Thursday, December 29, 2016

On Walkabout

[Bad move to start a post with a completely unrelated aside, but I have a vague memory of being in like 5th grade and going to see a movie called "Walkabout." I'm pretty sure it was rated PG. A gaggle of kids belonging to a rather strict major and his wife accompanied me and whatever other kids to see the movie. The parents went, too. I'm fuzzy on what the movie was about, as my only memories of the movie itself revolve around some naked native women and a couple of lost kids. Anyway, that strict major and his wife went ape-shit about the content of the movie. I reckon it's only right about now that their parents would allow those kids to see a PG-13 movie.]

We have a rule in our house. It's a rule I'm fairly strict about. [No, it has nothing to do with what movies my kids watch. Don't care. Never have.] Starting November 1, we no longer purchase things people want. We only purchase things people need.

I have my own personal rule. It's one I started at the beginning of the year. I walk. I now walk at least 13,000 steps a day. I started the year off resolving to walk 10,000 steps a day. Within two or three days, I realized that wasn't really a stretch, so I upped it to 11,000. I probably started doing the 13,000 steps each day in early November.

I remember that it was early November and not late October because of that house rule we have about buying only what we need and not what we want. And I know it was early November because that's when I discovered that, in addition to being pretty beat up with holes and such, the heel of my left sneaker had come nearly completely away from the rest of the sneaker.

I have other pairs of shoes, including some less sturdy frou-frou sneakers and a pair of Tom's Le Daughter left behind because, you know, they were so worn and dirty. [Hey, how is that laundry life working out for you in college, girlfriend?] I also had a pair of shit-kicker boots (which had a huge weed-whacker-caused hole in the right boot). So I didn't really need a new pair of sneakers.

Every time I wore those beat up sneakers with the heel coming apart, my dear family made fun of me. That just made me more proud to wear them. That is, until the rains started and we were headed to England for 10 days in December.

I broke the house rule. I did. On my Christmas list was a pair of waterproof boots. In Pete's closet was a pair of waterproof boots. Like Eve tempted Adam, that boy tempted me with those waterproof boots. And, oh lordie, they were awesome. I wore them the whole time I was in England (except when I would proudly wear and freeze in my raggedy sneakers).

And then when we came home, I put them back in the box and they sat under the tree, nestled among wrapped gifts like new sneakers. And on Christmas Eve, when we each got to open one package, I...opened the harmonica Aunt Margaret got me in England. But on Christmas Day, I opened everything else.

I'm ready for my walkabout, through any weather, so long as the dog can keep up and so long as she doesn't howl too loudly as I teach myself how to play the harmonica.

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