Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wherein I Begrudgingly Admit That Jerome Creek in March is Not Entirely Devoid of Value

The first thing I’ve discovered since returning home is that I seem to be back up to a pretty good level of fitness after my China Flu.  This, I am sure, would’ve taken much longer if I’d been in my own house, with only my two dogs (or even only Spackle, which I did when Ian was in Hawaii during my recovery). I would’ve left them to their own devices, or at most given them nominal walks, just enough so that Spackle could poop outside his yard (Hoover is, alas, much less fastidious). But with four dogs, two of whom are high-energy indoor wrasslers if not properly exercised (and I have yet to exercise them too much, even if my estimates of them running up to 60 miles in a day are correct), I really would only get peace if I wore them out. Yes, this wore me out too for the first couple days, but by the end of the week, I could charge up a hill at a fast clip for much longer without getting short of breath. And my riding lesson yesterday, even the day after chemo and Herceptin, was fun and a workout, and pretty much like my lessons were BC (before China). So, yes, my week-long boot camp did my body good.

Also, Seattle’s spring is advanced somewhat in vegetation and temperature (no freezes at night anymore, although the days are not as warm as many days last week in Idaho), but by no means dry, and I learned last week that I am not, it turns out, the Wicked Witch of the West. I can get wet without melting. And so Ian and I put on boots and rain jackets today and drove the dogs up to Carkeek Park, which has a lovely, steep woods criss-crossed with trails and few dogs (and those we encountered just went right on by while Hoover made a fool of himself. And, I suppose, us.). Spackle is much more lively in the woods, as I believe pounding the pavement is hard on his hips. And Hoover can roam a little on his expando leash. Ian and I plan to continue taking advantage of Seattle’s excellent outlying parks, for our own good too.

And, I was given a good opportunity to examine my rose-tinted future plans for home and farm on Orcas. Do I really want horses of my own, let alone other livestock? There are seasons on Orcas as well as on Jerome Creek.  Am I interested enough in horses that I want to ride them several days a week to keep them fit and healthy? There’s a lot more involved in getting a horse ready to go than leashing up a dog. Even two dogs. And/or do the work to get the horses back in shape every summer if I give them a few months off? Further, do I really think there will be a time when I will no longer be interested in weeks’-long overseas travel? And that I would be young enough when I’m done with travel to still reasonably own horses? If there’s anything I’ve been learning about myself lately, it’s that I am not currently interested in doing one thing all the time. Dogs are relatively portable, and compared to horses, relatively cheap (well, Hoover so far is).

Lastly, sun is important to me, which I knew, but it’s become important enough that I now know I will need access to it regularly throughout the year, not just 6 weeks of Seattle’s glorious summer. I may not always choose Las Vegas as a retreat, but I’m looking forward to being completely anonymous poolside for a couple days. And completely warm.

So, thank you K&A, you have again done me a huge favor in letting me be the supervisor of your peerless domain.  

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