Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Walking

For the past week I've been going for a brisk 30-minute walk every day in an attempt to get and keep my cardiovascular system in shape. When I walk south I go as far as the creek, where the horses are often grazing, then turn around and come back this way.

Family heart-health history on Dad's mom's side isn't the best. My grandmother, whose spittin' image I apparently am, and all her siblings except the one remaining, died of sudden heart attacks. My grandmother died at age 47 (younger than I am now) and Dad himself needed an angioplasty 17 years ago, when I was pregnant with Everett. Dad's been up to snuff ever since, eating well, resting properly, and getting plenty of exercise (he's become a golf nut so does lots of walking), so he's set a good example and given me hope, and after all, not all my grandmother's siblings died young. Some lived into their eighties, which is a fair age. A heart attack is far from the worst way to go, but I'd like not to go any time soon.

Casper the Dog loves the walk, of course, and so do I. Most times it's been terribly windy when I went during the day; tonight it was calm and sunny, and we went north for a change of view. The visiting dog who accompanied us terrorized nesting birds in the ditches along the road, and in the flooded fields. She flushed out half a dozen American avocets, which were quite worked up about it all, so I turned back sooner than usual in order to draw her away from their nests. American avocets are beautiful birds and less commonly seen around here than a lot of others, so I'll head that way tomorrow, when it's just Casper and me again. She is too old to go tootling around chasing birds and stays near me, my devoted bodyguard. Between her and the dozens of dragonflies darting in all directions around me, keeping me from being chewed up by mosquitoes, I feel like a queen with her entourage.

I'm working one more hour tonight, after spending much of the afternoon in town — haircut, banking, recycling depot, accountant's office, post office, library, gas station, grocery store, drug store, bargain store — you bet I was beat by the time I got home and lugged all the bags into the house. Fortunately I'd stuck supper into the oven before leaving so all I had to do was sit down and devour it. Once in a blue moon I'm on the ball like that.