I have intentionally been avoiding posting a blog lately because of significant changes in my life that I do not yet feel like exploring in a public forum, but still color everything I try to write. Suffice to say that in order to write about my life, such a significant event would naturally be a subject to discussion. I am convinced, however, that no matter how bad things may seem, no matter how devastating any one event may be, life continues, goes on, keeps rolling, whatever. So with that said, I can say that nothing of significance has happened lately. Other than that one thing I’m not talking about.
So I went for a walk.
I have decided to try and achieve my step count goals as determined by my smart watch. It is set by default to 10,000 steps a day as a goal for fitness. In the past, I have averaged between 3500 and 6000 steps on a good day, and about 1000 to 1500 on weekends, where I tend to perch in my recliner and let the rocking motion tick away as the closest approximation to stepping. It does count them. I checked. I get a couple of hundred steps that way on the weekend. I figure I can rock myself to fitness without having to get my heart rate up. As long as I don’t have a heart attack first.
Anyway, I go for walks every evening now. I have tried in the past to make it a habit, but I found it difficult to garner any support to help gain any traction in this endeavor, but now those impediments are gone and the only excuse I have for not walking is me. That’s not a good enough excuse, so I have been walking. And walking. And walking. My goal is to go ride my bicycle for ten to fifteen miles a day, but I have a couple of years of lethargic tonnage to eliminate before I can mount my bike again, so I walk. It’s a good brisk walk, though, to get my heart rate up, since my trusty fitness app tells me my resting heart rate is too high. With any luck, I’ll be back to fighting trim in no time. No time being defined as sometime this century—before I get planted in the ground.
What I need, though, is a more picturesque walking path. Walking past houses in the neighborhood can afford some interesting things to see: you notice when someone gets a new car, or when they get their landscaping done, or perhaps an upgrade to the house. You get to meet those garage dwellers who, for some reason, prefer to lounge in the garage and watch TV rather than in the comfort of their air conditioned houses. They usually are good for a wave and the greeting of the day. I often meet people mowing their lawns, which should prompt me to mow mine, but for some reason it doesn’t. I usually tell these people that my house is right around the corner when they get done with their lawn and they want to mow more. Similarly, some are either washing their vehicles or performing some kind of maintenance on them. It is odd to see some of these houses with four or more cars in their driveway; so many vehicles that they block the sidewalk, forcing me to veer into the street to get around them. How many people live in these little 1500 square foot houses that they need so many vehicles?
One of the more intriguing questions that pop into my head is the edging of the sidewalks and driveways. Some people run an edger or weed eater along the edge of the concrete to keep the grass clear of the walking path. Some people, however, dig a trench along the concrete five miles wide and 300 fathoms deep. It’s like they are constructing a mote to protect their property from invaders or something. I walk along a nicely edged grass line and stumble into a gaping maw of a pit that runs the entire property line. I sometimes think I hear hikers calling for help from down below having fallen into the chasm. Of course, the flipside is the yards that have never seen an edger. The St. Augustine runners have crept out and almost joined forces from both sides of the concrete in an attempt to reclaim the sidewalk for nature.
It occurred to me last night that someone who walks the neighborhood every night might be a good witness in the event something bad happens. The neighbors could tell an investigator “No, sir, Mr. Policeman, I didn’t see anything. But ask Dave. He walks past here every day at this time. He’s sure to have seen something.”
Not that I would really be a good witness. I tend to forget things as soon as I process and categorize them. I tried to think of something I had seen the day before and nothing stood out. I mean I recognize landmarks, like the powder blue Mercury Mariner. I remember that only because it is a very unusual shade for an SUV. I remember the 2015 Mustang V8 Convertible 5.0, which I remember because I want one and this one disappoints me because it’s black and not red. So unless it has to do with an unusual colored car, I doubt I would recall anything of note. I can’t even remember my neighbor’s names, much less the people two blocks over.
I do see some unusual things though. I watched a bird beat the crap out of a cat last night. It would sweep down and peck the cat on the head from behind and disappear before the cat knew what hit him. I see some yards that are meticulously groomed with beautiful foliage and interesting blooms. I also see some yards that look like a tropical rain forest, with foliage so deep and thick, it’s difficult to tell if there is a house behind it or not. I swear I heard King Kong’s roar behind those shaking palms.
After several weeks of walking the route, I’m getting kind of bored with the same old sights. I need a new walking path with new views, like one with mountain vistas, rolling hills, pastoral fields and serene lakes. These walks help me burn calories, so hopefully I might lose weight, but they also give me something to take my mind off my problems. Of course, once I get going, I tend to go on autopilot, which gives my mind time to think about that which I would rather not. I do my best to try to direct my thinking toward more pleasant thoughts. I try to formulate plot ideas for my novels, develop new characters, and think about blog ideas. This gives my mind something to do. The downside of this is that, if I witness a crime, I may not be able to recall any details.