I almost bagged my morning walk today, since yesterday was pretty exhausting (we had new windows installed which meant no rest/nap/sleep all day), but the sight of the sun shining and the gorgeous blue sky lured me out. I threw on a hoodie that I won at an MS Walk a couple of years ago (which I thought was highly appropriate), stashed my cell phone in one pocket and a plastic baggie filled with dog biscuits in the other, and headed out to do one of my longer routes (almost a mile, but not quite). I was thinking how lucky I am to live in such a gorgeous place when a woman I've seen before passed me as she was jogging. "It doesn't get better than this, does it?" she asked. "Nope," I replied, "it really doesn't. Enjoy the day!" "You, too!" she said, as she rounded the block ahead of me.
Autumn has taken hold here in Portland, no doubt. We've had evening temps down in the high 30's, and the combination of colder nights and shorter days is having the expected impact on all the deciduous trees in our neighborhood. I find more and more deep, red maple leaves in our driveway each more, and the changing colors are more obvious every day. Mornings like today's are my absolute favorites: crisp and chilly, sunny and blue-skied, and so clear it feels as if you can see forever.
As I headed up a hill towards SW Hamilton Street, I could hear the sound of children playing in the field adjacent to Bridlemile Elementary School. As I got closer to the field, a little girl in a blue outfit ran over to the fence, retrieved a soccer ball, and headed back to the game. Yep, it's definitely autumn.
There's a home across the street from the school with Halloween decorations adorning on of their trees - small, orange plastic bags with black pumpkin faces hanging from the branches. I noticed several more houses with Halloween decorations set out, and several with carved pumpkins, as well.
As I was headed back home on the final stretch of my walk, the jogger passed me again. "We have to stop meeting like this!" I said as she passed. She laughed and said "I could do this all day!" "I wish I could", was my response. "It's just as good to walk", she replied, as she rounded the corner ahead of me.
I thought about that as I labored up the final hill that leads to our street, always a difficult process at the tail-end of a walk. She's right, I thought. It is 'just as good to walk', even if my pace is slower, my distances nothing to brag about, and my 'lazy leg' starts acting up as I head down our driveway. As long as I can walk on my own, and be grateful for a beautiful autumn day in Portland, OR, it's good enough.