Weather and Walking

The good news is that the latest snowstorm didn’t seem to affect my upcoming tulips except perhaps to encourage a few more to break through the ground.

The bad news is . . . well, there really is no bad news. There is bad news elsewhere, of course, but within my personal gated community (i.e., my fenced-in property), all is well

We did have horrific winds yesterday, but the only damage they did was to blow away the petals of the crocuses that had already bloomed. There are a few more crocuses coming up, so any bloom time that was cut short will be more than offset by the new blossoms. Today is a gorgeous day, blue skies, still air, and warming temperatures. By the weekend, it will be astonishingly warm — in the low eighties. Wow! If there are no winds accompanying those glorious temperatures, it should be a good day for walking.

I never used to let weather get in the way of my taking a walk, but I do now, especially when it’s slushy or windy or too hot or too cold. Unfortunately, I also let other things get in the way — work, too much to do, too tired, and all the other things that knock me out of routine. Last summer gardening was the culprit. Any work in the yard had to be done early before the day heated up, and by the time I finished watering and weeding and all the other small tasks necessary to take care of a yard, it was too hot to spend any more time outside, so the walking fell by the wayside. If all that weren’t enough, then there was the whole knee issue that really put the kibosh on walking.

With any luck and my knees willing, this summer I’m hoping to be able to do both the yard work and take a walk, but I seem to have lost the compelling urge to walk once I moved here. (Even when my knees prevented me from walking, I still felt the compulsion, but now I don’t.) So much of the walking I did for more than a decade was grief-induced. Grief seemed to keep me on the move, though I’m not sure why. Perhaps I was trying to run away from grief. Maybe I simply needed to relieve the stress of grief. It could be I needed the Zen of walking to keep me centered. Possibly the training for an epic long hike kept me focused on the future rather than the past. Most probably, it was a bit of all those things. With much of my grief-induced problems resolved, the impetus for walking isn’t there especially since my current walking paths lead me only around town rather than through nature, so now I have to rely on discipline to get me out there, and that is in short supply.

Once I am back in the habit of walking, it won’t be a problem keeping the habit going. Well, it won’t be a problem until the wind rises, slush happens, it gets too hot, my knees go wonky again, or work and chores intervene.

Even today, though I am looking forward to a walk, it’s possible that I will have to go to work instead. In that case, I’ll try again tomorrow, and if that doesn’t work out, then the next day. Or the next one after that.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Days Are Just Packed

I tend to think I don’t do much, but lately I’ve had to revisit that thought. Ever since gardening weather has hit, I spend a couple of hours outside every day, either watering, transplanting, weeding, mowing, or whatever catches my attention that day.

Although it’s hard work, I enjoy having the excuse to be outside. I don’t like to just sit for more than a few minutes outside with nothing to do, and I get too distracted to read. I’m also not one for playing outside. Even if I wanted to ignore my age (and sometimes wonky knees), I don’t have anyone to play with, so I appreciate having an excuse — even if it’s work — to enjoy my yard, especially the watering since it’s easy and gives me a chance to see how each plant is doing. I don’t yet have a lawn (and haven’t decided if I will have one, though I am thinking a small patch of grass might be nice) so I don’t use a sprinkler but hand water my bushes, shrubs, and flowers. All of these things are still babies, but I’m hoping as the summer progresses, I’ll have more things to enjoy seeing while I play at gardening.

Today I spent my outside time digging up prostrate knotweed, an almost hopeless endeavor, (though I have been told it makes for a good lawn in these parts; it’s just not good in a garden).

Afterward, I walked to the hardware store to see if they had any plants left. Though the pickings were slim, I did get a couple, as well as a bit of a discount because of it being so late in the season.

On the way home, I met a friend out walking her own errands, so we visited a bit.

Then I went to check on the house I’m looking after for an absent friend.

And to put a cap on my day, a worker came to start painting my basement. Admittedly, I wasn’t the one doing the work, but I can’t really relax when someone else is in my house, so it felt as if I were working.

Yep, days are just packed!


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

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