Monday Morning Musings

Posted on June 25, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

A great day for grazing

 

What do you do when you’re carless?

You walk. A lot.

We’ve been a one car family for some time now so when we loan our vehicle to a family member from time to time, we are forced to get around on foot. If we lived in the country or even on the outskirts of town this could be problematic but being downtown apartment dwellers, everything we need is a short walk away.

I am not in the habit of counting steps which seems to be the fashionable thing to do these days but just for fun, I checked my iPhone before going to bed on Saturday night, our first full carless day. I had racked up 24,804 not including the trips to the bathroom that most 66 year olds make more than once a day. I tried to retrace my footsteps in my head.

I can easily account for the first 15,000 or so. My friend and former marathon partner is heading off at the end of the summer to tackle a leg of the famous El Camino trail in Spain. In order for her to complete approximately 25 kilometres of walking each day, she needs to be in “walking shape” which is different than “running shape”. Our two hour early morning walk takes us to Back Road Brierly Brook, one of the best places to shake off early morning cobwebs.

We are both astonished at the lush and green landscape. The birds are chirping. The cows are in the fields enjoying a feed of fresh grass. The sky is clear and the air pristine. The air is rarely still when two old friends are out for a long walk.

If I can keep body and soul (and mind) together for another year, I hope to tackle the El Camino next spring, all 800 kilometres.

A short walk takes me to a nearby service station. Maybe I should call it “Corner Gas”! I buy the Saturday Herald and start with Bruce’s cartoon. I move on to the New York Times crossword puzzle.

The next couple of thousand steps take me up Hawthorne Street to Annie’s Bluff to spend one last hour with several family members who are making their way home after a week filled with laughter, tears and far too many sweets. All of my siblings and other members of the clan sip on a coffee as we reminisce about the week that was. We jokingly refer intermittently to the “talking stick”. My brother has a talking stick at his cottage. This is used in many indigenous cultures as a powerful communication tool that ensures a code of conduct. The person holding the stick, and only that person, is designated as having the right to speak and all others must listen quietly and respectfully. Good luck with a roomful of MacDonalds!

Late in the afternoon, I realize that there is no bread in the house so I lace them up again and head back up Hawthorne Street to Brendan’s. With apologies to the current owners of Hawthorne Convenience, it will always be Brendan’s for most of us. On my way back home, I make a left off of College onto Pleasant Street. Several residents of the R.K. MacDonald Nursing home are outside enjoying a beautiful summer day. I know most of them from my weekly visits to do music. They feel like family to me. I take a seat and spend a pleasant half hour chatting. It is time well spent.

As I’m leaving the R.K., I spot a young man moving along the sidewalk in his wheelchair. He is a well- known and valuable member of the L’Arche community. Forget about my steps. How many times has he applied pressure to his wheels to propel himself forward every day of his life? Forget about counting steps and start counting blessings.

I have had a pile of papers on my desk that have been there for at least a year gathering dust. I suspect a few of you have one of these piles too. I finally decide that this is the day to clear off my desk. Buried in the stack are the lyrics to “Fields of Athenry”. Nobody sings this quite like Sheumais MacLeod. I might give it a go next week at the R.K.

24,804. A lot of steps but well worth the effort.

Have a great week.

P.S. I took my children out for a meal after my mother’s funeral. One of them asked me about my music choices for my own funeral when that day comes. Without missing a beat, one of them came up with this suggestion: “Highway to Hell”!

 

 

 

 

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Comments

One Response to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Anna Mac Donald says:

    Re :the fellow who suggested Highway to Hell—–is he out of the will now??

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