Sunday, October 13, 2013

And Hijinks Ensued OR: Abiail's Tail From the Trail

Not working from notes today, and nothing profound is on my mind, so just a few observations. It has been a few weeks since Abigail and I walked our trail. This summer was hot, so days that we could leave early enough for the four milers not to be dangerous for one or both of us were limited. But I've missed it much. For some years I didn't have a car, so I would ride the bus to work and my husband would pick me up. Sometimes I would have him bring Abigail with him to pick me up, and she and I would walk home. But in August I bought an old, beat up car from a friend's daughter, and now I drive back and forth, taking that walk home option out of our life equation. I've also taken a second job in the evenings, so coming home to take a walk is also not an option. I know Abigail enjoyed this walk, but I know she can't know how precious this chance to do our little four miles today is.

I've observed before that when walking, other walkers; especially with dogs, are the friendliest, then come joggers, and the least pleasant of all tend to be bike riders. Today it was different for some reason-the joggers were the least pleasant. The particular trail that we walk most often has many bikers and bike clubs that ride, so they are used to seeing lots of walkers with and without dogs, and they are very good at announcing themselves and greeting us. But why were the joggers less friendly today? Not only did most of them not respond to greetings, they didn't even give an acknowledging nod. Was it the cloud cover? We certainly know that there is a level of joy in life that is attached to sunshine. And this week studies were published which also showed that getting "outside, in nature" also adds to happiness and positive outlooks. Could they have just been in a hurry to get their exercise in because of rain in the forecast? Who knows. I will continue to smile and greet. If the folks I pass on the way do not, that's about them. Innit?

I was pretty proud of myself before this walk. I remembered to take water for Abigail to drink afterward, which I forgot last time. I remembered a towel for my face. It has been a very long time since it was just Abigail and me, but our friend who often goes with us is out of town. So I could have listened to my music, which I just yesterday put back on my devices after having my hard drive wiped this summer and losing all the CD's I had recorded. But I forgot my earbuds, and an iPhone doesn't play music well without them. So, no music. I also didn't realize that my app for measuring the walks wasn't working-or I hadn't known to turn it back on after downloading the new operating system for my phone. It may not seem like a big deal, but that little voice telling me how far I've walked and what a good job I'm doing is helpful and motivating. I got it figured out when we got to Benbrook Dam, which is the halfway point. So it worked going back, and I kept a good pace-16.5 minutes per mile. I used to think that it was the music that kept my pace quick, but that's pretty good for an old fat woman!

I did see some things on this walk that were a little different; I saw a guy walking a Papillion.  Most people who have Papillions think of them as sweet little lap dogs, but this little girl's dad said that she is pretty athletic. I also saw Carole King and Richard Belzer look alikes. I found myself looking at the Richard Belzer guy, who came along shortly after Carole King, and wondering how that could happen so close together. Doppelgangers. Gotta love em. Considering that there are look alikes wherever groups of people gather, I think it comes down to having only a certain number of face and eye/nose/lip shapes, which reminds me that we are all related as humans, so we probably are seeing our distant relatives in all those look alike faces.

I also noticed once again that it is not dog smells that Abigail wants to scent roll in, it's in the scent of prey animals such as squirrels. Did human hunters get this idea from dogs; the way they rub "essence of female deer" on themselves to attract deer when they are hunting, and to hide the human scent? Maybe not, but I choose to believe that people have learned something from our best friends.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Great "Why," According to Me

Yah, I picked a rather arrogant title, because the truth is that I haven't a clue why. And I'm daily given to the despairing thought that sometimes it doesn't help to worry about it, or try to change things. But autumn is a time for reflection, and I, as usual, have some questions:

Why on earth is the inside of my dishwasher dirty and stained? Especially the door, which doesn't hold anything dirty, and is daily splashed with water and soap.

Why are there times when I am full and hungry at the same time? Does anyone else experience this? I'm not talking one of those bored times when I just want to eat to have something to do, I'm talking about a physical feeling of hunger when I've eaten and feel full. It's just weird to me, and I'd like to know why?

Why do people so often feel it necessary to spell out simple, frequently used words to people on the phone? Do most people not ask when there is a word they don't know how to spell? Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel offended when people offer to spell words for me when I haven't asked; why would they assume I don't know? 

Why do Americans seem to be incapable of reflection?  From the visceral reaction to Vladimir Putin's op-ed, to how insurance works, to the fact that stereotypes and anecdotes are not unimpeachable truth, why can't we apply reason and balance to the questions of life and reach reasonable and balanced solutions?

Why do folks continually say that they are not "defined" by this or that very large aspect of who they are? "My job does not define me." "My sexuality does not define me." "My childhood; body weight; height...whatever does not define me." Well, maybe whatever that is does not define you all by itself, but it most certainly does incorporate into the definition of who you are. And if it is what you are talking about, and then ending a tirade by claiming that "it" does not define you, then it probably is more important in the defining of you than you would like to admit. Being short, fat, the oldest of five, Leo, the first grandchild on my dad's side, the child of very young parents who married as teens, etc, etc, etc, defines me. I'm not defensive about any of it because it is all a part of who I undeniably am, whether I like it or not. This is also true of you. Why can't we embrace that instead of fighting it? And by the way, I like who you are, and what defines you.