Walking – Part 1

          To someone who thinks horses should come equipped with seatbelts and to whom a bicycle still needs training wheels, walking is a joy. Peace and fitness, solitude and companionship, moonlight and cool breezes. Let’s walk through almost six decades together and see where it takes us!

          We’ll start in the 1960s, most of which I spent walking the brick sidewalks of Harrisburg, PA. We often visited one set of grandparents a street away. This took us past a corner store, where my brothers and I pressed our noses against the cool glass of the candy case. We placed our nickels on the wooden counter and made our choices. So many scrumptious candies tempted us: marshmallow-topped ice cream cones, colored liquid-filled wax bottles, candy necklaces. We clutched our tiny bags full of delectables and trotted the rest of the way, with a promise of one piece when we got there. That part of the walk always seemed so long; I wonder why ….

          During the 1970s, we spent summer vacations in the mountains of Potter County, PA. Ah, long walks along forest trails … crawling over falle5-7-18n bug-encrusted trees, slipping on moss-covered rocks, brushing spider webs off our faces. But oh, the vistas we reached overlooking valleys and glistening brooks. And my favorite reason to walk the woods–the wildlife: deer flicking their white tails and racing through the hemlocks and grouse taking flight when we startled them. My heart thrills whenever a forest path shows up, even in photos.

          For two years in the 1980s, my husband and I lived in a development on the border of Columbus, OH. Evening strolls around our neighborhood or one of the metro parks became our lifeline to sanity. We walked our cares away, holding hands, straining to ignore the hustle, focusing on the moment … or was that holding our dog’s leash in both hands, straining to keep her from chasing the numerous squirrels teasing her, fo5-7-18 Bcusing on keeping her from dropping “presents” in anyone’s yard?

          The trail in our favorite metro park bordered Ripple Rock Creek. While walking these parks built within the city limits, we could forget we lived so near downtown. We couldn’t hear the noise of the highway. The creek, named for its rippled rocks, filled our country-loving souls with a sense of home. We even brought one of the rocks back with us as a reminder of this little place of peace.

 ***We’ll have to continue our journeys next week, but for now, where have your walks taken you? Please take us along on one … or more! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Next Monday we’ll see how the onset of serious health issues almost destroyed my joys of walking. Join me and see what we found on another walk—a bear hunt!

7 thoughts on “Walking – Part 1

  1. My walks started as a young girl each Sunday our parents would bring us to a different place to walk and explore. I’ll never forget the joy of getting out there on a new trail and running ahead to see what we could find and share with our parents as they approached us along the way! Climbing on big rocks was my favorite and looking for the biggest trees to hug!
    As the years went by and we had our own children we would hike up trails and as I watched them explore the same way i did, it brought joy to my heart! Getting out in God’s beautiful untouched landscapes, from the mountain to the beach and all in between, has been so much a part of who God created me to be and share through my artwork! I discovered that by walking I could see so much more of the little miracles blooming, crawling and dancing, as I went along! Taking time to smell the roses and slow down along the way especially now with my aging parents, has been an adventure in every aspect and age of my life! I thank God for all our senses and healthy bodies to get out there and walk His world of beauty!

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    • Oh, Lise, I love the line “little miracles blooming, crawling, and dancing”! Those things which called to the artist in you cry out to the writer in me. I spent much of my earliest writings on lengthy descriptive paragraphs of “panoramas of glory”! Today, of course, people can’t slow down to read those, so I’m doing the next best thing and shortening them to blog posts, hidden in stories of everyday things. Thank you so much for sharing! I love reading your comments because I know you and can sense the person you are in each word. Blessings!

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  2. Walking is something you definitely come to appreciate more after you’ve been on crutches twice in a year and a half. The first time, during the fall of 2016, was when I sprained my knee in a freak accident where I tripped in a friend’s kitchen. That was probably the more tedious of the two incidents as I was on clinical at a large VA hospital and spent a lot of time trudging across grass, hallway, and pavement with my metal friends by my sides. The second time, just a few months ago when I sprained my hip trying to showboat for my young gymnasts, I was slightly more fortunate to only have the halls of my fairly small office to cover. But it still didn’t make carrying my laptop any easier! Walking long distances is still not the easiest thing, as my hip is still on the mend, but it sure beats having two metal posts under my arms. Lesson to learn from me: don’t be a klutz, HA!

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    • Oh my, Andrea! And for someone who can flip across a stage while costumed as a monkey! LOL! I broke my foot in five places just before my senior year in high school. (I was just walking the dog and turned my foot sideways.) For someone who was always an outcast, having to use crutches in busy high school hallways was a terror. However, there was one funny time. We took my cousin and another girl on a day trip and we girls decided to try getting all three of us onto a paddle boat. They paddled, I just rode. But this was through a man-made stream, and at one place, we got stuck on a sandbar. You should have seen us trying to rock it back and forth to get unstuck, only to be laughing so hard I almost fell off! Great memories! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Hi Cathy,

    I’m a little late on this one. I didn’t see a post or email last week alerting me to it, so thought maybe you didn’t do a blog, but I just must have missed it. I saw today’s blog as pt. 2 and thought, wait, where’s pt. 1? So I found it and read it and will comment on this one first before going on to the next one.

