The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I checked the car thermostat. It was sixty degrees deep blue sky without a cloud in sight. I was running to the store for a last minute errand and quickly realized the silk shirt I had on was too warm and I had to take it off. I was going to see my friend Chuck and it was going to be at least twenty degrees warmer in New Orleans. I immediately put a tee shirt on when I arrived back from my errand. I was excited. I had arranged to have a window seat on both legs of my journey today. Vacations are usually another “world”. For a short time you enter someone else’s reality. We can get so used to our own and not see what is directly in front of us any longer. Vacations in a strange place have a way of jarring you. And that is a good thing. Occasionally, anyway.

The pheasant I saw to the left of me on the side of the road seemed bewildered: it did not know whether to go left or right. An hundred feet ahead was a small flatbed truck which released several more pheasants. Several hunters with their pickup trucks milled around. This was near a public game land. I felt bad for the birds. It was as if the hunters wanted to see where the pheasants went. This did not seem very sporting. Later on I returned and four trucks were parked neatly in the game land parking lot but I saw no hunters. I guess they were now hunting the pheasants. I just felt bad for the birds.

We flushed a blue heron in an unlikely spot–just down the block at my neighbor’s far corner of his property, where there was a little creek.  It must have been drinking its water.  It just surprised me.  I never would have expected to see one there.

I mentioned it to someone I “bumped” into at the local supermarket and he declared they are everywhere and eat the bass in the river and also trout in other streams.  He complained the state will fine you $200 if you kill one.  And said they are so numerous they do not need the state’s protection.  I just shrugged my shoulder and continued walking down the aisle.

“It’s just a shame that this happened to him.”  And what was it that happened to him.  He had a stroke and died two days later.  Sure he was in the football hall of fame, led Oklahoma to two national titles.  So what?!  Death claims us all.  We just don’t know when.  Sometimes it is suddenly and totally unexpected.  Other times it is slowly.  But it happens to every person.  No exceptions.  And society (and others) act surprised when it occurs.  It is just not supposed to happen.  At least, others act that way.  We just don’t know when it is going to happen.  And it is always a shock.

I Hate Exercise But…

Author: siggy

I hate exercise but… It is a long “but”.  I have to find activities I like doing like walking my dog, playing tennis, shooting hoops (usually alone) and other activities.  I do hate exercise for exercise sake.

I have never been able to do that.  I want to enjoy what I am doing not make it “work”.  And I imagine there are many people like me out there.  Getting in shape is just a byproduct.  So find things out there you like doing.

And if you have to start slowly that is fine.  I am no longer seventeen.  And I recognize my limits although I push myself a little harder each day.  I have to do it slowly.  Figure out what you enjoy doing.  And do it.  And you may be surprised at the results.

Just take your time and do whatever you do regularly.  And you will get into shape.  The human body is meant to be used.  We have become such a sedentary society.  And I am included in that group.  It seemed so much harder after I got out of school to stay in shape.

Lately I have been going to bed really early–usually 8:00PM. The championship starts at 9:00PM. I do not want to tape it for a simple reason: when I get up the next morning, I will be able to find out immediately when I go on line who won. There is something to be said for a live event. If I know who won, I lose interest in watching the recorded game. There is no more suspense.

I know spring must be coming I want to go fishing.  I am ready to get my fishing license.  I don’t like fishing in the cold but the weather has been gradually warming so I am ready.  Most days are in the forties and fifties occasionally hitting the sixties so I am thinking about it.  I will take out my tackle box and check all my equipment.  I know the first day that hits seventy and the sky is a deep blue I will want to be somewhere casting my baited line.  I am ready.

It was in the late sixties I started keeping a journal.  It was a pivotal point in my life.  Forty years ago I knew my emotions were frozen.  I could not cry.  I did not know how I felt at any moment.  I was deeply depressed.

My journal was a start.  It gave me somewhere to go safely.  It was my only outlet (outside of sports) at the time.  My writings back then were not that good.  I poured out my depressed feelings.

