Today Was A Beautiful Monday

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.  Psalm 150:6

Today was a beautiful Monday.  Even though the temperature was a little warmer than this time of year calls for, it was a low humidity day, so very pleasant.  When Rocky came home from work we went to the park for a walk.  Two laps is a mile.  I did not make two laps today.  It has been a while since I walked and I was breaking in new walking shoes, so opted to take it slow and easy.  I did one lap and a small stretch in the parking lot.  Rested.  Then, did a few laps in the picnic shelter. When not walking, I enjoyed sitting at one of the tables  looking out over the countryside.

Towards the end of the walk there is a fairly steep (at least to me) hill to climb.  I usually turn on this hill and walk a few steps backwards.  This affords quite a beautiful view of the surrounding hillsides.  In the middle of one little hilltop there is a charming barn with a silo standing at attention as if on guard. It was quite idyllic with white clouds floating in blue sky, balmy breeze and birds chirping.  I, of course, did not have a camera to capture the view, so you’ll just have to paint a picture in your mind with my words.

That is one of the things I love about words that are written.  It gives me a chance to use my imagination.  I can picture the barn and silo the way I want them to look.  I can make the barn any color I choose, or even weathered gray with a tin roof all rusty around the edges (my favorite, I think).  The silo can be stone, or galvanized metal; new or timeworn. The sky can be whatever shade of blue I need it to be and the clouds can take on shapes that spark further fantastical imaginings.  And the bird song.  Sweet melodies composed just for me.

Yes, today was a beautiful Monday.

Imagining in grace,

Teresa

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My Health Is Worth It

I did something today that I have never done before.  I paid for a gym membership.  And I walked the track around the basketball court.  Twenty-two laps equal a mile. I walked twenty-two laps.  I think.  I got distracted once, talking to a lovely older woman and may have lost count.  She did 56 laps.  Baby steps.  One day soon, I too will do 56 laps, which according to her is about two and a half miles.

The only other time I have been to a public gym for exercise was on the seminary campus and it was free to students and their families.  Well, technically, we actually did pay a lot for that gym membership if you count the tuition.  But to officially join a gym that required me to commit up front to a three month contract without possibility of refund.  Today was a first.

I did this because I decided that my health was worth it.  When we lived on campus we went to the gym and walked fairly regularly, but we took it for granted and so missed quite often and didn’t really take full advantage of all it had to offer.  Well, Mr. Piano did join a water aerobics class once.  The women were very gracious to him.

Anyway, moving on, my health is worth the moola.  Back in the summer we were walking at the park quite often and it was a work out because there were mountains.  Ok. Hills.  Small ones. And it felt good and I was noticing a difference.  Then, it got cooler and then cold and we dwindled down to once a week, then not at all.  Every time we went it was like starting over and I would use any excuse not to go.

Did I mention that my health is worth it?  It makes me feel better to walk.  My clothes fit better.  I have more energy.  But, I need consistency.  I need to know that I’m going three to four times a week rain or shine, warm or cold.  So, for the next three months until it warms up a bit, I’ll be walking at the local gym.  Every day.  Minus three, or four.  The point is, I will have no excuse for consistency or lack thereof.  Unless of course the roads are impassable due to a blizzard.

I figure by spring I’ll be back in the swing and feeling much better and transitioning to the park again will be easy peasy.  And those hills?  They’ll be a new challenge that I’ll be ready to meet.  And, Mr. Piano?  Joined also.  We’re like that, the two us, we do things together.  He’s a showoff though.  He did more laps than me and he jogged part of the time.

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Hopefully in 2013 we will REMAIN healthy.  How’s that for using my word of the year?  Go me.

Remaining in Grace,

Sadie

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Cherokee Park Revisited or Searching For The Fountain Statue

We usually end up in Cherokee Park by accident because we’ve made the wrong turn while circling the statue that sits in the middle of several streets.  Then we take an unplanned drive around the scenic loop and it is quite enjoyable.

Sunday, Mr. Piano and I purposed to go there.  And we eventually made it.  After trailing down several residential streets on the outskirts of the park.  That pesky statue again.  Seems as if our adventures where Cherokee Park are concerned unravel quite by happenstance.  I think I’m ok with that.

This adventure included walking around the scenic loop.  We started at the top of the hill near the water fountain statue (not the same as the one circled earlier).  We started down the hill at an enjoyable pace.  I mutter something about having to walk back up that hill at some point.  There were several others going our way and a few going opposite.  One young lady out walking her poodle, pink leash and all, breezed by and smiled sweetly.  That was about the point that I wondered if we kept following the scenic loop, if we’d eventually end up by the water fountain again.  So, I remarked that she seemed to know where she was going and if we followed her we’d get back to where we started.  She was soon out of our sights.

No problem. Keep walking around a curve or two and across a bridge.  Mr. Piano pointed out a shortcut through the woods.  If we take it we will be going back towards the fountain statue.  Maybe.  Only if we ask someone.  No getting lost in the woods.  Turns out it will bring us back closer to our starting point than continuing the scenic loop.  Hope.

So, against my trepidatious (might be a new word) misgivings of what lurks in yonder wood I reluctantly agree to take the shortcut.  A bridge veers off to the right.  Which way.  The girl with directions said left so we keep going straight down the path as there is no definite left.  A little futher the path splits – a clear left and a clear right.  Which way.  The girl didn’t say, so assume left again. It’s going to be dark soon. Hope we’re out of the woods.  Finally, steps and the scenic loop is in sight again!  Which way.

Forgetting the sage advice I learned while on family adventures as a young gal, which said when in doubt always go left, we chose to go right.  Walking.  Doesn’t feel right.  See that pavilion up on the hill over there. That is not the pavilion by the fountain.  I think the girl must have meant when we come to the end of the path, turn left.  Keep walking.  Wait, there’s the poodle girl walking towards us.  Wow, she has made good time, but shouldn’t we be going the same direction as her?  Follow her.  Of course she is out of sight in a flash.  No mind.  I’m going to ask the next person I meet where the fountain is.

I have failed to mention that for the past several minutes there has been a voice in the woods calling out something that sounds like Ragee.  You need to  know this because……A car whizzes by. Stops.  Begins to back up.  Why is that car backing up.  Why is no one else around.  Wait, another car is coming, he better quit backing up.  Car pulls over.  Guy gets out.  Are we safe.  He wants to know if that woman back there is calling her dog.  I think so.  He hollers to her that her dog is up at the pavilion playing with the kids.

Pavilion.  Question, which way is the fountain from here.  He says we’re almost there.  Just around the corner and up that hill.  Hill. I knew there would be a hill at the end.  Finally, yea!  Fountain.  I need to stop and rest. Catch my breath.  Cool Down.  A guy emerges from the woods.  Says he sees we made it.  Wants to know if we’ve seen the dog woman yet.  No, don’t see the dog either.  Hope they found each other.

Strains of Happy Birthday waft on the air from the pavilion as we slowly make our way back to the car an hour after first walking down the other side of the hill.  Thank God we took the shortcut through the woods or we’d still be circling the scenic loop looking for a statue with a fountain.

We drive slowly down the hill, through the trees, sigh contently and head home knowing that we now belong to Cherokee Park.

Walking in Grace,

Sadie