Monday, May 01, 2017

walking to powers

The year must have been 1961 or so.

I was visiting my cousins in Myrtle Point. Me? I was in the sixth grade. Dan was in seventh; Marsha in eighth.

Our mothers went somewhere. My aunt Berneice put Marsha in charge of us unruly boys.

One of Marsha's duties was to prepare supper. She had just opened a tube of Pillsbury uncooked biscuits when I asked for one -- raw. To this day, I do not know why. As far as I know, I had never eaten a raw biscuit. And the idea sounds no more appetizing now.

Of course, she refused. There were only enough biscuits to go around for supper.

I did not take the refusal well. I announced I was leaving for Grandma's house in Powers -- about 20 miles away. And off I headed.

Southern Oregon's mountain roads are well-traveled and not well-designed for walkers. But I was a boy and I was on a great adventure. The miles seemed to speed past.

Somewhere between Broadbent and Gaylord (just over half the way to Powers), I started tiring. So, I did what any other adventurer would do. I stuck out my thumb.

The first car stopped. It was driven by a complete stranger.  A traveling salesman.

He was curious what I was doing out in the middle of nowhere on the narrow, winding road. When I told him my tale of righteous indignation, he started laughing so hard, I thought I would never get a ride.

"Hop in. We can't let a story like that not have a happy ending, can we?" And off we went down Highway 42 secondary to Powers. I felt as if my long-lost chauffeur had found me.

I do not recall if anyone came to pick me up that day at Grandma's. I do know I did not get into trouble. And, just to prove that life is usually not fair, Marsha did get in trouble -- for letting me go. As if she could have stopped me. She still reminds me about my recalcitrant side to this day.

I thought of Marsha -- and my Lawton Chiles impression -- yesterday while I was exercising with my walking routine. I had met my goal early in the morning by walking a total of 8 miles to and from church. In the evening, I decided to top off the day.

One thing I have learned about myself is that I am not a very good Greek philosopher. I do nothing in moderation.

When I noticed I was within striking distance of my daily record set last January, I stayed out for almost another hour to earn an award. Mind you, the award was from my telephone app. But an award it was.

On Sunday, I walked 34,550 steps for a total of almost 20 miles. That would almost get me to Grandma's house. And without Marsha setting me off on the path of walking obsession, I never could have done it on Sunday.

I think I apologized to Marsha for getting her into trouble (though, I suspect she will say I never did). But, without her, I would not have burned off those 2300 calories.

Thanks, cuz. The award is part yours.

No comments: