Tag Archives: walk

Meeting Neighbors – Walk #11

Eleven-Year-Old forgot his binder at home. The sun was shining, so I walked it to the school, saying hello to some of the neighbors along the way:

Excuse the mud. Have you a nibble or two?

 

Hey, you new?

 

Either these are alpacas or there are some strange looking horses in the neighborhood. =>

 

 

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.” Psalm 23:1-3 (NLT)

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East Wind – Walk #10

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“Winds from the east. Mist comin’ in.
Like somthin’ was brewin’; about to begin.
Can’t put me finger on what lies in store.
But I feel what’s to ‘appen, all ‘appened before!”
– Bert, from Mary Poppins, by P. L. Travers

Cocony joined Captain, Scout and me for our noontime walk today. We breathed deeply, taking in signs of new life springing from last year’s thawing remains; the fresh, 42 degree air feeling like 62 degrees after such extreme cold for so long here. Still mostly gray and brown in the pastures, we all felt exhilarated there too!

Enjoy glimpses of our piece of the world today:

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 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

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Walk #7

I’ve been on vacation. I’d prepared my posts last week as best I could (new photos and poor internet connection notwithstanding). My only task until next week is to rest.

My primary focus this year has been to 1) pray and 2) live in the moment; enough with the incessant what ifs. I’ve honed my edge substantially, and yet this week proved for me to rest and simply be remains a challenge. The closest I get is walking the beautiful countryside.

Today’ relaxation:

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“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

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Walk #6

Stains

After shooting stained glass all over town I was able to tell a fellow blogger how it’s best shot from the dark side:

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(Click St. Joseph image for full view. Click browser “back” arrow to return.)

A few days later the girls and I went to lunch at Spoons. I soon discovered one of the best lunch spots in town is located in the stunningly beautiful Hope West Hospice:

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“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 (NIV)

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Walk #5

It was a great day to visit the local post office.

Outside the building a small flag moving along, barely visible above the cars parked along the curb stole my attention. I found it attached to Marjorie Lewis’ scooter. Ms Lewis shared with me a good part of her last few decades and some American History. Half an hour with her seemed like seconds but I doubt I’ll ever forget this unsung hero:

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Birthday cards to mail, I proceeded inside to find the regular gang waiting to help me:

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Not just a Postal Employee but my workout cheer leader, Linda checks my dumbbells.

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The seal of approval.

“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1 (NLT)

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Walk #3

In my Neighborhood

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Walking with my head lowered, my cap visor pulled down reflected how I felt after examining my finances. Suddenly I nearly bumped into a man standing at the edge of the sidewalk. I startled just a smidgen, but looked closely at the shabbily dressed, but immaculate looking man of indeterminable age.

He smiled.

He said nothing and I felt comfortable stopping a scant few feet from him. Looking into his smile I felt a weight lift. In heartbeats I forgot my troubles and the mood of my day changed. I asked if I could take his photo for my blog about our neighborhood. Hands in his pockets, he didn’t move but his smiled broadened. I snapped, thanked him and began walking again – the sun would be hot soon.

A few steps later I looked back to wave but didn’t see him. In my newfound peace I felt a little sad he was gone, but then I too smiled. I am blessed. As I envisioned his smile again something shiny in the grass caught my eye:

homeless memorial

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)

 

Images are from my private collection and aside from reblogging or reposting the article in whole, are not to be copied without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Walk

Today again I appreciate more and more how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. First, who knew how changing my post days to Monday and Thursday would go like this?

Today’s revelation began two nights ago – I was actually cold beneath my wool blanket and goose down throw. In case I haven’t mentioned it before I never feel cold, so in the gorgeous spring weather of the Western Slope, that was the first clue that I have been running overloaded for too long. I just checked: The temps were 46 degrees to 78 degrees here that day – around 70 degrees when I retired.

This morning confirmed my suspicion when I awoke with what I generally call hamburger throat, imagining what my insides might look like with that sore, raspy feeling.

Josey tea Carli JeanWith no fever it’s all good. I arose only slightly slower than usual and was sipping my Black Silk amaretto latte by the time Erin arose. I marvel at how, in only four weeks we’ve achieved very close to perfect sync with each other. It’s almost as though the past thirty-five years had been mere weeks.

thumb driveRight on course, by then I’d already checked my drafts for today’s post and had dismissed all of the ideas I found there. By Erin’s second cup of Black Silk Vanilla ambition, she suggested I consider her idea from a few days before, the things we miss while driving.

Before I prepared my second latte Erin invited me to walk downtown with her to City Hall to pay a bill and get some fresh air. Because my second latte was super low fat, low caffeine with evaporated cane juice, (and my body’s fighting off an infection 😉 ) I considered her suggestion longer than I usually would.

