Its nearly spring and on gorgeous days I take to the pavement, tying my laces after donning my sweatpants and other workout apparel. Yup, I gear up and look quite spiffy to hoof it around the track even going as far as wrapping around my still thick waist a fanny pack of unmistakable black zippered fabric with clip belt that resembles the strapping of a patio chair.
Depending on the temperature outdoors I might have on a windbreaker but most of the time it's simply a long-sleeve t-shirt and coordinating short-sleeved tee. Yes, I know that seems a little bit strange but I have fair skin and I'd like to keep my nearly ghostly appearance.
Everyone that initially gets to know me usually comments on my pale healthy skin and/or complexion which I coyly say, "aww thank you" but secretly I'm beaming inside because I know that I do have something fantastic.
Growing up in the late 70s and 80s I witnessed a trend of sun worshipers that cared not about sunscreens nor did they care about the damage they were inflicting upon their youth.
My mother, not really a 'beautiful' woman; was handsome in her own right and she adored the time she spent outside. She'd go out there with her face up into the sky while she crawled about on her knees digging in the yard pulling weeds and rearranging flowers and edging the garden.
She had me rather late in life,even so, she looked ancient to me and that was due in part to her hours in the sun. Her face was weathered and lined she was as brown as a grocery sack and nearly as creased. It was like the bag had been crumpled up as well.
Often I was asked if she were my grandmother; it would mortify me as a young girl. I knew then that I would do my best retain my youth if possible, I too am no beauty. I could at least have a saving feature.
my sister was the beauty, she was forever slathering her nubile body with a giant bottle of Johnson's baby oil and then climbing out of her bedroom window with a great big beach towel onto our roof (which had a flat portion) to get as close to the blazing sun as possible to eat up those rays.
She would lay out there as long as possible, a radio turned up where she could hear the songs of REO Speedwagon or Journey and avoid all of the boys in the neighborhood peeping at her in her bikini. Her skin was always tanned and golden, complementing her hazel eyes that had flecks of gold and green in them.
All of the fellows were in love with her, my brothers' friends would come over to swoon.
I'd come out now and then during the day but mostly I'd wait until the evening when the sun edged down below the horizon before frolicking and becoming one with nature.
My energy suddenly bolstered as the moon rose and the sun disappeared, my excitement mounting when I knew that soon the fireflies would flicker in the night as though the stars were twinkling right before my eyes within reach. Laying in the grass to stare up into the sky, picking out the constellations, feeling the sharp blades poking into the cotton of my clothes and tickling my bare legs.
Summer's in Indiana were relatively mild until late July and early August, therefore the kids could run and play without feeling the miserable oppressiveness in the evening as they might during the day. The cooler breezes would pick up and parents often sat outside on the porches drinking tea or lemon-aid to watch us as we hopscotched, double-dutched and played Red Rover.
Sounds of laughter, dogs barking at the children as they ran through yards (sometimes taunting them), and cars humming on the streets as they passed by slowly.
In the days that I was growing up people were much more cautious and caring of their neighbors lookng out for one anothers children. Back then the streets were also cobbled and bricked, the whirring of rubber on bricks was a calming sound to me
The sound it made in the split second between each brick placed side by side as the tireds hit that hollow flip...whirrrr..plip...whirrr...plip...I liked laying my head on the leather of my dad's Buick in the backseat or against the metal of the door while we were driving just to listen to the noises the streets made.
The sounds the car made were fascinating to me. Not every scene in the city were as important as the sounds, I loved it when it rained also, because you could hear the motor of the window wipers and the click click clack flap and it slid across the glass. My dad too often bought the wrong size and it was just slightly too long and it would catch on the metal of the outer rim of the windshield.
Sadly those bricks were soon replaced by the city to be paved. Oh boy, your tax dollars hard at work!
Way back then I was a slim child but these days I'm plump and this is why I must return to my walking and these days I have a companion to help me stay motivated.
Helen is my 20 pound Corgi mix (with Brussells Griffon) hairy mongrel that I somehow thought I needed about a year ago. What was going on is that Poncho, my 9+ year old 7 pound Chihuahua mix is getting older and lonely and I figured a companion would be good for him as well as helpful for me in the even of his demise if it were to happen in his advanced years.
Being without a pooch would be pretty difficult for me, they've nearly always been around except for a short time during my first marriage to a narcissist jerkwad. I eventually found a pooch during the last few months of our marital bliss simply because I was so absolutely lonely and unhappy in my situation and we happily left together.
