Thursday, June 30, 2011


With the granddaughter and one of her friends occupying my recliner this morning, an overnight slumber party allowing them some late night TV, it seemed as good a time as any for my three-mile walk. The sun was just up, rising over the hills to the east, causing the trees on the far side of the road to spread their shadows over me as I turned north. The city park has a back entrance beside the railroad underpass, the path yet a bit caked in dry mud from recent flooding, but nothing so bad as to hinder my pace. The few hundred feet to the bridge across the creek and that span, itself, had already been conquered, my option to initially turn south finding me now about to enter the picnic area, when something on the ground before me caught my eye. A child’s puzzle piece, one of those foam letters of the alphabet, strange in that it was this particular member of the twenty-six, as if, indeed, “X” did “mark the spot"...
Buried treasure? I would doubt it. More likely some mother’s child on a family outing had it stolen by some bird that, upon discovering it wasn’t food, dropped it from on high. No matter the circumstances of its current position, though, it couldn’t entice me with promise of anything, not even if an old pirate’s map instead of an attempt to exercise was what had led me to the location. Something much more precious than gold was waiting for me at home. By now, Beth should be up with the girls, getting them ready for breakfast at Bob Evans. With at least a twenty minute stretch in front of me, I picked up speed in anticipation……


  1. Jim,
    Sorry that I don't live closer because I most certainly would enjoy taking a morning walk with you and discussing your thoughts for the day. I do recall the railroad underpass that you mentioned. I'm also glad that you were carrying your camera because in this instance, the picture is most certainly worth a 1,000 words and we now know exactly where "x" marks the spot!
    An old Navy friend

  2. Old Navy: I'm trying hard to remember the camera. This morning I encountered a young mother leading her three small children down to a gravelly portion of the creek bank and there teaching them of the nature there before them as if they were in a classroom at school. A few hundred feet upstream another woman was fording the shallow waters there with her boxer and just beyond that was a fellow fishing, casting his line just as I passed and snagging in in a tree branch on the other side. Life occurs all around us if we would just slow down and breathe it in. Good to have you along with me on the journey....

  3. That ground looks like it was pretty hard anyway, Jim. You would have needed at least a pick-axe to get going.
    I love seeing photos of your nick of the woods. Here, spring is still having a helluva time warming up so seeing pics of warmer places suits me fine.
    Those little ones must have changed quite a bit by now, 2 years later.