Walking Attire

Yes, that’s a Santa hat, and no, you didn’t just blink and it’s already Christmas time again. It’s actually the middle of May in Seattle. So far this month we’ve already had twice our usual amount rainfall for May, and the temperature has barely made it out of the fifties. Last weekend, it was still snowing in the mountain passes. In other words while the rest of the country may be dealing with heat, tornadoes, wildfires, and droughts, we’re still wet and cold, and because of that, the hat pictured here is part of my usual walking attire.

I bought the hat several years ago from a costume shop. When I wear it out in public at Christmas time, I’m always a bit mystified that people seem to be so glad to see me. I’m sure they think I’m full of the Christmas spirit, and I probably am, but in actuality, I’m just wearing my hat. Why? Because it keeps the rain off my glasses. Since my recent cataract surgery, keeping rain off my glasses isn’t that big a deal anymore, but by now the hat and I are old pals, and it’s equally good at providing shade as it is for keeping raindrops from falling on my head.

During the winter I do a lot of inside steps—lots of 200-step laps from one end of the house to the other, with a few circles around the elephant table in the entryway to bring it up to the full two-hundred mark. Because of the many tight turns, inside steps take a lot longer than outside steps, so as soon as the weather starts turning even a little bit, I’m back outside, walking on the flat front driveway. By the way, I am not a hiker. I do not do hills and valleys. I walk on flat pavement. I’m happy to leave the mountaineering to the more athletic among us.

At the beginning of this week it was cold and wet. I wore my sweater topped by a water-resistant (not water-proof) jacket as well as my Santa hat. Twice I started out fully winterized and then ended up having to shed both the jacket and the sweater by the time I finished. The hat stayed on because, by the time the clouds rolled away, full sunlight on wet pavement made for blinding walking conditions.

When I walk, I walk at a steady pace. I just came in from finishing my ten, 8500 steps in 84.03 minutes. That’s putting ‘em up and putting ‘em down. Outside I’ve measured out a 500 step lap so I don’t need to count as I go. Today, as I walked, I was thinking about writing the blog. When I came in, I was at 324,000—so by this time tomorrow, I’ll be third of the way to my next million-step mark.

So what have I learned while doing my outside steps this week? The Lenten roses, tulips, and daffodils are over, the Daphne next to the front porch is in full bloom, the red azaleas on the far side of the pavement are getting ready to bloom as are some of the newly planted hydrangeas. Not only that, I just noticed here’s a hint of lavender on the wisteria down in the backyard. In other words, cold and rainy weather notwithstanding, spring has finally sprung in Seattle.

And if you think this blog is something of a nothing burger, too bad. I’m pretty sure it beats the hell out of whatever’s on the news!

PS. The day after I wrote that cheery Tra La It’s May blog, it rained “pitchforks and hammer handles, as my mother would say, and I ended up doing ALL indoor steps. I walked the same number of steps—8500, but it took 88 minutes rather than 84. And I can tell you, that 42.5 200 step-laps are a lot more wearing than 17.5 500 step laps. But I still got my ten.

43 thoughts on “Walking Attire

  1. It is too bad we can’t bring some of that Seattle rain down to Southern California. We are in a water conservation warning phase. We can only water or lawns once a week. Rain, rain, come this way.

    • Northern San Diego here, Fallbrook, and yes we sure would love some of her rain. I am the director of a library used bookstore and love getting in Jance books.

  2. We just left Seattle after a week visiting our son (from Florida) had a day of sunshine on both ends of the trip, and your “famous Seattle mist & rain” for the rest. Our son bikes to work, regardless of the weather. He’s much more acclimated than us. Rain didn’t stop our walking all over the City and taking the ferry (he’s a West Seattle guy) even drove to see the Tree of Life & got a sunny beach moment. Those Seattle hills may have been blasted away, but, they still impacted my shins, as a Florida flat lander. Haha. Keep stepping, keep writing. Always enjoy your musings.

  3. Well, it snowed here earlier this week, and there’s rain forecast for this afternoon, so maybe we’ve got a bit of the weather system you’re experiencing. But like Savannah in California, we’d welcome some rain, as the fire danger signs are all posted as high right now. “April showers bring May flowers,” we were taught in grade school, but so far we haven’t had the April showers. And we don’t dare put our flowers out till after the Victoria Day weekend, for fear of frost.

  4. You bless me and inspire me. Your walking ethic shows up in your writing. I have no idea how you do all your homework on thing# like forensics and technology but your determined mind set shows up in all you do.
    The rain is getting to me and I am a native. Maybe I’ll take a walk between showers, blessings on you! June e.

  5. You inspire me. I walked two days this week. No idea how many steps it was about an hour, with friends in my community, talking and listening. I’m not giving myself any kudos for exercising, I just enjoy the fellowship. Question: Do you work on your current story line while you walk. I thoroughly enjoy reading your books. Never kept a record so some I read twice. Just finished
    “Edge of Evil”

  6. Your blogs are never nothing burgers! I enjoy reading them each and every week and would really miss you if you stopped. Have a great weekend, and stay alert on this Friday the 13th!

  7. Longing for my walks, curtailed by dual diagnoses of lung cancer and blood clot. Doing well with chemo and 9ne of yr long-ordered books will be available tomorrow. Keep up the fight!!

  8. I think we are a bit ahead of you here in Corvallis, but still, the wet, cool weather is getting to everyone. The grass loves it but the lawn mower clogs and clogs! I want to put the winter clothes and sheets away but keep using them. Not yet hanging laundry outside — darn!

