The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Walk in the Park and a Visit to the Cemetery

1. Back in September, Joyce and I started going down to the local park for a brisk walk. We'd been promising ourselves for sometime that we would do this and we finally made good on the promise. Our community park is a really nice one, with lots of trees, picnic tables, little league baseball and kids football fields, and a huge array of paved walking trails. There's even a replica of the log fort the earliest settlers to our area built. And the restored Bowen Campbell House (1787) still stands at the center of the park.

The main walking trail runs along beside Mansker Creek for awhile and you can see and hear the moving water as you walk or run. The trails are all nicely paved now, but back in the day, they were cinders which was nice from an impact perspective, but dirty on shoes and car carpets. I think the park opened some time in the mid '70s; I know we've been going down there since 1978.

From '78 to about '83 we both exercised regularly and I ran in some 10ks and a couple of marathons. I'm a plodder but it was fun and good for me... I think. (My back problems today could possibly have something to do with all that running in my late '30s and early '40s. But I don't regret it.)

At first I didn't keep any records, but we were walking down to the 1/2 mile marker and returning (one mile total, if my out of date math skills still work). Joyce's recent bout with diverticulitus has stopped her for awhile, but she's urged me to keep going.

I'm now keeping records (I found that back when I ran, if I logged my daily efforts, it helped keep me honest and on track) and I'm up to two miles (approx. 35 minutes) four days a week for a total of eight miles. I plan to get that up to about 12-15 miles and then maintain it. I've been going at it now for a month, at least 4 times a week.

As it did when I ran, most of the time I feel much better after a walk than before. It looses up the muscles and joints and gets the blood pumping. Joyce will be rejoining me as soon as she finishes her recuperation.

2. On Thursday, Joyce and I took a short trip down I-24 and visited her Mom's, Dad's, and younger brother's graves. We hadn't been since her own illness two years ago and she wanted to do a little cleaning and put out some new fall color faux flowers.

It was a gloomy day, not what we'd hoped for, considering the nature of the trip. I wonder if this (regular visits to family graves in the cemetery) is a fading practice. I hope not, because, it is, I think, a valuable ritual. By confronting the resting places of your family loved ones, your memories of them are revisited, plus you're forced to face your own mortality for at least a little while.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. ― John DonneNo Man Is An Island

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