Monday, January 28, 2013

The Love Of Walking

I read a really great post about ‘house walking’ by Fundy Blue over at another favourite blog: Standing Into Danger. In it she mentioned walking around your home when the weather doesn’t permit you to do it outside; something that is typical during a Canadian winter. After all, it takes only a few minutes for exposed skin to become frostbitten if the temperature is below -7°C (20°F), which is a temperature that most of us up here in the Great White North don’t even consider that cold. Crazy Hardy bunch that we are.
 
 
In any case, let’s just say that there are days where taking a lovely stroll outside isn’t really an option. And for someone like me who loves to walk, this can be quite frustrating. So alternatives are a must. Like walking around the house. Or finding a suitable location indoors. A mall. A department store. Whatever. And walking around. Back and forth. Up and down the stairs. From room to room, or store to store. Anything that will have me moving. Exercising my legs. Body. Even mind.
 

My passion for walking has been a part of me my whole life. It’s something that I shared, possibly inherited, from my father. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who enjoyed walking as much as he did. And he did it daily. Miles and miles worth. In his entire lifetime, it’s possible that he circled the earth a few times. In fact, it’s probably likely. And it showed. He was physically strong. His legs were muscular; more so than mine have ever been. Or ever will be. Even at 77, the age he passed away, he had rock hard calves. Whenever we walked together, despite the fact that he was 36 years older than me, there were times that I struggled to keep up with his swift pace. And he’d lovingly tease me about it, of course.


My father was the one that introduced the love of walking to me. When I was two. My mother thought I might be too young for extensive walks. But not my father. According to him, as long as I was able to keep my balance and move forward, I was ready to tag along with him on some of his beloved strolls. Turned out he was right. He took me along, now and then, and we walked for blocks, side by side. I never tired during any of these gratifying journeys we shared, and not once did I ask to be picked up and carried along. I was determined. And his heart swelled with pride.


We shared many moments like that during my childhood, my father and I. Moments that I cherish. Moments that come to mind when I’m out strolling along. Walking is something that I associate with my father and my childhood; simple, beautiful times we spent together. Whenever I think about those precious periods we shared, which occurred many times throughout my early years, it always puts a smile on my face.

What I wouldn’t give for just one more stroll with him...


28 comments:

  1. Beautiful, tender post. I love walking too -- I remember my long walks in Canada very fondly, even the blizzardy ones :)

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    1. I've had a few blizzardy walks, too! They are quite challenging!

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  2. Gawd, -7 is practically bikini weather! I enjoyed the photos from your wabi-sabi barns portfolio!

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    1. Yup, -7 is practically bikini weather. I go wabi-sabi hunting and take oodles of photographs. It's one of my favourite themes. And whenever I'm out doing that, I always think of you, Debra, for introducing me to this great term!

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  3. I don't drive so I usually hoof it everywhere. My father used to take us out for long rambling walks when we were kids - but I think it was to preserve my mother's sanity!

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    1. Hahaha...well, that was for a good cause, after all!

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  4. We all need to ensure that we are creating such wonderful memories for the children in our lives.

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    1. We sure do. Because it's those moments that they'll remember.

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  5. OK, this is weird. I am a follower of this blog but I have not had it listed in my dashboard for a long time. I see now that you have been updating daily. What's up with that?

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  6. Lovely memories, Martha. I miss walking in the winter as well. For me it's not the cold that scares me off, but the ever present threat of slipping on ice. I see a lot of people at the mall who are quite obviously there just to walk - you see groups of them early in the mornings at West Edmonton Mall. I have yet to head there for that purpose, but I am seriously thinking I should at least consider it. Love your pics as well.

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    1. I am afraid of falling, too, so it gets quite frustrating in the winter. We have a mall just five minutes (walking distance) from our home, and I try to take advantage of it whenever I get a little stir crazy. I don't shop because there's nothing I truly need, so I just go from store to store browsing items. After an hour of this, my legs feel tired, so I think it's a reasonable workout!

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  7. Martha, I must say that you are a very fortunate person to have such wonderful memories of the times you spent walking with your father. What a gift to have been given.....one that keeps on giving!
    Now, look at those barns! Great captures. I always wanted to do that, just a 'barn' day of week! Thanks for the push.

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    1. Get out there and do some barn hunting, Jim! I think you're going to love it. You'll end up with some amazing photos.

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  8. I sympathize, Martha. He sounds like a wonderful man! And your photos are beautiful - warmed me right up. Made me remember there is more to the weather than grey skies and sleet. Just not today...

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    1. We had the same weather here yesterday. And we ended up with quite a bit of snow. But there is hope up ahead. It's the end of January, which means spring is not that far away now.

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  9. Those barn pictures RULE! I would love to live out in a place like that.

    I've heard of this mall walking stuff, but house walking? Do people have houses big enough for that? I guess all you need is one room really and you could just walk in circles.

    We take our girls hiking a lot and they love it. And walking around is part of why it rocks so much. Get to see more stuff than driving or biking...you can stop on a dime and look at stuff or go fast if you're bored.

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    1. You're doing the best thing with your girls. It's those moments that they will remember and share. Time spent together is worth more than anything else.

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  10. "Recall a happy memory as often as you like, you can never wear it out". It sounds like your Dad was special. You need to write a book about him.
    You know I love my walks! Richard and I try to walk as much as we can, but there is always so much to do, isn't there? I wish I had maids like they do on Downton Abbey!!

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    1. He was very special. We miss him, and think about him often. And I know you love walking, too, Kay. All those beautiful photos you've shared with us are proof of that!

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  11. Hi Martha!,
    What a lovely post about your special memories of walking with your father! You are so fortunate to have those memories to cherish! Your barn photos are so peaceful: bucolic; something we don't get enough of in our urban environments today.

    Thank you for the kind words about and your link to my blog! what a wonderful surprise!
    Have a great evening!

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    1. Sadly, many of those barns are becoming a thing of the past. I'm enjoying photographing them while they're still here. I hope to capture many more photos of them this summer.

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  12. What a fantastic post Martha! Such a special time to share with your father, and wonderful that you want to keep that us - such great exercise! My husband and my oldest have this kid of relationship. They love walking and hiking, and have since she was about 3. She never gets tired, never complains. She now in her teens and they hike each summer up in the Adirondacks - they look to hike one of the 48 peaks, looking for a new one each year.

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    1. That is so beautiful! Your husband and daughter are sharing something very special together. It's a time that belongs entirely to them, and that is creating wonderful memories that your daughter will carry her whole life. How special!

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  13. I love this post, Martha---you are so fortunate to have those memories of your dad. I, too, have many, many fond memories of walking with those I love.

    Hey, I think you'd really enjoy walking in my beloved Blue Ridge mountains---perhaps someday? :-)

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    1. Beth, I think that I would very much enjoy walking in your beloved Blue Ridge mountains --- especially because you'd share that time with me. Perhaps one day it'll happen. You just never know!

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  14. Your father is with you every time you go for a walk Martha. Everyone above probably said the same thing but it never hurts to hear it again...because it's true. Jim and I and Sophie walk everyday...rain or shine...with an occasional hiccup due to flu or whatever but walking keeps us sane and healthy. My Mom was a walker so I believe she instilled the love of walking in me. One more month and it'll be March...walking unhindered by ice and snow until next Dec.

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    1. You are a right; my father is with me every time I'm out enjoying a walk. And it is the time of activity that I enjoy so very much. You get out a chance to see things, photography them, talk about them, get some exercise, spend quality time with a loved one, and so on. It's a win-win in every which way!

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