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Posted: May 1, 2012 7:18 p.m.

Travis: Getting out before it’s hot

The spring weather has tempted all of us to get outdoors. I think everyone has decided to enjoy the nice weather before it gets so hot that going outdoors results in immediate heat prostration. I was going to mention getting hot and sweaty, but I read somewhere, I can't give you an attribution, that ladies don't sweat; they glow. In fact, a friend of mine swears that her mother belonged to a garden club called Hoe and Glow.

I see many families, groups of ladies and solitary walkers on the sidewalks around town. Mothers with strollers and walkers with dogs seem to be in the majority.

I try to walk at least five times a week. Sometimes I get too busy. I know that sounds ludicrous. What does a retired woman of my age have to do that keeps her so busy? It is a routine I started when I retired 13 years ago. I can't walk as fast and as long as I used to. Age is catching up with me. But I enjoy my walks.

I like to walk in the city cemetery. It's a pretty walk and it is peaceful and quiet. As a retired school teacher, I value quiet. I never turn on the television in the daytime unless I happen to have to iron. Something I try not to do.

I walk early when the weather gets hot. I walk around noon if it is cold. I use the time to plan my day. I hold imaginary conversations with my husband or friends when I want to persuade them to do something my way. These conversations never actually happen in reality. But just having the imaginary one allows me to move on.

I took a class on wire-wrapping as a lark about 10 years ago and became addicted to it. (I use sterling or gold-filled wire to wrap semi-precious stones to create jewelry.) I use my walking time to plan how I am going to wrap a certain gemstone that is worrying me. Sometimes I have made an attempt at wrapping that failed. I use the time to go over my design and see where I went wrong and how I could improve.

I hate to admit how technically backward I am. I have a device with ear plugs that plays tapes. I have both French and Italian tapes. Sometimes I walk around listening to the tapes and talking back to them. So if you see some strange old lady walking around spouting what she hopes is French or Italian, don't panic. I'm probably planning to take a trip and want to be able to ask how much something costs or where the bathroom or water closet is.

About half the time, I meet a friend while walking and stop and have a short chat. And sometimes I walk with a
friend.

Since I have been walking, new signs have appeared at the entrances to the city cemetery that caution walkers with dogs to clean up after their dogs. Even walkers with dogs on city sidewalks now carry some form of pooper scooper. I applaud them and the new requirements that mandate this.

Sunday is usually the day when the majority of dog walkers take their dogs to the cemetery. I think some dog owners actually plan play dates for their dogs and meet in the cemetery. They turn their dogs loose and let them enjoy running with friends.

One lady, I waved to her but do not know her name, drove a station wagon. She had two dogs and she would open the hatch-back of the station wagon and let the dogs out. Then she drove slowly around the cemetery with the dogs chasing the car. She would make the circuit until the dogs tired. Then the dogs would jump in the car, she would stop and shut the hatch-back and then drive off.

At the opposite extreme, another lady brought her rather small dog to the cemetery in a baby stroller. She would get to a shady spot of grass and let the dog out of the stroller to enjoy nature for 15 or 20 minutes. Then he went back in the stroller and home. She and I always spoke, but again I do not know her name. Walkers are friendly for the most part.

So, while the weather is nice, take a walk. Try the city cemetery and don't be surprised at what you might see.


Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at ptravis@covnews.com.

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