Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumn arrives.

Sunset in Tofino
9/21/15 8:48 PM

I like walking the city, when I can. 
Sunrise in Portland
(Click to enlarge any photo)

Best when sidewalks are empty:  a dark Monday night, for example, or first thing in the morning.  With fewer others to judge, I come more into view.

Carpe Summer expresses my gratitude for second chances to walk the Champs Elysees, hike in the forests, explore Istanbul and the many other good reasons to have functioning hip joints.  It became my contemporaneous memoir of some the highlights and some of the mundane.

I took walking for granted, again. 
Steamboat view toward Adams
Our mild winter blended into a brilliant spring into a hot, dry summer.  I enjoyed another very good summer to remember, despite my lack of journal entries. 

Simply driving to and from Trout Lake is a scenic treat that often fills the spirit.  The light plays with the topography and foliage in miraculous ways.  For example, a few Sundays ago, just after losing its pink and before rising above the marble cloud ceiling, the white morning light shot horizontally through a gap to highlight the top 1/3 of Mt. Hood with the precision of a stage spot.  I could not stop on the Hood River Bridge to capture that moment, just as I could not stop there to photograph the hundred colorful kites that filled The Gorge two days before, or heart-grabbing sunsets on past trips. 
Vancouver, BC

Bicycle Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Moments come and go.  I’ve got boxes of moments and computers full of moments and brain cells that remember a few, too.

Edgefield Concert

Some people are builders.  They build a business, a family, a structure . . . even empires.  Others are observers and collectors.  More like the butterfly than the flower.  Hopefully, we serve a purpose by touching enough people to keep the world moving in the right direction.

The season is changing.  Deciduous colors, shorter days, and cooler nights lead the way. 

I enter autumn with a renewed gratitude for blessings, including my (limited) ability to walk.  Every day now seems like

9/22/15 5:16:47 AM

Oh yeah,

Every day now seems like its own spring, summer and autumn:  My first steps out of bed range from annoying to excruciating.  If I were a litigation chiropractor, I’d ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how’s the pain?”  Really?  What the Hell is a 10?  A glowing red-orange branding iron on my cheek?  I don’t know what that means. 
Mt. Hood from Trout Lake 
Like the newly born fawn, I gimp a few steps.  I test the “start up pain,” which eases with some movement and time.  How long can I go without Advil?  Can I get by without it?  Is there a walk worth the side effects? 

180 degrees from last picture:  Mt. Adams
There IS always a worthwhile walk.  Today, the colors at Indian Heaven in the Gifford Pinchot Forest are thrilling, they say.  Walks around Portland energize me physically and either inspire me or agitate me, depending on whether I focus on the positive.  Physical labor is another good use of a hip joint:  pruning trees, moving rock, building a path:  endorphins, creativity, and immediate gratification that does not involve taste buds.
With the right dose, I walk erect and do not limp.  My pace is more deliberate, not mindlessly speeding along.  Constantly assessing:  am I doing okay?  Will the distance be too far?  Should I have pocketed a pill, in case?  I’m feeling good!

Joggers remind me that I have not jogged since 2007.  I do not miss it.  It’s a good thing, too.  Pounding is among the factors causing metal-on-metal hip joints to fail prematurely.  My device functions magnificently.  It’s my natural joint that’s down to the last 10%.  My surgeon now uses a ceramic-on-ceramic device.  I’ll research all that when I cannot manage.

Back to the season analogy.  I start rickety – we’ll say that’s the fragile green leaf.  I can get myself to feeling near normal (tree full of leaves), then, when I push too far or Advil’s therapeutic window closes, I need to sit.  Kinda sorta like the leaves falling from the tree signal the end of the vibrant time.  Then, I hibernate until those first steps the next day. 

9/23/15 7:33:19 AM

"Uncle Jeff's Kitchen"

Today is the equinox: ½ day, ½ night. 

I enter autumn knowing that the glass is way more than half-full.   

2015 unveiling

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Life is Good.