Sunday, September 25, 2005

Livejournal Historical Meme

Borrowed from fruitynut

Chances are people you don't even know are being introduced to your journal every day, either randomly or through someone else. In addition to recent entries, people can get to know you better by what you posted in the past. With that in mind post a link to your entries on this day exactly three months ago, six months ago, nine months ago, a year ago, and two years ago. If there was no entry on that day, link the closest date.

Three months ago...

Six months ago...

Nine months ago...

One year ago...

Two years ago...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Morning Walk

It is a gray morning after heavy rain last night, our neighborhood closed in by heavy mist. It is the sort of mist beloved of computer game programers because it reduces the need to draw detailed backgrounds. The world shrinks to a 50-yard circle.

Deprived of vision, I concentrate mostly on sounds: my own feet scuffing along the dirt and gravel road, the dripping of drizzle through the leaves of the alders, a dog's persistent barking several blocks away (makes me glad I have cats), the overhead drone of a single aircraft and--once--the haunting cry of a loon.

Walking feels good. On this, my third morning of walking, I feel only a bit of stiffness in my tendons. My troublesome feet--to my surprise--grow less painful as I walk. I recall as I trudge along that Mom walks almost daily in Fairbanks, up and down Badger Road. Grandma used to walk, too, after she moved to the senior citizens' housing. So I guess I come from a lineage of walkers.

Of course, human beings are walking animals. That is our signature stance. Millions of years of evolution have shaped our joints and bones. I feel the fluidity of motion, the thoughtless ease of it, putting one foot in front of the other, striding down a foggy country road in Alaska. My mother walks in Fairbanks, my grandmother walked in Washington State. Going further back, my ancestors walked the prairies of the midwest and the forests and towns of New England. Before that, over many countries, the DNA I carry in my cells walked many far and foreign roads, a long line going back to that distant mother in Africa some 150,000 years ago.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Had my annual check-up with my GYN today, for which I have to drive eighty miles up the road because this little hamlet doesn't have a ladies' doctor. Boy--serious reality time. Maybe I should have taken my shoes off before they weighed me. It was serious, serious sticker-shock! I mean, I'm in my medium-sized jeans, for chrissakes. How could the weight have crept up on me so badly?

That explains why my feet have been hurting, I guess.


So, I have to lose weight. Hard to consider when the days are turning cooler and the metabolism starts lusting for meat and potatoes but I have to face the reality that I don't want to be this heavy and *do* something. "Something" has turned into a vow to walk thirty minutes every day. A modest start but a goal that is attainable. I have been hungering for a way to spiritually connect with myself, to get grounded again after drifting for a while. This could be it.

So this evening, before the national news came on, I went walking. I walked out for fifteen minutes along Green Timbers and Thomas Roads, turning down toward the newer homesites that I rarely get a chance to see. There was a time when I knew the game trails through this neighborhood and where the houses were located fairly well but the area has grown, of course, in the decade since I went back to work and didn't have the leisure to wander the woods any more.

I found I liked our little neighborhood. There are a few contractor-built houses but a large number of the homes are owner built, from simple cabins to more elaborate structures with free-standing garages. Once on Thomas Road, the lane slopes down toward Diamond Creek while the bluff falls away to the left, opening up on views of Lower Cook Inlet, Anchor Point and the distant islands down toward Kodiak. I enjoyed the quiet and the scents of the autumnal forest, mingling with a whiff of freshly-mown grass. After fifteen minutes, I turned around and walked back home. There are a few alternate paths I can take but I imagine as I become familiar with the lay of the land within a fifteen-minute walk of our house, I will want to take longer routes and see more of the neighborhood.

Well, it beat the alternative of sitting in front of the TV for thirty minutes. I hope I can sustain the desire to be active when the weather gets more unpleasant. I arrived back home feeling as if I had done something positive for myself.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I wonder if September 11th will ever--in my lifetime--be once more just a normal day. I mean, even after sixty-some years, there is the awareness every December that the seventh is a day of terrible remembrance. Memories will fade in time, of course. There may have been a time when the anniversaries of Civil War battles were fresh in the public consciousness but now they are faded into scrapbook keepsakes as the last people to have ever known a Civil War veteran age and pass on.

Time is a stream that washes everything away eventually...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Humane Aid

Not to take away from the people in need of support, keep in mind that many had to leave their beloved pets behind, not to mention the suffering of the stray and ownerless animals in the hurricane area. If you would like to make a donation to assist in the humane efforts, you might consider these:

The ASPCA has a Katrina Disater fund to help rebuild animal shelters impacted by the hurricane.

Noah's Wish is an all-volunteer group devoted exclusively to rescuing and sheltering animals during disasters.

And the ever-popular Alley Cat Allies is friend to friendless stray and feral cats.

In addition, I imagine the USHS (US Humane Society) and local SPCAs in Mississippi and Louisiana are responding to the need as well.

Friday, September 02, 2005

There was frost on the deck this morning. I guess that explains why Lola and Tiny joined us on the bed last night. I turned the house heat up to 65 this morning and the furnace immediately kicked on for the first time in weeks. As the sun rose and warmed the air, the birds were out in force around the back yard. A varied thrush explored the area around the wood pile and I even saw a spruce hen (spruce grouse) in a small tree in the back lot.

I watched Ted Koppel's interview of the FEMA director last night with a sick sense of disbelief in my gut. You would think after all my years as a civil servant, government incompetence wouldn't upset me so much but the staggering inertia of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security is just embarrassing. Predictably, the discussion of the hurricane and its aftermath has gotten politicized as people try to comprehend such a staggering failure of government to provide for the common welfare on all levels. Rather than drift from the personal into the political here, I've posted links to some interesting news articles on my other blog.