While Out Walking

As soon as my healing ankle allowed, I started walking in January. Since then, aside from a few days where it was too icy or my schedule was just too hectic, my dog and I have logged at least 30 minutes of walking every day. Why 30 minutes? Well, back in December, right about the time I was sitting on a couch with my ankle wrapped and elevated, Michael Moore wrote on his Facebook page about the changes and reasons behind his 42 week of taking a 30 minute walk every day. (Read it here, but come back please.) As someone who needed to rehab a sprained ankle, as well as someone who knows the connection between depression and lack of exercise, I decided a 30 minute walk was just the ticket.

After all, there was no way at that time either the dog or I could *gasp* jog around the block. So for almost a month I’ve been taking Charlie out in the rain, fog, 20 degree temperatures, and rare sunshine for a walk.

And when we go, I watch my world pass by. Not pass me by, but pass by. There is a difference, you know. We’ve gone farther, faster, and I’ve worked on my new novel as we walk. So it’s a win, right?

Today we got a bit of a late start which meant we passed the students walking to the college on our way past the college instead of back from it. It also meant that I saw a few things today that I haven’t seen for awhile.

First off, almost three years ago, I was the victim of a hit-and-run type accident. Except that I was the driver and the person who hit me was a bicyclist (story here). In all the time since then, I’ve not seen the man. And yet this morning, as I approached the end of a sidewalk, I saw a familiar bicyclist approach me. As he rolled through the stop he didn’t even look at me. But there was something about the hair and beard and the eyes between that caught my attention. And then I noticed the bike. It was the guy that hit me. Thank goodness I hadn’t tried to cross in front of him–he’d probably have hit me again knowing my track record.

Then, about 300 yards later a van passed me. I’ve seen it in the neighborhood a few times but this time I got a good look at it.

It’s an older mini-van of the Dodge variety back when it was wedge shaped. Once it was red with grey stripes but time has faded it to a weird tomato red shade wrapped in a elephant-gray belt. What is most striking are the two 5 foot car Confederate flags streaming behind it. It passed by me slowly enough that this time I noticed the car seats and the bumper stickers.

It’s like a mobile “The South Will Rise Again” meets “My Honor Child at Blah Blah Blah” testimony to one thing: geography is a challenge for many. Because dude, the only thing farther north than here is Canada.

On a more positive note, I did notice that all the early bulbs are coming up in my neighborhood, reminding all of us that regardless of what might at times seem hopeless is really just going to pass us by. The rains will end and spring will arrive.

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One thought on “While Out Walking

  1. Ooh -ooh, I wanna come w/ so I can (unobtrusively and in a way not easily connected to you) throw a rock at the guy who did a hit & run on you. Besides, as an occasional bicycle rider little ticks me off more than cyclists who habitually blow through stops, thereby giving all cyclists bad names(to be called by drivers, which I also am).

    And yeah, I also don’t get the whole rebel flag thing in the Pac NW. Dude, this ain’t Dixie. No one is giving you mental fist-bumps here.

    Thanks, Kristina

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