Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



Rio Del Mar Beach, Aptos California

Had trouble falling asleep last night. Many cramps in legs. Hmm!

Rainy night. Strong windy day.

I wasn't able to pull myself together enough to go out early to walk. Bones too creaky. Too many emails to handle. Cat needed cuddling. Excuses!

Then... Earthquake!

Yup. But, just a little one. Epicenter, if you can call it that a little off shore, from Watsonville, in the Monterey Bay. Really, it was very minor and one of 13 in the area today. Thank heavens for those short shifts! I live only about 10 miles from the previous epicenter of the Loma Prieta Quake (1989).

I finally put on some sweats, (still cold and windy out) and got in the car to drive over to Aptos beach to walk. I parked at the beginning of the half a billion dollar homes, well okay, maybe they are only quarter billion. Once I got my pedometer on, and started walking I had an "oh, no" moment. I had forgotten to change shoes!! I left my Lucky Pink's at home. Darn it! Oh well, slip-ons just had to do.

So, this sidewalk was slanted too. It is across the street from the crazy rich homes. Crazy, because you would have to be crazy to live there. A huge cliff that produces mudslides every winter faces the backs of those homes. The sand and ocean is literally is at the front doors. That is, separated from the sand my only a street and the walk. Well, at least most of them have their first floor as the garage only. I have seen some pretty bad damage on that street. So, I guess it is okay to be crazy if one wants to pay big flood/mudslide insurance (act of God insurance?) and pay for rebuilding when the mud oozes through your kitchen into the living room and right out the balcony and plops down onto the front driveway where the ocean washes the mud away. Still, I wouldn't mind living there just for the incredible view, and the sound of the surf. On the other hand, it is the one and only street that leads to the state park beach. In the summer it is crowded with tourists. The rest of the year it's either surfers or whales washing up on shore. I have a recording of ocean sounds, I think will satisfy me.

And you thought I was going to write about how nice it was by the sea... the seagulls, the sunshine, the waves, the breezes, the warm sand, the beachcombers. Yes, it is all that, and more! It was hard to just enjoy the beauty when my shins were burning, though. My slip-on shoes were not meant to be supportive walkers! I will NOT forget my Lucky Pinks tomorrow. You can bet on it! I want to be in good enough shape for my trip to Vermont that I walk along the shores of Lake Champlain and just hang my mouth open in wonder and joy, forgetting to take pictures.

I didn't care for the inclined, not flat, sidewalk. So I crossed the street to walk along the front of the nice homes. Many people sitting out on their verandas or patios nodded or said hello. Nice people! I wonder if they do that during tourist season, too. I remember how sociable everyone was on New Year's Eve. The whole street was it's own double party. The tourists below on the sand with their bonfires giving toasts to the hosts. The householders out on their balconies in their dress clothes lifting their glasses to their guests. It was a surreal and happy new year where everyone seemed truly happy. What year was that? I forget. But, it was so kewl!

I was determined that I would at least walk as far as the end of the homes, where the public restrooms begin. I did have to stop a couple of times to just stand there and breathe. Coming back, I decided I could handle the sidewalk as the slant evened out my leg length discrepancy. I managed quite well with that, except for the areas where the sand had blown across the pavement. Loose sand is not easy to walk on, when you are as out of practice as I am. Soon, I had lost my momentum, and the pain slowed me down considerably. Other walkers were passing me by, even an old lady with a dog! The jogger, (Bless him!) ran by me, back and forth, so many times, it was Déjà Vu, all over again. Along the sidewalk is a sort of metal bar fence. (something to hang onto when the wind is blowing hard, or the waves are rushing by) I stopped four times, and pushed my spine up against them to help relieve the pain. The burning shins were gone by this time. It was my rib cage and shoulders that were complaining. Next time, I will probably need to take something for pain before I go out, just to keep it to a dull roar. It's very distracting. At least when I am home, in the car, visiting someone's home, I can squirm or change position, or even lie down if need be. But, I had to continue walking. My car was not going to come pick me up. Hey! that's a good idea. You know. They have those cars now that will park for you, and the ones that will watch out for drivers sneaking up on your blind side. They need to invent one that will unpark itself and drive up to whereever you are. That would be great for when you come out of the grocery store and can't remember where in the world you parked your car, too.

Now, see! Who's crazy now. This crazy lady who calls the beach home owners crazy! That's who.

I just need to keep on working on this until my body is as ambitious as my mind wants it to be. It's not like I can't do it... I can.

That last 99 steps I counted myself, just to put my mind off the invisible Samurai jabbing me along with his ancient sword. It was with a sigh of relief, as well as pride when I got in the car. I actually had broken a sweat! Though my body was throbbing and complaining even after I sat down, I was happy to see the numbers on the pedometer.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention... the pedometer says I took 3599 steps!!

My reliable, old, 1987 Dodge tells me that I went a mile. Aren't there only supposed to be 2850 steps in a mile?

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