This Thanksgiving week, many bloggers will be writing about gratitude and giving thanks. It’s not a bad idea; living here in the “first world,” it’s sometimes easy to bemoan the lack of things which aren’t necessary for life and living. I am guilty of it myself. In spite of the national problems the news puppets squawk about every day, there are many, many things for which I forget to give thanks.
One of the things on my gratitude list is the ability to walk.
Like most people my age, I have a long history of walking. I never took a bus to school and I didn’t have a car in college. When I did get out of school, my opportunities to walk everywhere lessened and I began spending my days in a cubicle. I could always feel something pulling me out of that environment and so from the beginning of my working life, I found opportunities to walk during the work day.
When I lived in Portland, I lived near the Back Cove and I would “walk The Boulevard” early and often. I wish I had a dollar for every time I walked The Boulevard. One day, my old friend Zino and I had a walking marathon; we walked around The Boulevard three times in succession.
I’ve lost touch with Zino. I hope he’s still walking.
Having a love for written correspondence, the career of a postal carrier appealed to me, but it seemed like a complicated transition, fraught with Civil Service examinations and lots of government red tape. I just wanted to walk for a living.
On the many occasions when I would walk alone, I would wonder how long and far a person could walk. My nephew settled that question for me when he walked across America one summer.
Since I’ve been working at The Big Corporation in Portsmouth, I’ve been taking a daily lunch walk on the Pease Tradeport and for the last three years, I’ve dragged my friend and co-worker Cherie Ripperton along with me. We’ve walked the same general route for most of these three years until just recently. The Big Corporation moved our office to a different location and we had to make an adjustment.
We were a little confused at first; we hadn’t realized how trapped and imprisoned we were in our walking routine. All of the things that seemed nice enough about the asphalt roads along the flight line were no longer an option because they were too far away. We were a little stunned about where we should walk.
We found a walking path that took us off the Tradeport and transported us into a residential neighborhood. It was odd and interesting to walk around quiet homes and manicured lawns. Some of the residents had interesting lawn ornaments, worthy of two or three conversations.
The new scenery is interesting and variable; there are more walking options. We had forgotten that walking at lunch could be fun. We had grown to love the prison of our former walk. Like Patty Hearst, we had accepted the notion that the asphalt streets available to us at our former location were wonderful and we had even encouraged some of our co-workers to join us on those old paths.
We had Walkholm Syndrome.
I’m thankful The Big Corporation moved. There are many wonderful things about our new location, not the least of which is the opportunity Cherie and I had to break out of our walking prison. Although I may never be a letter carrier, walking is a good part of life and I want to do more of it every day.
Have you taken a walk today?
Looking forward to discovering new paths today….
I’m glad we’re not relying on that bicycle. It kind of looks like a broken down Riksha!
Ricksha’s are poor alternative transportation options, and they’re even less functional as employers, especially the broken-down variety.
I dunno, if you’ve got an abundance of cheap labor rickshaws make sense. The Asians did pretty well with rickshaws for a long time, right up until we paid off the politico-dictators that “safety” required them to only allow motorized cabs, like we civilized folk have, and then to pave over their streets and canals (another forgotten means of urban transportation) with IMF and World Bank funds (10% to the roads, the rest to the politicians, in loans that could never be paid off, but that’s okay, the loans were fashioned from made-up money and the IMF only wants the interest and the assets given as collateral). The history of Bangkok, for example, is quite interesting in this way, as is Jakarta.
That bike in the photo was probably quite nice in its day. Wide wheelbase, big flat pedals good for any style shoe, lots of space for groceries. And I’m guessing that seat didn’t encourage one to go any further than one had to, either..
I think a little Riksha or pedi-cab experiment might be fun at The 2013 Moxie Festival. I’m looking into it.
Actually, rickshaw wouldn’t be bad in most of the Falls, or Lisbon, either, if either had local stores worth going to. What if Jillson’s in Lisbon set up something like that, a rickshaw service to bring people out there? Your friends with the CSA on Gould Road, do you have to drive out to them to pick up stuff? A place closer to town could be valuable if fuel becomes prohibitively expensive or scarce, rickshaw or something like this http://rayray714a.xanga.com/photos/6a632133445947 would be all you need to move your produce–no need for an F-350 or Super Ram.