Solo Walk

A trucker with a load of lumber was working on his rig at the service station. As I walked by, he asked, “You walking alone today? Where’s your partner?”

Evidently, he knows us by sight. Many of the men who refuel there are regulars. They know us, but we don’t know them.

I said, “He’s playing with trains in Tennessee. They’re the big kind you ride on.”

The man was a local, judging by his accent. I could understand him, though, so he wasn’t raised far from civilization. His face was weathered, making him look 20 to 30 years older than his hair. I say that because his beard matched his hair and had no gray in it.

I was surprised when he stretched our greeting into a conversation.

“You have any hobbies? Anything you like to do?” he asked.

“I love to write – not books or novels, but a blog.”

That was a bit foreign to him, so I asked if he had a hobby. Immediately his face beamed, and he said, “Fishin’! I love fishin’. Sometimes I eat ’em, but mostly I throw ’em back. There’s a big pond connected to the Pigeon River over near Canton. I catch fish in the river and throw them in the pond.”

I said, “One time my dad called our school to pick us up. I don’t know what he told the school, but he told my brother and me the fish were biting like he’d never seen them before. Your put your hook in, and a fish would bite it. That’s the only time he ever did that.”

In the middle of my story, the man said to keep talkin’ as he reached for something in the cab. He began to swipe at his phone and then proudly showed me a set of photos of the fish he caught that broke the state record. The first time he caught it, he threw it back after estimating its weight. When he got home, he asked his son to Google the state record. He was sure his fish was larger. Another day he went back, caught the same kind of fish again, weighed it, and returned it to the water. He rattled off the statistics to prove his victory. The fish was beautiful, rather greenish and shiny. I wish I could remember what he said it was, but I’d not heard of it.

The object of walking is exercise, but the destination is Jonathan Creek. If I’m talking with John, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the stream. Can’t do two things at once! Having been a canoeing instructor at a Girl Scout camp long ago, I marked the “V” that I would have headed for in a canoe. On this misty day, I listened to the water gurgling over the rocks and watched leaves shoot the rapids.

092817 Jonathan Creek in mist.jpg

This is the best time to watch the creek. Leaves float when they first fall and tend to sink a bit when waterlogged. I pick one as it goes by, watching to see if it makes it through the rapids. Some get hung on a branch or plastered to a rock. I always wonder how far they will go, because the water that flows at my feet will eventually pass New Orleans and into the gulf. Today I saw a large sycamore leaf fall from the tree, and it danced and twirled on top of the water. It was dunked, but rose again to sail under the arch of a stick and on toward Tennessee. I doubt it will make it to the big arch at St. Louis.

Closer to home, I chatted with neighbors Bob and Les, both walking dogs. I saw Bob first, and he said Les’ tiny dogs don’t like boxer Dolly. Continuing toward home, I found Les who said his dogs are afraid of Dolly. A few minutes later when I had turned into our street, I heard an outburst of yapping behind me. The little dogs were expressing fear and disapproval, and I’ll bet Dolly looked at them with bewilderment, wondering why they didn’t want to play nice.

39 thoughts on “Solo Walk

  1. Lovely post!
    …But you made me face how I feel about fishing. Since I tend to identify with the underdog, I feel for the poor unsuspecting fish! Here he is, minding his own business, and OH! he spots a worm. He chomps on it, naturally, but then OUCH there’s a sharp thingie in it!! He’s yanked out of the water – next thing he knows, he’s plopped back in, but in a completely different place from where he was before!
    You can see why I’d rather, say, just go for a little walk. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful, Anne. I love the photo of the stream. I might have been a bit creeped out by the trucker talking to me! LOL! Although you were familiar with the location and people. I’m pretty remote so feel a slight bit of unease when out walking about and other people go by. I’m meeting all my new neighbors now and that helps.

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    1. This was within sight of the cafe where there might have been 20 people who could see me. The owner of the service station knows me by sight, too. This is a rural area where lots of people never lock their doors. We’ve been here three years now. I do feel more comfortable now than when we first moved.

      How long have you lived in your current home?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It takes longer to get to know neighbors than I thought it would. You’re the new kids on the block, but I’ll bet you’ll soon get to know some wonderful people. I now feel like we’ve known our neighbors as friends for years, but it hasn’t been that long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You had me walking along with you Anne. As a young lad growing up I could lay in bed at night and if the wind blew right I could hear the whistle of the nightly freight train heading south. Now that generated travel thoughts in a young boys head. Nothing more soothing though than a flowing stream or brook. Great to read a novel by also. Say hi to John. A little something you may enjoy- http://news.stanford.edu/2014/04/24/walking-vs-sitting-042414/

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    1. I enjoyed that article. I’ve walked in the morning for 23 years. That article makes me afraid to stop!
      Just kidding. John lived within a few FEET of train tracks all his life until we moved to NC three years ago. He must be suffering withdrawal now. He’s getting his fix at the train club this weekend, though. They are working on the track and sprucing up the place for the big meet coming up. I’m enjoying free-flowing days with wacky mealtimes until he gets back.

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  4. It was so much fun to take a walk with you Anne! My husband and I tend to have the same experience when we go someplace….people start talking to us like they are old friends. It is a great way to meet new people and realizes how may wonderful people make up this world.
    The only time I remember our folks taking us out of school was to go to the county fair. He told the school principal that other parents could take their kids out for sporting events so he was entitled to take us out for the fair……I don’t think he got any arguments on that logic.