Eventually some of my entries became poems and even got published.  That was the furthest thing from my mind when I started.

At some point years later I made an important shift:  instead of accenting the negative I started writing more and more about the positive in my life.

I never would have got there if I had not written first about all the things that were bothering me.

At some point I started recording the humorous things that happened around me.  It became another way to diffuse the “craziness” I saw.

I found out decades later I liked making people laugh at open mikes.  And I wrote more and more funny poems.

None of this would have not (???) happened if I did not start journalling in the late sixties.  Now my blogs have almost replaced my journal.  Though entries in my journal still trickle in.

For a long time there were two forms of education I was undergoing:  one, my formal education and the other, the education I was receiving on my own.

All during my schooling I continued to read what I wanted to, whatever came across my path, whatever interested me.  As far back as I can remember I had a library card to the local library and made many trips there.  At home we always had plenty of reading material–magazines and books everywhere.

I did do my school work and received good grades but I had no illusion:  my independent reading was far more important and really my true education.

Yes, it is true some people get educated despite themselves but I always found the time to read whatever came across me and whatever interested me.  I felt most of the time I just went through the motions in most subjects in school.

There were some subjects that interested me particularly in school like Latin and mathematics and biology.  And maybe, I put forth extra effort there.

If the truth be known I was far more interested in participating in gym and in high school playing for the tennis team.  In fact, I was excited that in high school we had gym every day.

I felt these sports instilled an attitude to never give up until the game is over, which was no small lesson to learn which stood me well later in life.

I no longer go to school but I still read widely and for pleasure.  The literal translation of the word “education” comes from the Latin “educare” which means to lead.  Education means “to lead toward”.  It is a process, not an end point, not a degree.  It is an unending journey.  And I am still on it.

No matter which way I go I hit an hill.  One way I encounter a steep incline, the other way I get a steady climb.  It is .8 mile around my block.  I walk “Tilla” one of my dogs.  He never refuses a walk.

I never forgot the time I was camping with my friend Chuck two summers ago.  There was a trail nearby (about a third of a mile) which led to the fishing pier on the lake.  Two summers ago I walked up it (it is all uphill) and in the heat and exertion I threw up three times.  It was not pleasant.

This summer I was determined to get into better shape and recapture my wind.  I never liked exercise for exercise sake.  Most people don’t.

I still get a little winded when I go up the hills.  This time I keep going.  I am thrilled my wind is returning and “Tilla” always comes running when he hears the jangling of the metal leash.

I also started shooting hoops by myself.  I have always enjoyed basketball.  I was not foolhardy enough to challenge any of the teenagers one on one.  It is amazing how a little exercise done regularly can change your conditioning.

It is never too late to start gardening:  I am sixty-one and trying to find activities I enjoy and that in the process will keep me in shape.  I am gradually doing more gardening.  My wife can not physically do as much any more.

tomatoes2I love flowers and raising tomatoes.  Growing up we had a small but wonderful garden.  I always loved viewing other peoples gardens and observing the fruits of their labor.

I was really out of shape.  The first thing I did was get a personal trainer:  his rates are really cheap and “Tilla” as we call him never refuses a walk.  It is amazing to me what a little exercise can do.  I am also playing basketball in the park.  I am taking my time about getting my wind back.

In my youth I played a lot of basketball and tennis and ping pong which I loved.  I found out it was getting increasingly hard to find activities I enjoyed.  Finally I started walking my dog.  It is .8 miles around my block.  I also started mowing my lawn again (I usually hired someone to do that).  All of a sudden my sleep became solid.

Gardening is just another activity I enjoy.  The more exercise I can do the better.  I have always hated exercise for exercise sake but believed in finding activities I enjoyed and in the process got into shape.  Gardening is another activity I have just taken up.

I absolutely loved the many flowers my wife has planted on our property.  And I also love eating vine-ripened tomatoes.  Thus my incentive to garden.  It is never too late to start a new activity even at my age.  So gardening is the latest activity I have started.