Despite having volumes of words and photos to consider, I immediately prepared to walk anyway. Walking simply seemed right.

Though I felt tired before we wrapped up the 1.6 miles, I’m glad I went. Walking alone and had I not been feeling slightly puny, I would have logged in 3 miles in that time. However I would not have met the neighbors.

Two blocks from home a Mini-Schnauzer, a Shih Tzu, and a Great Pyrenees/German shepherd pup rushed into the road, barking happily to greet us. The pup, already bigger than her mature dog companions, but clearly a baby, loped along. Their people, Guy and Barbie were right on their heels.

Without Erin I wouldn’t have stopped to chat. We wouldn’t have learned Guy and Barbie also have property just a stretch of the legs from Keira and Newlyn’s property (Erin’s mom and her late father) where we go for Sunday dinner every week. And yet, we paused a good ten minutes, met our neighbors briefly and their fur kids – well enough that 3-month-old Big Baby began walking with us as we departed. We’ll consider doing that another day.

pit bull leashHow delightful that Guy knows Keira and Newlyn’s place by the spayed Amstaf terrier that lives in the next lot on the road just before Keira’s. Though Guy doesn’t recall knowing Erin’s two brothers, everyone in town knows Nancy the pit bull, who initially seems ferocious, but locals all stop to greet her – usually with a treat. I adore the friendly, small-town atmosphere despite the wide geographical span.
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Ordinarily under other circumstances I wouldn’t have stopped to chat up our two young, co-ed neighbors taking a break from their studies either. I wouldn’t have told them they remind me of mornings on our porch back home where Roan, Opal and I would sit, wrapped in our blankets, mugs of coffee in hand to see the day in.

What’s more, the girls wouldn’t otherwise have extended an invitation to join their occasional parties any time, and they wouldn’t have welcomed us to visit them for food and grog where they both work at the local chain establishment. We wouldn’t have chatted about the advantages of the new Fitbits and the knock-offs that are out there.

GJ Law ofcI also noticed the amazing array of flora, from blooming cactus to peonies, vivid iris and the many varieties of columbine, and how they differ in full sun and from beneath the immense shade trees. Nor seemingly everywhere the vintage, refashioned architecture styles and landscaping seen on the Western Slope.

 

 

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I noticed how the many other pedestrians nodded, saying, “hi” and how one in particular paused to ask us about the shell casing we’d found in the grass a few feet in front of him. “Weird,” he said. We agreed. I wouldn’t have noticed the bird calls, especially the dove that called to us, seeming to follow us from tree top to tree top going from our block and then welcoming us back to it.

What I didn’t notice is vehicle traffic. Aside from a rare, occasional car passing (below the speed limit), the driver waving or nodding politely as they passed, there are very few cars moving through the neighborhood mid-to-late weekday mornings. The breeze and bird calls aren’t drowned out by more obnoxious sounds. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but I might have heard some dandelions groaning as they struggled for root room in the thick grass of one sunny lawn.

Then there’s the view of the Book Cliffs, Sleeping Ute, Mount Garfield, The Mesa and the National Monument towering around us. If they don’t take your breath away you need new glasses – or perhaps a check up from the neck up.

Sleep Butte  Mt Garfield

Whether I’m actually sick or simply run-hard-and-put-away-wet, I’m delighted to have experienced some of the beauty we miss when we drive ourselves to our various errands. Clearly it’s good therapy. I feel extravagantly blessed that whatever we need in our household is walking distance from our front door, even when we need a break more than anything else. The reorganization project will be waiting for us whenever we return.

God knows this deep sense of belonging to family and community is exactly what I’d hoped and prayed for. Clearly He held it all together here just for me :D.

Thanks God!

 

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

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Flexible But Grounded

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Hopi is our dog. As I understand she came from Champion Golden Retriever and Grand Champion Australian Shepherd breeding lines. Regardless of her lineage, with her natural instincts, devotion to the pack and sweet disposition she is the best herd dog I’ve ever known. The offspring of two work breeds, to say she naturally has high energy levels is an understatement. To keep her calm, happy and fit she needs lots of exercise daily.

After we moved from our rural home to a suburban condo, many of our habits changed; for one, from a third floor apartment Hopi became a house dog. In inclement weather we could no longer simply open a door and turn Hopi loose outside. So, more than ever before, daily walks became as important to me as to Hopi.

