Daily Reflections From My Window

September 4, 2021 Saturday: Labor Day Weekend, Philosophers, Friends, Walking Apps and Paps

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“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, & the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

Søren Kierkegaard

Who knew? I’m telling you, this Kierkegaard fellow is so relevant. Even now. He lived a few hundred years ago and when I read what he’s written, it usually brings me up short. They must have thought he was off base in his time. What if every doctor wrote on his script to you, “Walk at least 15 minutes a day and see me in 3 months”? What would we say? Ridiculous. You have to fix what ails me. I need a real prescription. I think that’s how this whole prescription cascade began and the opioid epidemic in the United States started. We want a quick fix and some things take time and a good old fashioned walk. I’m not a pill taker and have always relied on diet and exercise for my health. Now I take a lot of mineral and vitamin supplements to fill in the gap of what’s missing and now I have a leaky gut to deal with. It’s a conundrum for sure. Which came first the bad gut bacteria or the supplements?

What’s on my mind? Started out with walking and the wonderful time we had yesterday walking the streets (that sounds bad!) of Cambria City during the annual Ethnic Fest event, and the value of that walk. I know that Kierkegaard was talking about walking alone and thinking deep thoughts, but there’s nothing like walking and talking and meeting up with good friends that you haven’t seen forever, in person, to make you feel good. We put on about 2 miles and it felt so good. Jay doesn’t think it counts because we were going pretty slow and stopping and talking. We weren’t sitting, that’s for sure, and we were admiring the old ethnic churches, beautiful backyards of the neighborhood and smiling, laughing and talking to friends. Add in the World Market and the fantastic music, and we had a lovely walk happening on an ethnic scale. I think I’ll count it. Walks are for taking things in and noticing your surroundings. My grandfather was a walker. He and my grandmother are in the photo above with a grandchild (sorry I don’t know which one!). If you’ve read this for a while you may know that. We called him Pappy and he was the best grandfather. He loved us and you knew it. Unconditionally. He loved my grandmother and his kids. He’d sit in his chair after a long day at the railroad and smoke his pipe and watch the news. My grandmother (we called her Mothey pronounced Muthey with a soft th sound) would bring him his dinner and he’d put it all in the same bowl. Meat, potatoes, veg, whatever-he said it all went to the same place and tasted just as good. He was ahead of his time. Now it’s trendy to have food bowls. Then? Not so much! She used what I called her magic pot because no matter what went in, magically it was transformed into something wonderful with the most basic ingredients. She was a good (Irish) cook and I am lucky enough to have that magic pot. Here it is tucked away for that special roast.

Pappy was a coin collector and would separate out the wheat pennies from the ordinary pennies. I’d often go with my mom to visit them on Sundays and he’d give me whatever wheat pennies he’d collected that week from his frequent walks between their home with the Shamrock on Juliet Street in Oakland and downtown Pgh. That wonderful home is no longer there because everything was bought up by Pitt. But oh the memories. In case you don’t know what a wheat penny is, here you go. I’m sure he did a lot of thinking on those walks. Now, I’ll find random wheat pennies and know that they are from him telling me things will be fine. They show up when least expected. But I know. They are definitely Godwinks.

So who did we see last night? Old neighbors Chris and Joe. I need to spend more time with Chris. She’s a love force as well as a life force. I love this lady! So sweet and author of “Family of Love” if you are looking for a fantastic book. Please buy it locally if you can. And Joe always makes us laugh! I’m so glad they found each other. We were blessed to have them as neighbors.

Who else? Yes, the Box Boy. I asked why he wore a cardboard box around and he said, “It’s fun and makes people smile!” You can’t ask for more than that. If you’d like to meet him in person, he works at Bent Wookie Comics in the West End, another local business.

I DO have on my Sierra Tank Dress and my knitted alpaca shawl made by me from Hammy. It was perfect until it really got chilly later! I need to add sleeves.

Here’s our dear friend Carol Adams. We met her at our old church and since that day 30+ years ago, she hasn’t aged a bit! Can you believe she just turned 83? Say what you will, but being in a loving environment keeps you young and she it’s working for her.

Here’s some Irish music for you. Made me think of the 2 times I’ve been to Ireland. Once with Jay and Jack and once with my niece Skye. Sliente!

We weren’t even planning to go last night but took a quick trip to the Farmers Market and to H. Wonder Coffee and Records for lunch yesterday and Madison’s best friend Lily was in town and they were going. Of course we’d meet them. Here’s Lily. The weekly special was named for her in honor of her Birthday. She’s as cute as ever. She’s an artist and another old soul. I keep telling her how much money she’d save living in Jtown and doing what she’s doing. Now, she’s a traveler. She worked as a camp counselor in Switzerland each summer. I think she has family there. I had the Baby Platter and Madison made it just for me (their high maintenance customer) and Jack made me a special celery smoothie.What else did we see in town while having lunch? A horse tied to a parking meter. Why not? Well, the grand dog is on his way and we’ll have another full day with him. He is inconsolable if he can’t be with Jay. Being number 2 wears me out trying to keep him distracted. Jay has another day of mowing ahead so that’s what we’ll be up to while the weather is nice. That rain really gave everything a boost. I got a shipment of insoles and felted sheets from Stramba Fiber Mill and can’t wait to dye the felt and make it into something amazing. I’m going to be all stocked up this year for Fort Days and Christmas with products made from our fiber and that if AlpacaVentures in our joint effort to have locally raised, fed and manufactured (as well as hand crafted) products from Pa Alpacas. It’s been a long time coming but is all coming together. Nothing happens quickly. Now to unpack, count, label and put away this batch because a shipment of socks should be arriving soon.

Since I started out talking about walking, let’s wrap up with an invitation to join the 99Walks Community . You’ll get a discount by joining under my affiliate link. ***It’s a wonderful resource and I DO get a small stipend if you use my link.***I love the community, resources and inspiration I get from the members. There’s even a FB group specifically for members. I have a whole pack of friends there and you set your own reachable monthly goal. It can be one mile or one hundred. YOU are in charge. I usually set mine at about 40 and believe it or not didn’t think I’d made it until I used the Add a Walk feature because I had forgotten to take my phone with me a few times and had the mileage on my FitBit, which can be integrated. The 99 Walks app is a must have!

The day awaits as do my alpacas and projects. It’s another busy day here.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!