    Walking has always been one of my favorite things and definitely my favorite exercise. I could tell you about the walk-a-thons I went on as a kid or later took my kids on. Or I could tell about the time The kids and I took a 7-mile walk along the California coastline, or even the time I took a walk down a country road and encountered an owl! But the walk story that pops to mind, more than any other, as I read your blog is a 3-mile walk I took in Colorado Springs 10 years ago.

    It was a personal spiritual retreat. Was it God’s will for me to remarry my ex-husband after being divorced 10 years? I was very afraid of making a mistake and wanted to be completely sure of what to do. I thought I’d go to the top of Pikes Peaks and listen for his voice. The day before my planned train ride up the mountain I took a walk — to the grocery store. No rental car or bus for getting around, I was on foot. The store was three miles away. It was a 95-degree August day. The mile-high altitude just on the ground made everything harder because of less oxygen in the air. Three miles could feel like ten! So this was not your everyday run-of-the-mill stroll!

    The first half of the walk, I found patches of shade from buildings and trees and would stop to cool down. I’d prayed for clouds to cover the sun and for breezes and God sent them now and then. If there was a spot to sit down and rest, I took full advantage of it. A mini-mart along the way offered refreshing AC, a new bottle of cold water, ice cream and sunglasses. Little things like this helped me keep going. It must sound pretty lame that this was so hard for me, but remember the altitude and heat.

    About halfway through my journey, something changed. It was as if the Lord said to me, “Why not, instead of focusing on every inch of struggle, you focus on talking to me about the things you came here to find answers to?” That made sense! So I prayed about Rod, my ex. Should I marry him or should I not? What is your will? A conversation ensued and soon I forgot about the heat or any exhaustion. I was engaged in communion with Jesus and nothing else mattered. All of a sudden I saw the grocery store. No! Not yet! I so did not want this time with the Lord to end! How had this arduous journey changed from being so tough, to my never wanting it to end? Only God.

    During that time spent with God along the way, my answers came. I was sure He had brought Rod and I back together and was healing our family. And I hadn’t even gotten to Pikes Peak yet! The answers sometimes come in the valley, rather than on top of the mountain. But I did go up there the next day. While taking in the view from 14,000+ feet, I felt His presence in a special way. Snowcapped mountains in the distance that took my breath away turned out to be the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Sangre de Cristo means Blood of Christ. When I later learned that the foothills of those mountains can be found in Santa Fe, New Mexico I knew I wanted to someday go there. It was already in my heart to want to visit Santa Fe because my grandma had hoped to see it before she died and never got to. So I’d always said I would go there one day for her.

    Ten years have passed since that walk in the valley and my mountaintop experience. We did remarry and In a couple months we are planning a vacation to Colorado Springs with the intention of standing atop Pikes Peak together. From there we are going on to Santa Fe. In choosing a hotel to book, I kept gravitating toward a certain one that looked and sounded nice and wasn’t too awfully expensive. When I read the description of the hotel, the first sentence said it was nestled in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains! Let the journey begin — or — continue!

    Thanks for your blog Cathy. I’m so enjoying it!

    –Leafy

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    • Oh wow! Just wow! What an amazing story to start my day today! Oh, Leafy, first, let me say how grateful I am to Our Awesome God for bringing you and your husband back together! And to see how strong you are becoming – together. How you must get on your knees every day in adoration! Praise You Lord for this incredible mercy and grace in Julie and Rob’s life! May they have a long, long time to rejoice in it.

      Second, this line…oh my…”The answers sometimes come in the valley, rather than on top of the mountain.” I’m in my own valley right now, one of a personal inner turmoil over letting my emotions and feelings override my common sense way too often, being unable to forgive myself for this, thinking it a sin to “give in” to such a thing. I read a devo this morning about God working in the life of the man through his down, negative times, when he let himself open through his emotional upheavals…JUST as He did in the psalmists’ lives! He found answers in his valley, as David did when he sought the Lord during them. You just walked…did what was necessary, nothing unusual…and God brought you peace. So beautiful!

      And the twist at the end! This is a Hallmark movie in the making! You should find some way to tell them your story so they can write a movie script. Can you just see it – the majestic mountains, the dragging steps, the icy refreshments? The struggle to find your “true love” again. Then ending the journey at the place you wished so to be! Oh wow! Just wow!

      Thank you, thank you for sharing this, Leafy! Blessings!

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      • I’m glad the story I shared gave you a good start to your day, in your own personal valley. I think God speaks to us in the valley because that is when we most need him and seek after him. That’s when we’re listening! The mountaintops are for our basking in Him. That adoration you mentioned. There was so much more to this story — 3 pages worth but I gave you the edited version! Hallmark! Yes that would be such a hoot! I love Hallmark movies 🙂 Maybe after our trip out to Pikes Peak and Santa Fe this summer I will have more to add to the story! I will keep you in my prayers as you walk through that valley. God bless you today and always ♥

        –Leafy

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