I am sitting here, coffee in hand, watching for the glow of the impending dawn. I am up for no reason other than I woke up. Every day at 5:00 plus or minus fifteen minutes without setting an alarm. “Bright eyed and bushy tailed” or as a coaching friend used to yell to his charges “Another day in which to excel.” I don’t know about excelling, all I have to do is finish this story, run a bit, cut the backyard and weed in the garden in order to have a successful day. There are other things I need to do but its Friday. Who starts new projects on a Friday? Things have certainly changed since I have retired.
Linda and I greet the day differently. I am up and ready to go. “Hit the decks a running boys!” She on the other hand is “sorta” awake and pissed off about it. Linda Gail likes to ease into the day…over an extended period. “Bring me my coffee and then shut up! Do not talk to me!” Thirty minutes later I check on her…with another cup of coffee to replace the one now cold on her bed side table. Thirty minutes later, she is ready to talk about everything she has been thinking about the last hour. Since our retirement I have decided to use her “ease into the day time” as my exercise time. As you might surmise, I am ready to go to bed about the time Linda Gail is hitting her second wind and fighting sleep like the child that she is. Sometimes I don’t understand how we have survived each other.
The way we meet the day really wasn’t as big an issue when we both worked…well it was when we decided to do our exercise walk…together…before we went to work…in the dark…while she was pissed off. I got up at four-thirty IN THE AM! I would then wake Linda at five-thirty, bring her coffee and a banana and take off for a thirty-minute run with a plan to meet her for a thirty-minute walk at six. That was the plan. Usually I would continue to walk or jog back and forth over the short Airline Road until she showed up…fifteen to thirty minutes late, coffee in hand…and I did not dare make a comment. The one time I commented did not go well. On those mornings she showed up early I knew I better be quiet and just walk. Actually it didn’t matter, any day I should just be quiet and walk until she began to initiate the conversation. “Why are we whispering? Are we afraid we might wake up the bears?”
Linda Gail and I don’t exactly walk for the same reasons. She walks totally for her head to battle depression…with a cup of coffee in her hand and with frequent stops to point out plants, animals or reptiles. In other words, a stroll to “elevate her mind.” I do it for my head too but I also walk for exercise so I have to do double walks. My fitness walks and then her stroll in the park walk. Some mornings I would simply sprint, ha ha, okay, jog away from her and then jog back.
We haven’t been walking together lately. Linda Gail hurt herself playing around on an elliptical and had a flare up of…well…we are not sure. It may just be our age…not on your life…maybe. I’ve missed our walks…not at six IN THE AM, but I have missed them. We finally ventured out to the lake at Look Up Lodge. A nice slow, reasonably flat surface stroll. It proved what I knew, “I have missed our walks.” I have also missed our talks although I did ask if I had her permission to chatter…old habits I guess. Comfortable old habits.
More nonfiction by Don Miller is available at http://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM