Grateful: 14 Walks at Mom’s

I’m staying with my mother-in-law for a few weeks as we help her to make some changes. To keep my own emotional and physical health in line, I’ve determined to walk every day ( I have managed this with some success before, but didn’t do it on the last visit – bad idea).

To motivate myself to commit to this, I’ve decided to take one (just one!) picture during each day’s walk and share it with you.

I won’t write a separate post, but will add each photo to this one. At the end of 14 days, there ought to be 14 photos, the result of 14 walks.

Walk One

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The world is brown and dry where we are these days, but THIS FLOWER was blooming in spite of the drought.

I’m a little sorry that I did not photograph the green vampire teeth I found abandoned on the sidewalk very early on my walk. Just know that I thought about it!

In my mind, I also photographed the owl I heard calling from our favorite huge walnut tree n the back yard tonight. You’ll have to imagine that one.

Walk Two

I really did dream that perhaps the Dracula teeth would still be there today, but alas, they were gone on this morning’s walk.

Instead, here are the questions that entered my mind when I saw this old building and stuck with me as I continued my walk today.

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What is the story of this old structure? There’s always something a little sad, to me, about a building so finely built which no longer has a purpose. Who toiled to build the rock walls associated with it? How long ago did it fall into disuse?

On an entirely different note, but from the same picture, what is the story of that red truck nearby, the one that is missing its driver’s side door?  I can only imagine what tomorrow’s  picture might be.  You’ll have to imagine, too.

Walk Three

Wildfire smoke is what’s up today, and I stuck with calisthenics indoors.

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This haze seen from the road (the photo taken from my bedroom window was too blurry to show) is not autumn’s morning mist. It’s smoke lying in the trees, layering weird light over all the landscape.

Worried for all the firefighters and the forests and critters and people, praying for rain with none in sight. Hoping that the wind that is forecast to dissipate the smoke here tonight is not also up there in wildfire country fanning the flames.

It is so strange to be far from it and affected by it, but not in such a way as to comprehend what others are going through. Tomorrow will bring a brighter picture, eh?

Walk Four

The sky has cleared considerably since yesterday, though the fires still burn east of the mountains, and some to the south. I couldn’t take a picture of the driver with his face buried in a huge coffee mug as he drove by.  I was busy staying out of the way.

I couldn’t take a picture of the tiny birds noisily picking and pecking about in the gutters of a neighborhood house. They were too far away.

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Here is the beginning of a trail which must lead down to the Washougal River. It calls to me, speaking of adventure. Maybe another day.

Walk Five

Here we go on another walk. Are you tired of my updates yet? No worries, only 9 walks left! Perhaps  – I found out that I’ll be here at least another 14 days… This might become 21 walks at Mom’s!

Short walk today – hate it when I wake with one of THOSE headaches. I was sure I would be photographing the Washougal River from the bridge today, the outer reach of my planned 20 minutes.

This is what I discovered instead. I know it’s two photos, so I’ve broken my one photo rule – but you needed one for perspective.

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This hopeful bud helped me feel better today, headache aside.

Walk Six

Two miles, lovely breeze, and friendly neighbors. Did not photograph the fierce-looking (Kelley green) Tyrannosaur lying on its side (forlornly) in the grass. It would have required stepping into someone’s yard. No, I don’t do that. I didn’t photograph the 8 or so robins gathered onto the only green lawn along that one street. As I walked, they moved from green patch to green patch throughout the neighborhood.

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This is our River, the Washougal River. It’s very low right now. It still sparkles, and the gurgle is a song sent on the breeze. From Mom’s living room we can see folks on inner tubes in the pool by the boat launch on the other side. But no drift boats these days. Not enough water for them or the salmon.

Walk Seven

Halfway to 14 walks!

This walk happened 2 days ago, and it’s true that I missed a couple of days, but we had appointments and other stuff, so calisthenics it’s been, and some weights.

I walked a different direction than I usually do, to capture this green leafy arch my nephew pointed out to me on a trip home from the store. This photo from across the street, captured between cars going by,  does not capture the magic of it, as it leads to a yard, tangled but yet carefully curved sometime in the past.

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I couldn’t photograph the tiny worn skateboard with black wheels and most of its paint missing, followed by the blue Lego, followed by the toy pliers, followed by the banana peel and then the pink feather from a boa, ranged along the side of the sidewalk, just far enough apart to catch my attention but close enough together to feel like a movie spooling off the reel as my feet carried me along. Could I have taken a video to capture this scene playing in my head, this story laid out on half a block of lawns? It occurred to me, and immediately felt like cheating for this challenge.

Maybe someday I’ll write story from these five lines written in my journal, to save until I could write this post:


blue Lego

plastic pliers

banana peel

pink boa feather

You never know what I might find in those words another time.

Walk Eight

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Long walk on Sunday! I got an hour away, and I mad ethe most of it to walk over to the trail that runs down the Columbia.  I got lots of photos for a couple of  Gather Here blog posts and got some fresh river air on my face.

Walk Nine

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Short walk, tiny Queen Anne’s Lace.  So hopeful!

Walk Ten

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Windy day, though nothing at all like the folks had back home.  I like the sky behind that flag.

Walk Eleven

I think I’ll be going home before I get to 14 walks this time, but never fear. Ill be back in a week and a half.

Yesterday’s walk in the misty rain was punctuated by soaking bushes and trees, and the quiet.

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The inside of this willow expresses things very well.

Walk Twelve – I’m Back!

I arrived yesterday on the train and grabbed a quick walk in the evening hours. Fall is coming, it’s clear.

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This picture doesn’t really tell that story, but it struck me as I made my neighborhood loop.

Six more possible walks at Mom’s before we take her north to live in our home.

Walk Thirteen

Here we are, on a Monday evening. So nice to see a long shadow. That means that it was all right to take a walk around dinner time even though we were on our own today. Only someone who cares for another person in this way might understand the beauty of this long shadow, in that context.

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It was a short walk, only 15 minutes or so – a mile at best. But it was beautiful, and it was mine.

Walks Fourteen and Fifteen

I win today, with two walks.

There is no photo for the first, because…It wasn’t only a walk AT Mom’s, it was a walk WITH Mom. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I’m hoping that it might be the first of many.

The second walk was a quick mile and a quarter.

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Don’t you love how the needles have filled the rings in this manhole cover? Down the street there is one with a diamond-patterned grid. Maybe that will be the subject of another day’s walk.

Walk Sixteen

I win again! This picture is blurry because Mom came walking with me again, and we were On The Move.

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I missed the whole effect of the yard- the place is filled with decorations…

When we got back, we ate the results of these shenanigans we’d gotten up to earlier in the day. Yes, I’m cheating, posting more than one picture.  But I get to make the rules…

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About vst3in

I am a writer, avid reader, birder, food preserver, and retired school library lady. I love colors and textures looking for them in the world around me. I'm working on a historical novel and reading lots of books for young people. I'm working to stay strong into my senior years, and I sail with my husband. This blog contains thoughts about all these things.
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