Morning Walks



At the end of June I realized my age and my body were having a conversation I didn’t want to hear. I’m the type of person who likes to ignore stuff like that. It’ll go away. Or not. So I made a doctor’s appointment for the end of August. Time to cram for the final: get toned, eat better and exercise.

On August 1st I started my new walking regimen at 8:30 a.m. A journey starts with the first step. Whoever said that didn’t take into account the hot, muggy Florida weather. But I made it through that first walk. My cheap pedometer said the distance was 2.45 miles. It’s now twelve days later and the walk is becoming a routine, although I’ve bumped the time back to 7 or 7:30 a.m.

Each walk opens my eyes to new people, new sights and things to photograph. Yesterday I noticed the leaves are starting to fall. This is in contrast to the air that seems so thick with moisture I can almost see the water hanging in the sunny streams across my vision. The walks give me ideas for my blog. My mind is free from interruption, ignoring the cell phone on my hip beeping to let me know I have incoming email messages.

Today at the halfway point on a cul-de-sac a Crow greeted me from a tall Lodge Pole pine. “Hey! Hey!” He seemed to say. Turning around I saw a high cloud formation perfectly framed by the pristine blacktop in the middle and the manicured lawns on each side. I had been walking head down, deep in thought and had missed all the potential photographs and stories in front of me. Not only is nature reaching out to me but each person I meet on this walk has something interesting to tell me, even if we only say a few words. This is the hour when I see men walking old dogs, runners, women in groups chattering like birds, or people like me, alone and enjoying the morning.

This particular walk takes me through an area with CC and R’s, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. The cul-de-sac’s, circles, and loops all have well maintained homes. Rarely do you see a lawn that isn’t green, fertilized and edged. No aggressive, off lead dogs run out to challenge me, no loud music deafens my walk. It is a safe neighborhood. As I lift my head and become a voyeur into the occupant’s yards, I see the artistic talent of various people. I must bring my Canon another day to capture the mailboxes that suddenly grab my eye. Some have ivy overflowing around them. Others have perfectly manicured flowers edging the post. The gaping-mouthed fish mailboxes so popular in the South are not found here, a victim of the CC&R’s, no doubt. Do the homeowner’s in this neighborhood compete for the best dressed mailbox? It seems so.

One loop takes me up a rare hill before I head back onto the main road and back home. At the base of the hill is a nice looking lawn sporting a Porti-Potty in the front yard. This odd fixture has been there for a long time. Someday I’ll stop another walker so I can hear the “rest of the story”. My guess is that the Potty is the owner’s attempt to flip the bird at the neighbors. I give him an “A” for originality, at least.

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s walk and eventually a long walk to the local supermarket. The last time I did that particular walk three people tried to give me a ride. Only crazy people walk in this heat. But I guess people don’t understand why I’m walking; to cram for my test at the end of the month, to outrun my age and set back time.

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