September sunset

pink sunset, Gladstone (September 18, 2015)

Most days since getting the Fitbit Flex three weeks ago, I've managed to meet my 10,000 steps goal, which is between four-to-five miles of walking.* And this is even post-surgery, even when the nerves in my left upper arm are tingling and burning, when drain tubes dangle from my side, and when it feels like there's a large piece of cardboard sewn into my chest. Some days, like yesterday with its multiple appointments, just get too busy, but most days I try. It's about all I can do for exercise for at least another month, when I'm not supposed to be lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk.

Yet walking alone all the time on the same woodsy paths, the same suburban streets, without a conversational partner can get frankly boring, especially when one's mind is continually running along the lines of How the hell do I have cancer? I suppose I could start listening to podcasts or audiobooks, except that they would take up so much space on my phone and require forethought. Whenever my mother calls, I've learned, I should immediately lace up my tennis shoes and head outside . . . to multitask.

But a few days ago, out walking at dusk up and down the streets of Gladstone, waiting for the Fitbit to vibrate and let me head home, the sky glowed with a most beautiful pink sunset. I happened to be carrying my camera, though it took a couple blocks to find a shot that didn't include multiple strands of power lines. (Note that in civilized places like Europe and Japan, all the power lines are underground, a safer and more aesthetic place for them to be.) That same night, my friend Carol, who lives in Portland up on Mt. Tabor, happened to reply to an e-mail of mine, saying in conclusion, "The walk home was nice tonight. The sunset was fantastic." It was like that meme of two people far apart looking up at the same moon.

*Shopping Tip: Big-box stores like Target sometimes have policies that allow them to match Amazon's online pricing. It doesn't hurt to ask. I got over $20 off my Fitbit Flex this way from City Target. 

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