And a Good Day to Ye

My hard run/walk never-really-daily exercise regimen had been cut short. Yesterday, i underwent some minor surgery, which turned out to be not as serious as i imagined, the bane of old men: worrying about just how bad a minor problem can become.

Doc told me to cut out any serious exercise or work for two weeks. That meant no golf, boo; no run/walk, boo; no home tasks, ahh, okay; and no dishwashing, yippee ti yi yay, get along little dogie.

As  you might have noticed, it did not include writing with the computer.

Doc also okayed “leisurely walks.  “Good for you,” he said. So late morning today, i decided to amble. One of the circuits in our neighborhood is just shy of two miles. The streets run along canyon views and the hills beyond, including Mount Miguel. This was all scrub, high desert, used mostly for grazing land and for youngsters to hunt small game before the development men rolled in their trucks and graders and clobbered the ridges, other high ground, and eventually most of the laderas and arroyos. Yet there remains a wide swath of open space The views to the west are magnificent with the skyline of San Diego and, oh yes, the Pacific. The views to the east, in spite of the best efforts of the development men to sully the vistas with dots of houses and grey strips of road, looking east gives one pause at the beauty of this high desert land.

i had other things to do like naps and lunch and reading and sitting at this crazy electronic wonder, so eschewed major preparation to go out, another tribulation suffered by old men with hall monitor wives (that i really appreciate; i really do). So i slapped on my sunscreen sleeves and wore my wide brimmed sun hat and headed out.

i rejected the idea of wearing ear buds with my iphone — Why did they get away from “earphones?” Are these things stuck in our ears our pals or little flowers? And why is this magic, ethereal connection between two machines or more labeled “bluetooth?” Haven’t they ever used teeth whiteners? — even though i relented to using those music generators on my walk/runs because they keep me from realizing just how labored i’m breathing. It was a “leisurely” walk. i wanted to take it in.

i did, take it in, that is. Out of the house, i once again relished my Southwest corner: mid-June, 11:00 am PDT and i am comfortable, almost cool in brilliant sunshine, no clouds, an ocean breeze and high 60’s. i could live with that…oh yeh, i do.

i look at the yards and the different approaches to improving houses and yards. The agapanthus are everywhere, the jacarandas are close to losing their blooms and the purple petals form a wedding aisle on some of the sidewalks.

i think, “i am a lucky man.” Again.

Couples are out walking. We meet. For several years, my usual response to “How are you doing?” is “i may make it, but i’m not taking any bets.” It nearly always gets a laugh. But today, i’m thinking this walk is too nice for such tomfoolery.

i pass a couple. The woman says, “Hello;” the man says, Hi.”

And it hits me. i respond, “Hello, and a good day to ye.”

Seems about right to me. One or two more couples pass with greetings, and i have got it down to just, “And a good day to ye.”

The couples smile when i say it. i think it’s my new deal.

i ponder as i hit our cul de sac on the return. It seems a shame we have all of this confrontation of people, mostly good people on all sides. i wonder how it might change if everyone started off and concluded each conversation with everyone by saying, “And a good day to ye.”

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