I don’t have a photo of my own from today’s walk, only a tale of shame. I live in a fairly tidy neighborhood, but I do sometimes see a little trash here and there in my pedestrian travels, especially in the park and around bus stops. Today, I decided to be a good citizen and clean up as I went along. I packed a small trash bag in one jacket pocket and a disposable glove in the other so I could gather up litter in addition to getting exercise.
The problem is that I forgot my self-assigned good deed almost immediately. I simply made my merry way up and down the familiar streets of my community, enjoying the fresh air. Right up until I arrived home and put my hand in my pocket to retrieve my door key. There was the trash bag, unused. Even worse, I no longer had the disposable glove. It must have fallen out onto the ground somewhere along my two-mile route.
Instead of reducing the litter along our sidewalks, I actually added to it. So that was a big fail. Maybe I can go back out tomorrow and redeem myself.
Oh, you thought I meant the Chinese spy balloon? Well, that went over my neighborhood yesterday, too. It was visible up high as I entered the grocery store. So now they know where I shop.
On the radio, I heard someone from the Pentagon saying they wouldn’t reveal the exact location of the balloon, only that it was somewhere near the center of the country. Meanwhile, everyone in my county spent the day announcing the specific addresses where it could be viewed at any given moment. It’s hard to keep a secret of any kind these days.
When I bundled up later and took a walk in the cold, clear afternoon, a different white orb was visible in the sky, this one worthy of just as much attention, even if we are more used to it. What is the moon learning about us, looking down, watching us scurry about our lives? Or is it even interested in human activity? Maybe it’s just monitoring the seas and trees? Who knows?
After a morning of cooking followed by an hour of eating, my spouse, my son, and I faced a choice between lapsing into food comas or getting out and moving. Though the hubs much prefers bicycling, he allowed me to cajole him into a walk and even suggested a trail to me. Since it rained most of the morning, we decided to go for a paved option.
I tried to stay in the spirit of the day and exercise gratitude along the way, which was easy enough. The afternoon provided what is for me optimal walking weather — 54 degrees and overcast. I was with two people I love. We had the luxury of being stuffed with a full meal of good food, and we all enjoy the health to be able to stroll away those calories on a beautiful walking path in a community that builds and values such things.
Sights we saw along the way:
A couple of curiosities:
After this hearty three-mile trek and a piece of pumpkin pie, the food coma finally caught me. I’m also grateful to own a comfortable napping couch.
At the start of the year, I stated my ambition to explore as many local walking paths and trails as possible. That has…not happened much. But I had the day off work today, the temperature was perfect, my to-do list had several things crossed off, and my son-in-residence was willing to join me. No excuses not to go exploring.
These photos are from the Bear Creek Trail in Columbia, MO. We found the creek, but no bears (because there aren’t any in this part of the state so far as I know.) Not pictured are the spots where we discovered an unofficial connector between two trails by navigating rock-to-rock across a narrow part of the creek, in the process startling dozens of tiny toads on the opposite bank. It was a good old-fashioned nature walk after all.
Be still my heart — not just one, but two wooden footbridges! I have an unreasonable attraction to wooden bridges. I must have been a troll in a previous life.
All in all, a very satisfying 2.3 mile micro adventure. The jaunt wasn’t too short or too long, not too hot or too cold, not too scary or too boring, but in every aspect just right.
I often take this little path through the woods, but not today!
I hope whoever made the discovery is okay. I certainly appreciate them putting in the time and effort to warn others. I did check, and there’s a sign at the other end of the path, too. I especially like the added touches — the drawing of a hornet and the suggestions for alternate routes.
The person or people could have warned only their friends, or sat at home nursing their stings. The extra effort to make sure strangers are safe, it’s one of the building blocks of a functional, caring civilization. I’m inspired to be extra mindful these next few days to make sure I’m watching out for others and not just myself. Thank you, kind sign maker(s)!
I haven’t made a “Today’s Walk” post in a while, but I talked my son into going on a three-mile excursion this morning. We decided to explore some streets we don’t usually cover in our walks and found a little pocket of houses that must be inhabited by artists. It was a delightful discovery.
As a frequent and avid walker who has lived in the same spot for nineteen years, I possess a deep familiarity with the landscape and character of my neighborhood. There are constant changes, of course, as seasons and residents move on to be replaced by others. But some alterations are more jarring than others. A couple of differences in the past few weeks have given me a through the looking glass feeling.
I’m fortunate to be within walking distance of my job, so my most frequent route takes me from my house to work and back. Those handful of blocks contain the sights I see on a near-daily basis. One house I pass was bought a few years ago by a couple with two very young children and an obvious appreciation for outdoors play. It always gives me a smile to see what they’re up to and maybe exchange a few words. This past winter was pretty brutal and lasted longer than usual, so I didn’t see the residents out at all for several months. Then one day in May as I headed up the block toward their place, I heard kids laughing and saw the parents out with them, drawing on their driveway with chalk. I approached with swelling heart, ready to wave and say a cheery hello. But wait!
When I arrived at the yard something was off. It was inhabited by the wrong family. All different people. Same general ages and complexions, but four completely different people. When did that happen? I go by the house nearly every single day, remember? I’d never seen a for sale sign, no moving trucks, no hint of disruption in the fabric of my reality. Had I gone through a portal to a parallel universe? I was shook.
Second shocking change: the house of my daydreams is gone. Poof! This one is (or was) not on my work-and-back path. It’s several blocks from my home, but still on a street where I walk frequently, in part because I enjoy looking at the stone cottage that appeared to be out of a fairy tale, the kind of place they put on jigsaw puzzles. I loved to imagine living in it some day, maybe in retirement, spending my days tending flowers in its yard. My step gained an extra spring when I turned the corner leading to my intended future enchanting stone home.
It’s amazing how quickly an entire house can be gone with hardly a trace. Breathtaking really. I ambled along anticipating my moment of housing zen, only to be caught up short by orange fencing and a demolition order. Sob. What does my dream future hold now?
Dare I venture out today? I suppose I will. I’m bracing myself. Perhaps I’ll find the portal that will bring me back to my dependable, known universe. I can hope.
We are still enjoying our vacation in Bellingham, Washington. The whole family enjoys outdoors activities and our budget appreciates free or cheap outings. Fortunately, we came to a beautiful location at the right time of year. Today’s walking discovery was the Cornwall Rose Garden. It’s just a small plot in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but it contains an impressive variety of roses. I don’t have a lot of commentary, but I hope you will be as fascinated by the diversity as I was.