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    1. I’m thrilled you went walking with me. We tend to talk to strangers wherever we go, too. That’s something that your parents took you out of school for the county fair. I’ll bet it make the experience that much more fun when your skipping school was approved by adults.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Y’know .. WordPress seems determined to keep me from getting too much enjoyment on the blogs I follow… I’ve clicked to follow your blog, Anne, I don’t know how many times, and although it does the follow thing for a day or two, for some reason it then allows you to slip off my follow list and so I miss incredible posts like this one, from you.

    I love your writing Anne. You recall moments, minutes and hours of your day in such a lovely way that I can imagine the scene inside my head. I just love that you can do that.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent for writing with us. You have been gifted with the art of eloquence which makes your blog post so, so enjoyable to read.

    Have a blessed rest of your day Anne. ~ Cobs. x 🍂 🍁

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    1. Cobs,

      I contacted a WordPress happiness engineer, and this is her reply:

      “We have had complaints about people not being able to follow sites, particularly when they do so from a mobile device. Can you ask your friend if she followed you from a computer or mobile device? And also ask if she was on 3g, wifi or something else?

      “Does this happen with other sites she is following or just yours?

      “It’s possibly a network issue, but I’d like to look into this further.”

      Anne again here. If you’d like to continue privately, write me at amehrling@juno.com.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bless you Anne.
        Well I know that Chicken Grandma has some problems in the same way … not necessary with you, but she’s had problems with other sites.

        To be honest, I thought the problems had been fixed but when I realised that I’d missed a whole bunch of your posts I realised that something had gone wonky again.

        I don’t read from a mobile device, but I do use two different computers. One is wifi – a laptop. And the other is a cabled device – a large desk top computer, which is in my craft room (converted garage) which is seperate from the house and sited in the garden.

        So yes… on wifi.

        It DID happen with a few other sites … but it quickly sorted itself out. At least … I thought it had until I discovered your blog site was missing again.

        There are other bloggers who have said they have the same problem but I can’t remember who they are – except for Chicken Grandma. But chicken has a better memory than me so she may be able to recall.

        Hope this is the information the lady wanted.
        Sending squidges ~ Cobs. xxx

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      1. Well, so far, (this time) you’re still on my following list. YAY. (I’m aware of the problem and am keeping a very close eye on it now, so fingers crossed).
        I love that title … Happiness Engineer. It sounds SO much better and way friendlier than Technician. LOL.
        ~ C. xxx

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      1. Well would you believe … things can go from bad to worse in the space of a few hours!

        I’m apparently no longer showing up in the Reader.

        I followed myself ages ago to make sure that everything does work as I wanted it to, and so I always knew that any new post showed up for everyone to read. No longer!
        It’s obviously something to do with WPress… they keep making changes and each time they change a thing, something goes wonky. [sigh]

        Goodness knows whats happened now. LOL. But … I’m still following you Anne! yay for miracles. xxx

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    2. I’ve sent your comment of Oct 6 to my favorite Happiness Engineer. We’ll see what she makes of the latest development. I found I was missing notices about a blogger I follow, too. He was there on my list with all the proper boxes checked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh thank you Anne!
        Until this week I thought that all these little things which I, and plenty of others, had finally put themselves right. Everything seemed to be working ok.

        Then I realised that I hadn’t seen a post by you for a while, so I checked …. and you’d been posting but I hadn’t been getting notifications.
        It took me a few minutes to work out that the system had unfollowed you and I didn’t know about it.

        I keep checking and so far everything is working fine…. but I’m now wondering if there are others who the system has unfollowed and I don’t know about it. Eeek!

        I’ve just looked on the Reader and my last two posts are now magically there, so I’m thinking that your Happiness Engineer has waved her Magic Wand and put right whatever it was which went wonky.

        Does she catch the Train to Hogwarts at platform Nine and a Half, too, I wonder. lol.

        Thank you Anne. You are indeed truly wonderful .
        Have a blessed day my frend.
        Sending love and squidges ~ Cobs. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Cobs,

      My favorite Happiness Engineer just phoned me, and she’s given me her work email address so that you can contact her directly if you need to. It’s Chrissie.Pollock@automattic.com If you write to her, she asked that you remind her of our connection (yours and mine). She is now following your blog and hopes to catch irregularities if they happen to her.

      She laughed when I read her about your wondering if she used Platform 9 1/2. Her response — she sent a photo of a T-shirt she was given. It says, “Hogwarts Mobile Wizardry”. I think she said some developers in the company had them and shared with Happiness Engineers who work with mobile issues. Chrissie is my niece, and she grew up in the house next to ours on Long Island. She has been a very special favorite of mine since she was born. In fact, I just remembered John and I are her godparents. I hadn’t thought of that in years.

      Love,

      Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww bless you Anne, and you Goddaughter and Happiness Engineer, Chrissie.

        I hope I never have to contact her – for the best reasons obviously.

        LOVE that she has a Hogwarts Mobile Wizardry T.shirt! How brilliant is that?! All her pens and pencils should say that too. LOL

        Thank you Anne, and bless you for going to all this trouble to help me.
        Wishing you a truly wonderful weekend.
        Squidges from me in my corner to you in yours ~ Cobs. xx

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