Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008? a walk in the park!





Just waving the old year out with a literal walk in the park! every day I make a point of walking about two miles, often in the park in these pix. this used to be a ploughed field, the only place dogs could run loose on Sunday mornings, with bleary eyed owners clutching their early morning coffee and watching their charges.

Then the township grew and we started having parks, including this one. It's close to both my homes, a nice walk with various paths you can take for the sake of variety. And there's plenty to watch in season: cricket teams, basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, runners, skateboarders, tiny little tricyclers, bicycles, walkers of all sizes. In summer it's a mob scene in the evening when people from all the surrounding apartments and townhouses bring the kids for a last walk before they go to bed.

The little building you see has a wonderful little playground, very imaginative stuff that kids climb and push around and generally have a great time. And there are concrete tables where men sit around playing bridge and chess and women sit around chatting.

Many languages spoken in this park: several Indian languages, a couple of Chinese ones, Russian, Hungarian, German, Haitian French, Japanese, Farsi. I always greet people as I walk, and it took quite a while for some walkers to respond to a stranger, but now they know me and the Indian ladies give me namaste, the Japanese walkers stop and bow, Middle Eastern walkers sort of wave.

I notice I often walk against the tide -- for me the perimeter path feels right if I walk clockwise, but most people go the other way. Nobody can explain this! is it about handedness? culture?

I do get suited up for this serious walking stuff -- before I leave the house, comfortable LandsEnd shoes, check, pedometer (fun to know just what I'm doing), check, warm hat, check, cellphone, check, walkman radio or CD with current mystery novel playing, check, gloves, check. Then finally, I can leave the house.

A couple of neighbors have hinted that they'd like to join me, but I haven't got enthusiastic about that, since walking is my Time Alone to Recharge. My daily life is strenuous, rarely alone, usually with a lot of responsibility, and walking is a kind of tranquillizer! You really get to know a place well if you travel it on foot, and I have a few different walks to take, some where I can watch birds, or see flowers growing, some to meet people, some to see how high the water is on the marsh -- winter is best for seeing the marsh behind the condo and the great blue herons and ibis there.

Nowadays there are far fewer dogs than there used to be. Different population, different pets. Typically I see small dogs in pairs, seems to be a current fashion in dogs! two tiny Westies, two little dachshunds, various little fluffy guys who are probably designer mixes.

So near the end of the Old Year, and I wish you all a good New Year, with health, wealth and tiny dogs abounding!

2 comments:

Heather said...

Happy new year, Liz, and my love to Andy!

mossy said...

Interesting about the direction of your walk, Liz. I would feel most uncomfortable if I walked in a clockwise direction. I'm right handed.

Totally agree about the pleasures of solitary walking.