Saturday, February 27, 2021

You Never Walk Alone


As a writer with hobbies like reading, cooking and crocheting, getting exercise is imperative. The last few weeks we’ve had to go on slow, short walks, even though my legs prefer, and need, longer walks. The short walk is about a quarter mile and the long walk is a lovely two miles. While there are a few medium routes that are one mile long, I get overruled on those due to hilly terrain or traffic. Hubs has pain from knee surgery and an old ankle injury. Maybe I was a Labrador retriever in my last life, because I love to go for walks. Short, long or in between, I’m happy with any kind of walk!

Funny thing is, I have a sweet friend who would gladly walk with me and go on long, strenuous walks, but bless her heart, she likes to go fast! She’ll round the corner, shouting and turning back to me, “Hurry up,” she’ll say, “come on!”  But, I don't want to hurry. Being outside is a luxury during a pandemic. We've been cooped up like chickens and locked up like convicts! This is 2021—nothing is fast—why should I be fast?  I like to listen to the birds sing, I like to enjoy the fresh air, the flowers and the all-around scenery, perhaps take photos of a sprouting tree or the yellow underbelly of a finch. Sadly, I told her I’ll walk with my husband, who would rather do just about anything these days, and yet, out of the kindness of his heart, he still acquiesces to the short walk; this is the same guy who once walked 100 miles at one time in the Army!  

When I go alone, I opt for a brisk medium walk. Truth be told, I miss walking my dogs. Pinky is a senior dog and I can’t risk some lightning fast dog approaching her and scaring her to death. She’s been attacked before in La Quinta (Bull dog and Rottweiler-15 stitches), and then almost again when we lost Fiona to a big Belgian Malinois running off leash. Fiona had on a thick camouflaged harness, looking adorable, when out of the blue, tragedy struck.  I picked up Pinky and ran home screaming, “Jesus help me!” Yup, I left Fiona and my husband to die. Fortunately, Steve survived, but after fighting over Fiona, the dog had bit Steve’s throat while looking for his jugular!

Later, when animal control took a report, they told us they weren’t putting the bad dog down, only placing him on house arrest for one year! Just appalling. Sorry for the sad facts, but walking just isn’t the same without your furry friends at your side. And, I suppose as time goes on, I'll be  relegated to going it alone or mopping my floors instead. Housework sucks! 

The thing is, I shouldn’t mind walking alone. After all, I’m never alone, right? Remember that song from the musical “Carousel”, called, “You’ll Never Walk Alone?” Here’s a great rendition: 

Today, I noticed a few chalk drawings in front of the park where Fiona and Steve were attacked. A year and half later, my head still can’t shake those vivid, painful memories. How can something like this happen in our neighborhood? I fight back tears every time I walk by the scene of the bloody event and there, at my feet is a message.  A chalk drawing to remind me--He’s here--wherever I choose to step-- and wherever I intend to go.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Valentine Hope!


It’s gray outside, in fact, it looks and feels bleak. Our country is not only cold, as in rain and snow, but also battling a virus. For the last few months things have been horrible and depressing. My noise cancelling headphones broke in half—so now there’s nowhere to hide from the six o’clock news. Our friends are in and out of hospitals. Sadly, despite our constant prayers, a few didn’t make it. Another is stuck in hospice.

Even during the darkest days, we know things will get better. Of course, they will, but even smiling broadcasters don’t have a clue as to when. But there’s always hope, or at least there should be hope.

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.”
~ Albert Camus

At 7:48am this morning someone sent me flowers. The doorbell rang and the driver, who should have worn a mask, handed me a lovely bouquet of roses, lilies and daisies. After setting them on the counter, I immediately washed my hands. Still, it came as a delightful surprise.

Five minutes later, a romantic couple of large, mallard ducks flew into our backyard as a sort of harbinger of spring. Splashing and quacking, they shook their tail feathers and sat down on the flagstone. Every year a couple, maybe the same ones, return to lay eggs behind our mesquite tree. Once the ducklings hatch, they toddle off behind mama duck, to a local creek. Why would this year be any different?

An hour later, my Valentine went to get his first dose of the vaccine. Things are looking up. There might even be a bit of sunshine today!


May hope and love fill your heart this Valentine’s Day!