The harsher Midwest winter weather interrupting our daily routines brought even more change. After couple of weeks of ice storms and weeks of deep snow we discovered a change in Hopi. Instead of getting right down to business outdoors, she would sniff the snow and get so obsessed doing that, she began ignoring my commands. One evening instead of walking at my side as usual, Hopi bolted out the door ahead of me to meet another smaller dog, frightening the dog’s walker. This was radically different from her usual behavior which all the new neighbors had initially enjoyed.

For the first time in years I had to harness and leash Hopi to protect her and other tenants, reinforce her training, and keep her attention on me, which had previously been her second nature. We became more careful to exercise Hopi as much as possible and continually work her through her paces regardless of the weather. Now we enjoy happy adventures most every day again and during inclement weather we explore the indoor hallways and stairs, visiting with the neighbors on the way.

There’s a noteworthy parallel between Hopi’s first winter in the suburbs and the Christian walk. When circumstances cause us to change our routines it is very easy to become distracted to a degree that is not always best for us. An exciting television series can lead to the set being on habitually and valuable attention to other tasks can gradually be lost. Skipping an exercise routine to have coffee with friends can become the rule rather than the exception, or enjoying one extra snack after doing some extra running one day and then another the next day too, and before we realize it we’ve put on a couple of pounds.

Regardless of one’s faith base, daily meditation, devotional time, prayer, reading Scriptures or attending worship services can slip away into oblivion after rearranging schedules to include other tasks too. Whenever I did any of that, I soon noticed I was not as patient or content with my life as I typically am. Even after identifying what changed, it took strict personal discipline and help from God just to get back in the habit of putting everything aside for foundational enrichment.

Like Hopi, we all need exercise and socializing as well as discipline and spiritual nourishment to be well balanced individuals. Variety is good – provided it doesn’t undermine the groundwork of our purpose in life. With so many choices and distractions in our world pulling us in many different directions, routine discipline can be a mainstay to keeping that balance. Without it we could all be chasing rabbits and scaring the neighbors!

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)

 

Preceding is a slightly edited repost of an original Roo’s Ruse Blogspot post from 2009. Much has changed in my world since I wrote the article; Hopi and the rest of the fur kids have gone on to await us at the Rainbow Bridge and I now live with Roan and Opal in North Texas. However, like The Scriptures the message still rings true.

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DFW Mid December

winter oak

Breezes scatter rain
Fall’s last remnants cling
To gray branches

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Glad for this weather
Content I can walk
With the fallen leaves
Observe as we go
I am home today
Today

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Salut, Roo’s Muse

Original photos by Roo on 16 December 2015… Seriously.

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Nature Walk

Sitting in my courtyard, I bask in the warm sunlight.

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I hear something barely audible scratch the wall six feet away, level with my face. I turn to see a bright green gecko hurrying its way across the wall. Gecko stops and seems to be looking into my eyes.

Gecko’s bright vermilion throat balloons and then deflates. As I watch, Gecko spins around to face the walkway, and then strangely, it spins back around, stopping with its face pointing directly at me again.

Fully into the scene, I begin to very slowly stand. Gecko also maneuvers even more slowly, and stops to point toward the walkway again. As if waiting for me as I step toward the walk, Gecko shoots across the wall about 12 inches, stops and then spins back around to face me yet again.

I continue slowly forward toward Gecko. He turns toward the walk again and then darts forward too, turns around the corner of the wall and vanishes behind a shrub.

Certain Nature is leading me into a dance, I begin down the walk and onto the street.

While I enjoy deep, invigorating breaths, a crow screeches from where he floats on the air just above and before me. Crow circles around me and slows in front of me again, as if willfully drawing my attention. I don’t speak crow. Crow doesn’t speak English. So, in fun I stretch my arms out widely as I continue walking along behind and below him. Crow circles again and glides a few feet up and in front of me as if enjoying the game, I run, he flies above and ahead.

As we approach a trail leading into the park, Crow banks left and I leave the trail to run after him up a grassy slope. Crow screeches, circling around and then glides directly ahead of me again. Enraptured by the moment, my arms still out from my sides, I quicken my pace back down the slope after him. Crow seems to hover in front of me and then he shoots upward.

Still running while watching Crow rocket effortlessly, suddenly the ground disappears from beneath me too. I feel the air holding me and I imagine I feel exactly what Crow feels.

Sudden, abrupt ouch!
Icy cold!
Wet!
Confusion!
Pain shoots up my legs – my feet slide out from below me, my rear and my hands splash into water, both slamming across slimy rocks lining the creek bed! What the…???

Soaked, I look up at the lower side of the bridge a good seven feet above me to my right, and further where I’d run off the grassy ledge moments before.

“Silly human” Crow chuckles as he flaps away over the trees.

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