day off, he came back to where the grubs were best.  He was looking desperately for the high eating of earlier in the week.  The holes were shallow here–he (or was it she) will hopefully find the grub “mine” to get a little meat on those bones.
  • Gloves:  During yesterday’s windy weather, there was not much to see.  The fellow walkers were non-existent.  During the last half of the walk, I noticed a glove lying in a yard.  I thought some poor fool has a cold hand.  Then, about a quarter mile later, I saw the gloves match.  I considered picking up the second glove with the hopes of maybe grabbing the other glove tomorrow.  Today, the weather was more pleasant with only a couple more participants in any form of exercise today.  When I cleared the half-way mark, the first glove was still there.  I grabbed it without hesitation.  Was the other glove still ahead?  After searching every yard in anticipation of the pair being reunited, I found the glove in the ditch of a house previously populated with a number of chickens. I shoved both gloves in my pocket.  I felt like I had a little secret I was hiding.  Once I got the gloves inside my house, I could finally claim the gloves as officially mine.

Today’s Walk 1.013

When:  After work; mid-afternoon on 1/11/2018
Weather: Rapidly dropping temps, lower 40’s and down,
Observations/Thoughts

  • Really Windy: Before starting today’s walk, I had to do a sales job.  The wind was brutal.  While driving home after work, I could feel it blowing the car.  Yet, there is this part of me that insists on doing penance for any snacking I may do.  Walking is relaxing AND penance.  My second guessing was not a solitary pursuit.  However, I seemed to be the only one who acted.  I did not see a single fellow human walking.  The wind was so brutal trees appeared to be moving and animals were blown back onto their rear feet, but no humans.
  • Leaves: Those who have raked up your trees annual shedding, congratulations.  Those of you (This is not about me or my neighbor.  This is just observational as I circulate amongst the neighborhoods on my path.) who choose to rake have done those who dwell on your right or left a great service.  Should you have not raked and be blessed by a windy day, you likely donated a number of leaves to your neighbor’s yard.  If they don’t express their gratitude, it is probably because they feel none.  And, if you want to blame them for their pine trees dropping a little love on your yard, you might find out they are VERY easy to rake up.  If you don’t own a rake, I am sure an “injured” neighbor would be happy to lend you one of theirs.  This was not a story about me and my neighbor.  This is a story given to me by the swirling leaves and the solitary loneliness of my walk…really!
  • Chihuahuas:  The little doggie was barking at me frantically yesterday while being hushed by his owner.  Today, he had just been fed.  He was competing with his fellow lapdogs for the meal.  The owner was still outside.  She waved to me out of friendliness or guilt.  Speaking of guilt, when an owner’s dog (another dog with another owner) bites at your ankles, they may feel guilty enough to run you home when you are caught in front of their house during a thunderstorm.

 

 

Today’s Walk 1.012

When:  After work; mid-afternoon.
Weather: Upper 50’s, The sun arrived late, but it was very welcome
Observations/Thoughts

  • Walking App: The Prequel:  Starting back in November, the park that was at the end of my walk was temporarily declared “Closed for Construction” by the city.  I foolishly hopped the early fences.  (The fences were the orange plastic type.  They just challenge you to stretch over them.)  Due to hopping, old age, frequent inclement weather or other circumstances best not described here, I was forced to modify my walking route in mid-November.  When I got back to walking my normal route, the fences were new and improved and idiot-proof. (They must not have approved of my early avoidance of their weaker barricades.)  The old route had been given the “walking app” treatment.  I knew exactly the distance of this particular route.  With construction still keeping my old route captive, curiosity was getting the better of me.  How far exactly was the modified walking route?
  • The Walking App:  This was today’s assignment.  How many miles am I walking every day?  (This would not include sabbatical days, of course.)  As I left the front door, I turned the app on.  At the one mile mark and beyond, I really don’t remember that much of the walk.  Once I was told what the time was on the first mile, the couple miles that followed were an opportunity for me to compete against myself.  Despite the temperatures, I developed a light sweat.  I remember a couple of bikes and a couple of pedestrians. I was so focused on beating my last mile time.  I know I focused on each step launching out in front of me as far as it could–not running steps, but certainly a step that would sneer at most casual walkers.  After all of the self-competition, I found myself back at my front door.  I can now delete the app again and walk in confidently knowing I am walking enough…
  • Armadillo dismissed: The Armadillo aerated the entire root structure of the base of the tree before leaving.  While time and a few inches of rain will again make the ground active to future grub-makers, the acne-like scars will likely survive for a few weeks.

Today’s Walk 1.011

When:  After work; mid-afternoon.
Weather: Mid 50’s, Mosty sunny with blue skies.  Breeze made it feel quite cool
Observations/Thoughts

  • Seasoned Bicyclist:  As I walked, I was passed by a couple on a bicycle for two.  This was no mere “couple”.  They were likely in their 70’s.  They were not Quasimodo, but they were not sitting straight up either.  They were wearing their helmets.  They seemed happy to be out and about–I think the lead rider (Mr.) was providing most of the juice to power their ride.
  • Straightening the tracks:  As I passed the train tracks today (my path takes me along the track for nearly 3/4th of a mile), there was a vehicle riding the tracks.  It had an extension a few yards out in front of it.  This track was recently replaced. (This may be retold at some point in the future.)  The extension in front of the vehicle had lasers on it.  It appears this is one of the final steps before the track is “approved” for speedier train travel.  This track is scheduled to be used to provide train transportation to DFW airport.  We don’t live too far from the airport.  It is the airport parking that will kill you.
  • More Armadillo:  The armadillo was still digging today.  He had created holes somewhere in the teens or higher.  Typically, they seem to be night creatures.  I am not sure why he was so intrigued by this particular tree.  Obscure trivia:  What is one of the common ways people get leprosy in the US? Yes, it is from armadillos.