Todays Walk 1.007

When:  MId-afternoon Friday
Weather: Low 60’s! Very pleasant out.  Grayson just went thru the east, and we have this!!

  • Green Fluorescent Shirt:  As I started my walk, I passed a guy on a bicycle.  He had a bright green t-shirt on.  I also had a fluorescent shirt on but my shirt was UNDER a sweatshirt.  I toyed with foregoing the greeting and uttering “Twinzie” or “Small world”.  He was not very social so I got to just have my thoughts as company.
  • Really Slow Bike:  Remarkably, there was more fluorescent on the path today.  It was an older man in a green jacket.  He biked just slightly quicker than a walk.  It appeared the bike was in the lowest possible gear.  He was barely able to pass me.  Then he stopped for a drink, and I passed him.  He had to pass me again.  Still an unbelievably slow speed for a bike, but as long as he didn’t fall over, it is good for him.
  • Pass Guy Who Appreciated The Warning:  I had my walk kicking into high gear when I came upon an older man who was a few yards ahead of me.  I gave him an “on your left warning” while a few steps behind.  He expressed appreciation.  He left me know a young runner snuck up on him with no warning the other day.  I sympathized.  Sometimes when I am in deep thought, I am completely surprised by a rapidly approaching bicycle or runner.  I think he could be a good person to talk with when walking IF he could only walk a little faster.
  • Doggy Entourage:  Within the first mile of my walk, there are a number of dogs.  Today’s entourage was a mix of friendly and formidable.  Along a long stretch of chain link fence, there are two dogs.  One of the dogs was racing along the fence barking at me–I was on the other side of the fence.  The other friendly dog just wanted to be social.  He followed the rowdy one without uttering a bark.  Eventually, his nonchalance to the chase carried over to my barking friend.  It was arrogant of me to think my popularity would continue the length of their driveway.

Todays Walk 1.005

When:  Late-afternoon Wednesday
Weather: High 40’s!! Nearly Cloudless Sky

  • On Your Right: (Parts of this telling could be fictional)  With temperatures warming up, the pathways were more crowded than the sub-zero yesterday.  As the bicycles come out, I tune my ears to the wheel sounds announcing their arrival.  When I fail to hear the courteous, “On Your Left” within the expected time, I have been known to announce, “On Your Right.”  It hasn’t caused any wrecks, but it does usually catch them off guard.  If our walking/biking paths cross again on the same day, there is usually no eye contact made OR I jump onto their side of the divided sidewalk and scream while waving my arms frantically.
  • Busting Up The Park:  My walk has more overlap presently than it normally would.  The noise of heavy equipment was almost all I heard as the walk began.  The park is being entirely reconfigured or the maintenance guys just needed an excuse to operate some equipment.  The “old” walk should be resumable sometime in late winter.  The softball players will need their old/new fields back.
  • Shift Swap:  One of my fellow employees usually works second shift.  Today, he needed to take his mother to the doctor.  I agreed to swap shifts with him.  My usual shift is from 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  His shift is not much different.  It runs from 7:30 – 3:30.  I knew traffic would be a little worse for second shift.  However, I still allowed myself an extra hour of sleep.  I felt like I was in command of one of the fastest functioning brains available to mere humans.  I think the later shift more closely aligns with the way my body would rather operate.  Eventually, a later shift could be permanent…maybe.

Todays Walk 1.003

When:  After breakfast, mid-morning on New Years Day
Weather: Cold–below freezing cold

During my walk today, I was glad to be able to wear sunglasses again.  The cooler temperatures were a fair trade for the happiness-bringing ball in the sky.  When the sun was gone, I missed even the little-bitty, half-formed shadows.  The loud, screaming sun brought back the shadows at full strength.  They were so deep and dark they were almost worth starting a conversation with.

The most notable event of today’s walk was the limited number of warm bodies about.  The cars  were probably limited, but I really didn’t keep track of them while walking.  I focus on those who pass me and those I pass. (i.e. pedestrians) Today, it was all about one fellow walker.  Our paths crossed twice.  As I was still loosening up and getting acclimated to the cold temps, we passed each other. He was well bundled.  He had the added bonus of full beard.  When we intersected again, it was on a road we both used to complete our walking “block”.  As a walker, his “rules” had him on the wrong side of the road.  As our paths neared, he switched to the other side of the road–the one where he faces the driving traffic.  His wave was less glad to see me this time.

There are two dogs who dwell just over the bridge.  These dogs are “protected by” a NO TRESPASSING sign.  Today, it seems the cold took the energy out of them.  As I walked by the first time today, the dogs just could not find a good reason to give me their attitude.  As my walk was winding down and as I was coming from the opposite direction on the path and behind the dogs, the dogs must have been rudely awakened.  They found the passion for the attack they could not summon before.  They ran the length of the fence multiple times as they attempted to intimidate me.  I am pretty confident I kept the “scared” pheromones at a minimum.  Their efforts were not rewarded.

Todays Walk 1.002

When:  Before dinner on December 31st
Weather: Cold with very limited precipitation
Companion: Oldest Daughter

This walk was all about checking the roads.  The morning roads were not so kind.  The freezing rain peaked mid-morning–just as we were going-to/leaving church.  My oldest daughter had been very excited about the New Year’s Eve party her friend had planned.  The slipping experienced during the morning caused my wife to cancel the plans the adults made to spend time with friends.  (They live about 30 miles away.)  The adults didn’t want to let my daughter party if the adults didn’t party, so my wife canceled her activities as well due to the weather.

This walk was meant to prove the roads were fine and she should be able to drive to the party.  Besides some excellent conversation with my sassy daughter, we did not have exactly the results she was hoping for.  The roads may have had some minor moisture.  As she desperately sought to gain my vote, she ran toward the road and rapidly stopped.  She didn’t slip, so the roads must be safe.  Right, dad?

The roads were the easy part. As part of the walk we went over a bridge.  It was the bridge where the concern came about.  (It was bridges where most of the excitement occurred this morning. )  The bridge caused here to slip as she crossed it.  Her excuse of, “not being able to walk and talk” did not convince me.  (I consider driving and talking to be more difficult.)  Additionally, when I went to get pizza, I slipped a little.  I told her if she could come up with a route WITHOUT bridges, I might consider it.

Unfortunately for my daughter, my wife was shooting everything down.  In desperation, she came to me.  She sat on my lap and offered a scenario where she wouldn’t have to drive and I would ONLY have to drive one way.  I accepted the terms.  My wife took more convincing.  When I argued the case on her behalf, my wife relented.  After her friend’s dad agreed to bring her home, the energy flowed back into my daughter.  She knows she owes me.  And, with her graduating this from high school in 2018, it is good to have some favors in the bank.

Happy New Year!