I hammered away at task after task today; and faced a small whirling dervish of a demon.   I pounded spikes around my castle and welded barbed wire to the top of the gate.    Then I eased my weary body from the confines of a dungeon and fled home.

Now the dog sits at my feet, which are not clad in ruby slippers but, rather, dirty red scuffs.  I’ve eaten leftovers.  I’ve started a load of laundry.  I’ve answered e-mail.  I’ve stayed calm.

I’ve begun to gather what I need for my trip out west.  I stood in the dining room tonight looking at the growing pile on the table.  I contemplated what I might, or might not take.

I bought a collapsible walking stick.  I’ve avoided use of a cane for many years.  I tell my doctors, “I already have two legs that don’t communicate with my brain; I can’t handle a third.”  For me, canes only help at the moment when I need to rest.  Barring a strong nearby arm, a handy wall, or a chair into which I can briefly collapse, a walking stick allows me to lean and catch my breath.  I prefer a wall, truth be told.  It’s sturdier; it’s stationary; and I can gauge its spatial relationship to my body.

Besides:  People look at me oddly enough as it is.  The walking stick will doubtless make it worse.

But I thought about the river into which I fell in Colorado.  My wooden cane, which Jenny Rosen chased downstream, served me well hiking in the dunes.  I had Jenny’s strong arm for most of the trip back from the river; but out in California, I will be alone, and  I expect to do a fair amount of walking.

When my feet touch down on the concourse at San Jose Airport, my ten-day solitary oddysey will begin.  I’ll be going from Pigeon Point to Novato; from Oakland to Point Montaro; from San Francisco to Palo Alto. And back again!  I’m bound to need a brief respite now and then.  I’ll take the walking stick.  I won’t complain about it.  I’ll make good use of it; and keep walking.  Just as I promised my mother all those years ago.

It’s the thirtieth day of the thirty-second month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.



3 thoughts on “Plans

  1. Genevieve

    I hope you have a fantastic trip!
    Wes talked me into hiking poles for our Colorado trip and I did not regret it one bit. We didn’t use them all the time but on steep inclines going up or down with a pack – they really made a difference. Absolutely, mine saved my ankle at least twice that I remember from a bad twist or worse.


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