One day recently, as my wife, Nancy, drove me home from a session of physical therapy, we made a left-hand turn from U.S. 61 onto Pleasant Street before either of us noticed that the northern end of St. Mary's Avenue, our intended route home that day, was closed to traffic.
That minor inconvenience did not fluster my chauffeur in the least. Nancy continued to drive east on Pleasant Street until we reached a side street that we knew with a small amount of bobbing and weaving would eventually have us pulling in behind the Henley hacienda.
As we cut back and forth on our impromptu route home, I could not help but notice that several of the streets we were taking were also ones that I would frequently use on the walking excursions that I used to take on an almost daily basis. I also noted how much different those streets looked from the front seat of a vehicle traveling the speed limit than they did when I was steaming along them on foot. Terrain changes such as are seen on Fairfax, Hubbard, Hill, Bird and Virginia are hardly noticeable from the passenger cabin of our SUV, unlike when I am attempting to hike up their respective hills, particularly when I have not done so for an extended period of time.
While at one time a familiar face to many people who live along the routes I frequently took, I wonder how many of them have speculated about whatever happened to the old fella who used to shuffle past their house. I would not be surprised if more than one person has wondered if I was a COVID casualty.
I continued walking into late December last year, when a shortage of daylight limited me to primarily weekend jaunts. However, once the precipitation turned winter-like I was essentially grounded for a few months.
I was just starting to resume walking here in the "hood" early this spring when a checkup at a dermatologist revealed I had two areas of skin cancer growing on my noggin. Rather than have the sites removed surgically, I opted for several weeks of radiation treatments. One of the guidelines for such an approach was to limit my exposure to sunlight. While I know I could have waited to walk after the sun set, or I could have simply worn a hat, I instead chose to hold off walking until I was done being radiated.
With my treatments having recently concluded I celebrated by resuming the taking of walks, sometimes going on more than one a day. Thus far my walks have not been particularly long, perhaps no more than 0.25 of a mile. Neither have my excursions taken me over any challenging terrain. But that day will come, according to Nancy, who is a big backer of my walking, believing it will help my endurance. She envisions a day when I will again be taking walks comparable to those I took when I was younger and was not yet plagued by Parkinson's symptoms. We will see.
For now I will do the best I can in the summertime heat, hoping against hope for the occasional, unseasonably cool day on which to walk.