I'D WALK A MILE
7 November 2003
I went for a long walk today. Which is interesting, because I never left the house.
By the end of yesterday, after hauling a trunk full of boxes of books out to the car, my shoulder was saying "tsk tsk...shouldn't have done that..."
I took the night off and just relaxed in the recliner, but by morning my shoulder was saying "See, dummy? Should have listened to me..."
So the plan for today (because I'm on a roll and don't want to give up the momentum) was to do light-weight things. One of them involved moving a huge stack of photos off of the kitchen counter, where it has resided for several years.
I even knew where to put it. But it meant cleaning out a cupboard that likewise hadn't been opened in years and that meant moving the stack of trash that was in front of it, waiting for next week's garbage pick up day.
Unfortunately, most of that stuff was heavy.
So I solved the problem by making a bazillion trips back and forth from one end of the house to the other, carring only very few things, and only things that could be carried by my right hand.
God, I'm pathetic.
However, it was a lot of mileage that I put in, and, since it's raining here today, it's probably more exercise than I would have gotten if I had two good arms. Always look on the bright side of things!
Once I began to clean out cupboards in that area of the room, the next to bite the bullet was the cake decorating drawer. I will not be doing any serious cake decorating again in my lifetime. My eyes aren't good enough, I don't have the strength in my hand, and I just plain got bored with it. But there are still a lot of leftover supplies that are now in the bottom of the garbage can.
The lovely thing about doing a sweeping clean-out like this is that as you junk a whole category of things, you end up with another shelf/drawer/container to put stuff that you do want to keep. And as you do that, you open up flat surfaces that have been covered for years.
This is, I realize, a fact that most normal people have known all their lives, but learning it at 60 is a lot better than never learning it at all.
In the mail today was a book I ordered from Amazon (Walt would probably ask "so what else is new?"). It's Virtual Miracles by Karen Derrico, and is subtitled "40 True Stories of Love, Courage and the Amazing Kindness of Strangers." It's a book about the kinds of "miracles" which have come about as a result of the Internet.
I learned of Karen when she contacted Steve about including his story in the book--a man dying of AIDS who starts an Internet Diary (the 5th in the history of the Internet) to keep his friends and family informed about the state of his health, who goes on to write an award winning semi-autobiographical musical, discovers new AIDS meds, begins to recover, writes another award-winning musical, and affects people's lives all over the world, all bound together by their interest in his life through his Internet journal. (How's that for a long sentence?).
So I ordered the book to read how Steve's story came out (great!) and imagine my surprise when I finished the Steve story, turneed the page, and there was the next story, the story of Georgia Griffith, my former boss on CompuServe, honored some years ago by The Smithsonian for her contributions to information technology for the handicapped (Georgia is deaf and blind).
The boook contains a host of stories of people brought together,thanks to the Internet--strangers saving a suicidal man thousands of miles away, a mother and son reunited after 20 years, Indian children in the slums of New Delhi with no teachers, learning everything from geography to physics at funded Internet kiosks, people all over the world knitting sweaters for penguins in Tasmania affected by an oil spill...
The stories go on and on, people whose lives have been affected by the Internet. It's a miraculous thing, this shrinking of the globe electronically, bringing people closer together and sometimes, making a miracle or two.
For me, the current miracle is closer to home...the fact that I am ending week #2 of this house reorganization--and still at it!