Anyhow, walking alone in this age seems a little bit lonely as well ...as dangerous. Who knows what sort of weirdo's there are anymore + I have my list of medical problems it sure wouldn't hurt to have a dog with me that could at least lower my stress. I'm neurotic as hell.
She's chubby, I'm chubby we can both benefit from our walks and as one of our favorite daytime pet celebrities states - dogs need to be stimulated and have a purpose and stay exercised. So we walk, they can't just go outside and wander around that's not enough especially for a breed that is supposed to be working. Corgi's are herding dogs and she loves to herd the squirrels that come into the yard.
It seems that Spring will come early and with that the rains have been hard and frequent, keeping Helen and I home many times over the last 2 weeks. Our fanny pack, the leash and sunglasses put away...the iPod sitting in the charger and any extra gear sitting patiently.
We are bored for certain, the scents and sights of our walks entertain the both of us - Helen likes to socialize with other dogs and have walkers approach to pat her on the head.
I like to people watch, and give new dogs the same scritch on the head - alas we are stuck here watching the rain splatter against the glass of the windows. Luckily for us however, if you go back and read in January...
we have the dreaded treadmill here.
When the first deluge hit and my patio was several inches deep the dogs were hip high wading about the yard, shivering and yipping to come back in. They showed such pitiful looks to me that I couldn't leave them out for long even though an average day results in 5 or 6 romps in our large yard. They can't possibly take enjoyment when their tiny paws are being sucked into the muck, being pulled in as though it were black quicksand.
Therefore a plan was devised, again from memories of...Ceasar from television and the attempts began. Leashes attached, buttons pushed and gently we lowered the canines onto the slowly moving belt of the treadmill.
The tiny legs at first refused and the comical scene had us in stitches watching the pups zoom backwards only to fall off. It appeared like a reversal of the show "I Love Lucy" when she and Ethel were trying to stuff the chocolates into the paper cups and boxing them but soon all of them were falling off the assembly line - only this time the dogs were falling off and going backwards.
So we started to experiment by standing astride the dogs while holding them, they wouldn't use their front legs at first and their rear legs would start to run something akin to the roadrunners just powering away and then those legs would stop and the front legs would go.
This would vary, front, back, front - back until finally..after we'd adjust the speed...the dogs would just figure it would just hit their stride and start to walk!
When Helen realized she was walking and getting accolades for walking, in addition to that she was also getting the exercise she'd missed during the rainy day she started to really plow through it. The 2nd evening she ran on the machine for 30 minutes which was 1 mile.
The 3rd night she went for 45...and the 4th it was an hour.
Now typically she and I would walk for 90 minutes to 2 hours, which is a damn long time because I get beat and it hurts a lot. By then both of us are panting and sometimes she's whining at me like I've killed her but she sleeps like a baby that night.
The days we walk at the park, at the 1/3 mile marker she ALWAYS needs to stop and take a healthy shit. During the day at home she will run around the yard and play like a maniac but most of the time she takes her time before actually going.
It's really quite aggravating because it's as though the dog forgets to crap. I mean, why in the Hell are you holding it?
Everyone else has done their business, don't hold up the troops because sometimes we are limited so do it and get back in here. It might be cold out there and I'm going to make you get back inside.
Here we are, the 2nd week of really awful wet weather. Helen has had herself a run 10 times on the treadmill and after the 3rd run on the thing she has become a demanding bitchy little diva. She comes out of her crate from sleepy time, has a sip of water or a crunch on her dinner and then BARKS at us that it's time for her exercise.
WTF dog, how dare you tell ME that you want something! She then sits besides her leash waiting for me to snap it on, heels and then walks over very nicely to the machine, steps up and waits for me to tie it on as though I'm hitching a horse up.
She waits for me to turn it on and then starts to trot her ass along smiling away while hanging her tongue out and wagging that shaggy tail.
This evening while I stepped away for a few minutes, literally I think I was gone for 2 minutes to go to wash my hands because I really don't like having doggie smelly hands.
Upon my return, I have found that at the 1/3 mile mark Helen's decided that it was perfectly okay to let loose her Tootsie Rolls.
Imagine this little dog never stopping to squat and shit like any other dog might, instead letting it go on the fly. Tail up and squeezing her sphincter, a dog smile and a fart all the while jogging at 3 mph. My guess that a cat sitting at the helm and another behind her wondering what type of new toy was coming their way.
Leave it to one of my Sphynx, they already enjoy taking dry poop out of the box to play turd-hockey.