I travel somewhat differently

Jeff enjoys an evening stroll in Charlottesville, Virginia, July 2014

Jeff enjoys an evening stroll in Charlottesville, Virginia, July 2014

“Some people walk with both eyes focused on their goal: the highest mountain peak in the range, the fifty-mile marker, the finish line. They stay motivated by anticipating the end of the journey. Since I tend to be easily distracted, I travel somewhat differently–one step at a time, with many pauses in between.”Hannah Nyala

Jeff is definitely in the former group, which explains why he prefers to skip walking altogether if a car is available.  In contrast, I am definitely in the latter group, and were I to take a walk with a team of like-minded people, I probably would drive even them crazy with my frequent stops, especially if I had my camera with me.

It doesn’t really matter where I’m walking.  I find much to absorb my attention whether I’m in a wooded setting, a country road or a city street.  Oddly, listening to book on tape actually helps me keep moving, since it travels with me and gives me mobile competition for attention to keep my eyes from wandering.  Otherwise I might never finish the first mile, let alone the 2-4 miles I tend to walk each day.

Which type of walker are you? Do you stay focused on the destination, or is the journey the real objective?  If you are a goal-minded traveler, I wish you speedy and uninterrupted progress to your destinations whenever you travel. If you are like me, and find the world full of interesting detours, I wish you abundant colorful discoveries every day, and the time to enjoy them. Have fun — and send photos!

One year ago today:

Walk and be happy


  1. singleseatfighterpilot

    That man in the photo, with his eyes focused on the goal, certainly casts a long shadow (i.e. here is perfect photographic composition). “The Journey” itself has my vote, hands down! Consider the world at your feet that would be overlooked if the destination was all-consumings. I have been amazed and mystified by ferns and tiny flowers – in the pre-dawn hours occasionally encountering ‘glow worms’ or even Fox Fire!
    Oh wow. A bright flashlight and quick pace would have caused me to miss these altogether. On the side of caution are the many snakes I have been able to observe from a safe distance because I have walked circumspectly. I am not saying that the speedy, destination-oriented hiker is careless; only that some of his good fortune is brought by luck, rather than an assiduous study of his path.
    But again, consider the long shadow.

    • I remember that day at Muir Woods how you noticed a bee feebly struggling in the hot sunshine at the edge of the sidewalk on our way out. As rushed as we were, you took the time to go back into the shop to get a packet of sugar to mix with water to revive it, and moved it into the shade. A lot of people would not have seen the bee at all. You are totally right about luck being a factor, particularly for those who are rushed in driving as well as walking. I always fancied that the light-footed, watchful prowess you and Dad so enjoyed in the woods is a remnant of some genetic instinct from our long-ago indigenous ancestry. Or maybe it’s just the Boy Scout OA training. Aside from the Lyme disease Daddy picked up from a deer tick, you both have been remarkably free of casualties from the long stretches of time you spent in the wild. At least as far as I know. 😀

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        I do suffer from a different sort of tick bite — it turned me into a luna tick.

        • 😀 Is there a cure? 😀

      • MaryAnn

        How wonderful to “rescue” the bee! When my grandson & I go to Muir Woods, we spend long hours enjoying God’s Beauty meandering & searching for different paths to take, using all our senses to embrace the enchantment.
        When we scamper around the rocks at Carmel Beach, CA, we discover many delights!
        Walking with him, around the neighborhood, is also a treasured time; as he stops to “smell the flowers”, etc.
        Great photo! Looks like a place I would get lost in distractions.

        • MaryAnn

          Since I read this blog, it has been rolling around in my head: the sheer joy! I realize Jeff & Paul are “cut from the same cloth”: loving their work & when going somewhere the destination is all-consuming. If you & I were on a cross country trip, we could not have a time limit, because we would NEED to stop at all the places we see! On the other hand, when we traveled w/ our sons (in the 60’s & 70’s); we were lucky for there to be a candy or soda machine at the gas station. Paul HAD to stop for gas, but not necessarily for food. I always told him, he had the “bit in his mouth”, heading for the barn (i.e. the target). Heehee…

          • Mary Ann, when I read this, I had the thought that if you and I were on one bike, and Paul and Jeff on another, and we took a cross country trip, Paul and Jeff would grow old waiting for us to arrive! 😀

            • MaryAnn

              What a great idea! Someday….:)

        • Yes Mary Ann, if you had been with me, we likely would never have made it to the end of that street! 😀 I am so happy you live close enough to take your grandson on these trips. Every kid needs to spend time with an adult who is not in a big hurry.

