Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A walk in my park

Last week I bought a new fitbit. The old one was like a little charm and I carried it in my pocket, and of course I lost it someplace. The new one is like a bracelet. So far I haven't lost it.

I decided to set a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day. For me that's about four miles. I've noted that on a normal day here in Arizona, when I'm walking to the activities center a couple of times plus around the house, I cover about 4,500 steps. That means I need to add about 5,500 steps - a little over two miles - to reach my goal.

Yesterday afternoon at around 4 I took a walk in this park, where we live in the winter. It's a 29-acre place with 600 spaces for RVs and 976 park models (trailers), either privately owned or rented out by the park. In the winter 4000 retirees live here, and, in the summer, about 700.

In the first block of 4th Street, where we live,  I passed Ronnie and Tom's park model. Well, just Tom's now; Ronnie passed away in December at age 68 after a mysterious three-week illness. Everyone thought it would be 92-year-old Tom who would be first. It looks like Tom has a daytime companion now rather than his partner of 20 years. I said hello and Tom and his companion waved.

I turned left on Quail. I was in the pet section now, where hundreds of people live. I always pass people walking their dogs. Even folks using walkers or canes are out and about. If I'm in a conversational frame of mind, I compliment the person on their dog. We live in the non-pet section, where dozens of cats live quietly indoors, looking for an opportunity to escape through an open screen door and explore the neighborhood. Our Larisa has only gotten out once this season, but she took three hours to find her way back to her food dish.

I turned right on 3rd Street. My friends Mer and PJ live near the end of the block. Two years ago, when Art had his cardiac arrest playing pickleball, PJ drove me to the hospital and Mer sat with me in the waiting room for five hours. People here are very friendly and helpful. We all watch out for each other. I thought about stopping in as I passed their house - both their car and their golf cart were in the driveway - but decided against it. It's common here to just knock on people's doors when you want to see them, but it's still a little awkward for me. I have never been to most of my friends' homes in Washington; I meet up with them for coffee or lunch instead. As it turned out, Mer arrived at our place on her bicycle this morning and we had a nice chat.

At the end of 3rd Street I turned left, walked a block, then turned left onto 5th. I didn't realize my friend Susie lived on that street until I saw her in her driveway. Susie picked up C. diff a few weeks ago from some unknown place. She's on her third antibiotic - and this one is new and not available generically and it costs $5,000 for 20 pills. OMG! Susie sounded discouraged and, of course, she is sick of being sick.

I continued up 5th Street. I was looking for Scott Kline's trailer. When Art had his cardiac arrest, Scott was on the scene immediately, sent someone to find an AED, then used it on Art to shock his heart back to life. As soon as the EMTs arrived, Scott left the scene. I've wanted to thank him ever since then for saving Art's life, but I've never run into him again.

I turned right onto Quail and walked three more blocks, then turned left onto 11th Street, where I ran into Hanna and Peter. Hanna is my occasional moviegoing companion and friend, and Art and I are indebted to Peter because last year he tuned up both our bicycles. They'd been on an eight-mile hike and were picking up their dog from the sitter. We always chat when we see each other; they are from British Columbia, and Hanna claims I'm one of the only sane Americans she knows!

While we were talking I saw my handbell director, Ken, drive by on his scooter. He's new to the park this year and he is a fine, calm, encouraging director. He's one of the reasons I decided to go back to handbells midway through the season. He was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants; yesterday, at our performance in church, he wore a suit and tie.

 I walked all the way down 11th Street to the edge of the park. I met a woman walking her Westy. I commented what a pretty dog he was. She said, "He's been lazy since he was a puppy, and he's blind now." The dog took his cue and lay down in the middle of the street! Still, he was a beautiful white dog.

I passed Dee's house. She's the producer of the Voyager Light Opera Company's show this year, "Oklahoma!" We've had a number of talks about the play, ticket sales and other life happenings. She's a new friend this year. And, right next door, my friend Eve. Like a small town, you know, I go by a house and I know who lives there. Well, I really don't know because I've never lived in a small town. But maybe this place in Tucson is one, after all.

I walked along the park fence and turned left to 1st Street, passing by where my friends Bob and Sue live. They take care of our trailer during the summer - and 60 other places. We pay them $30 for each month we're gone. Very good for us and, multiplied by 60, for them.

Two doors down is the Oklahoma! box office: a park model owned by Dee's father-in-law. I'm responsible for the volunteers and ticket sales this year. We're open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. As of today we've sold 697 tickets out of a thousand, with 14 days to go. We'll get there.

I turn right on the main park road, walk three short blocks and turn right onto 4th, my street. Just about 3,000 steps. Not too bad.


Tom said...

Who knew that walking your 10,000 steps could be so interesting!

DJan said...

I used to have a Fitbit but once the battery died, I decided instead to use the one that comes with my iPhone 6. It's pretty good, but it means I need to have my phone with me when I'm in exercise class. I found a thing called a "Flipbelt" to put the phone in while I'm exercising, and it works great! I find apps and Fitbits to really help with motivation. I loved tagging along with you on your walk! :-)

Olga said...

That was quite a nice walk.

Arkansas Patti said...

You have really become the social butterfly and gotten to know so many of your neighbors. Seems like you have discovered a very congenial group.

Deere Driver said...

Hi Linda!
I set the 10,000 step goal for my New Year's resolution. Well, since Valentine's Day I have barely done half if that. Down with some viral silliness. Disappointing, but I will be back. Goals are good!
P.S. Still quilting here and there!

retirementreflections said...

That was quite an interesting walk Linda, and it was very vividly written. I felt like I was along for the walk too.
Thanks for another great post.

Linda Reeder said...

Not surprisingly, you have met and made friends with a lot of people there in your winter town.

#1Nana said...

I live in a small town and only know the neighbors enough to smile and wave as I pas by...but then, I'm a recluse.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I loved going along on your walk and hearing about your friends. One big drawback to living in Minnesota is that it's cold for a long time, and sidewalks can be treacherous. But soon....