    Signs of spring: Blooming borage, chives, and kale. Budding iris. Adolescent rabbits chasing each other around. Courting flickers. Skunk babies. Ants in the house.

    Out-of-season things: Rosemary still blooming months after it should be over. Jupiter’s beard and California poppy early.

    I wonder if your walking time is also plotting time — mulling over where a book or character is going? I appreciate those well-thought-out plots!

  9. Evie Busk rides again! What a wonderful way to describe torrents of rain- I had
    never heard that one- Sounds like maybe a South Dakota expression- Was she talking about Monsoon Season in Arizona when she used those words?
    If only Seattle rain could be sent to the Southwest-
    I’ve heard that some people in Seattle become cranky when there are too many days that are not cloudy- I wonder if that’s true-
    Years ago, when my husband and I were in the UK, we would watch what passed for “weather reports” on T.V. there- Basically they always predicted that at some time, in some place in the British Isles, there would be rain- Well, no one could accuse them of being wrong-

  10. We live in Woodinville so we are drenched also. Good weather for planting trees and other perennials. Was gifted a basket full of different petunias that I can view through the sliding glass door as I stumble to my chair. Spring has sprung! Can’t wait for better weather so I can get someone to hook up portable O2 and take on a walk! You sure are committed to your walking!??

  11. I, too, enjoy your blogs and look forward to Friday mornings to your thoughts and memories. What I would like to know is there a theory as to why you walk around the inside your house and not use a treadmill? Did I miss something down the road or is it just “you being you”. I like that phrase and have adopted it when talking with my children.

  12. Yes, this weather is getting old in our neck of the woods. I’ve had more fires in the wood stove this spring that I can ever remember. In spite of it all,it’s nice to see the Rhodies, dogwood, and other spring shrubs and flowers blooming.

  13. 8500 steps in 84 minutes is remarkable…that’s roughly 100 meters/minute….google the six minute walk test for cardio patients…

  14. Does Puyallup still have daffodils? The Skagit, tulips? I’d love to hear about those, to0.

  15. My husband and I also love flat walks. We frequent outdoor malls like Redmond Town Center. Mostly because it is flat, has covered areas, coffee and most importantly a restroom!

  16. As a lifetime Seattleite, I still do not like going out in a cold wind, even when it’s not raining. However, I have no choice because Suzie Corgi needs her walks in a leash only neighborhood. We saved her as a rescue and she saves me from atrophy because, if I didn’t have her, most days I wouldn’t stick my nose out the door lately. I would be at my computer watching the weather change a zillion times a day through the window, as I do my writing and research on my computer. I totally relate to your note, but most of my cowgirl hats are not waterproof so I wear souvenir baseball caps with Corgis, Paint Horses, Neil Diamond, Jeff Gordon, Tex Ritter, etc. on them, depending on what color jacket I pick.

  17. Your nothing burger post just inspired me to do 400 steps around my pool! I had the image of you going on these long walks that I couldn’t even fathom undertaking. I love your posts. I always get something out of them – memories, chuckles, wisdom, or tidbits about this crazy life!

  18. Sounds like you have a beautiful landscape to look at while getting in your steps. Even so, it’s amazing that you continue walking as far and as long as you have. Just my opinion. I’m not that driven and the old aching body doesn’t help. 30 min a day on the treadmill is about all I have in me and I feel proud of myself just doing that. Keep on walking J A, we need you around so you can keep writing your wonderful books.

  19. I think the hat is perfect and looks great on you! Enjoyed the Friday post as always. I think you could write about toilet paper and it would still be interesting.

  20. We just returned from toasty Tucson this week. Extremely damp to be out trying to pull ‘spit weeds’ and get the yard here in Lynnwood, WA. back in order! But as snowbirds we are extremely lucky to have the best of both worlds.
    I need to ask how you keep yourself motivated to achieve all those steps regularly? I know I should, I want to, but I don’t get out there and walk!
    Please share your secret.

    • Get a dog and live where leashes are mandatory. You’ll be out in all kinds of weather, like it or not, for poddy breaks with your friend. We rescued our dog, now she is rescuing me from atrophy!!

    • The Pedometer ++ app shows me a green bar every day I get my steps. The last time I missed was March 4.

  21. Here in Southwest Ohio the spring flowers lasted longer than usual because of the cool temps, but that’s past and now we’re in the 80s with all the farmers trying to get planting done before the rain arrives. We say around here that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a day or two and you’ll get something else.

    • Here in Western Washington State it’s wait a minute and it could change, and it has been that way all through this Spring. Still chilly, wet and constantly changing.

  22. What is a daphne bush? I have recently gotten a calico cat which I named Daphne but didn’t know about the bush.
    Thanks.

    • Daphne is common in the Pacific NW. It’s related to rhododendron but blooms earlier (mine is long done). The blossoms have the most heavenly scent!!

  23. Forget Santa! You are a Red Hat Society Honorary Sister! Down here in Monterey on the sunny Coast of Central California (think of Pebble Beach AT&T and Carmel and Clint Eastwood), the Butterflies Windchimes Chapter of the Red Hat Society welcomes you as an Honorary Red Hat Society Sister. Requirements: be 50 years young and wear a Red Hat. Wearing red hats is from the poem by Sandra Martz, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple and a red hat”. Welcome!
    PS: BIG fan of JP Beaumont.

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