          • MaryAnn

            Thanks for being a terrific cheerleader!

            • I learned how from a pro (you)!

  2. Good morning, Julia! That’s an amazing photo. Even if one doesn’t know the person walking, it’s suitable for framing or would make an intriguing painting.
    I’m glad that you bring your camera along, and take many stops!

    • Thank you Susan! I’m glad you like it. Of course I thought it was a good shot, but I liked it mostly because of the memory associated with it. I appreciate your encouragement and your presence here!

  3. raynard

    Juila while I dont walk downtown( it’s a college town and too ” many distractions if you get my drift) I enjoying walking at the local 2 mile track. (the state fair starts tonight and I have to go to NJ tomorrow). I walk alot on my job and give my legs a rest on the weekends. I found this N.C Pie Recipe and might use it next month at my church pinic bakeoff( this year no bake desserts so I have to” be a spoiler lol.. be blessed

    • Raynard I do get your drift. I used to enjoy going to Davis (in California) but I did always feel very old by the time I left – or maybe like I was from a different planet altogether! We used to live less than a mile from a wonderful, HUGE high school in San Antonio where we would go and walk the track in the evenings. Pasha would charge into the high-pressure sprinklers watering the football field, and he loved playing in the water while we walked. It’s good if you can walk on the job since that leaves your free time free for other things, such as BAKING! Does the N.C. stand for North Carolina? What kind of pie is it? My favorite no-bake pie is a peanut butter pie that is made with PB, cream cheese and whipped topping, then frozen and drizzled with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. But I have not made it for over 10 years now. Hope you have a great weekend!

      • MaryAnn

        The no-bake frozen pie my family loves is made with a Rice Krispies & peanut butter crust filled with vanilla ice cream.

        • Sounds YUMMY! I have a wonderful peanut butter bar recipe that can use either Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes, and I never thought about it, but it could be used as a crust, too. If I ever When I get to my target weight, I might treat myself by making a few of these desserts that I am currently staying away from.

  4. Julia,
    As Post Polio advanced, I found I was missing more and more of the nooks and crannies, so to speak. When younger, and more physically mobile, I just didn’t have the time to smell the flowers along the way; although I knew they were there.
    Only when I aquired a power wheelchair, in later years, did I venture back to those nooks an crannies.
    As an example I’d drive to my church, when no services in session, and drop down the chair, so to visit parts of the church building and grounds, that I could not access on foot for lack of energy and strength. What a freedom, to drop the chains of physical restraint, and enjoy an expanded world, I once thought might not be available again.

    • Alan, I am so thankful for power wheelchairs, even though I’ve never had to use one. My mother (who had polio as a baby) managed without a wheelchair for most of her life, but now that her age has caught up with her and she is unable to walk, I so wish that she would consider getting a power chair. Daddy got her one of those power scooters several years ago, but for some reason, she never got comfortable using it. I wonder if your experience of breaking free from “the chains of physical restraint” is a hint of things to come for all of us? I would like to think so! I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend.

      • Julia,
        I never liked the scooter myself. I love the chair. it is more accessable to any venue, including restaurants. Just drive right up to the table, and join the fun. a scooter makes that impossible. And also Chairs are more accessible to bathrooms. Encourages one to go anywhere and enhances life.
        Tell your mom, that I recommend a test drive. She’ll love it.

        • Thanks Alan, I will try to talk her into it!

  5. Sheila

    Julia, I must be a detour waiting to happen, as I certainly can be easily distracted. I definitely enjoy everything along the path, of life and otherwise! 😘The photo of Jeff is just awesome. He sure looks like a man not only traveling by faith but with faith. I’m so proud to know y’all and walk with you here! I hope blessings and prayers will see you through these days ahead! Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, speaking of detours, what is that little symbol a picture of? I couldn’t see it well enough to be able to tell and I’m so curious! Blessings and prayers are indeed seeing us through thus far and I know they will in the future, too. If you are a detour waiting to happen, that gives us something else in common. ❤ Thanks for being here!

      • Sheila

        Julia, the smiley face has a wink and a heart and is one of my favorites. I really don’t know the symbol meaning. 😦

        • Sheila, for some reason it didn’t appear like that when I was reading your comment – it was a square with four tiny shapes inside that I couldn’t figure out even when I enlarged it. But just now when I went back to look at it, it was a smiley face with an “O” mouth! I will never understand computers! Sorry, I should have gone back to look at it after it actually posted. If I had seen the wink and heart, I could have figured that one out on my own! 😀

          • Sheila

            Now I’m laughing! It would never do for us to get together…. That’s too funny because we already have. 🙂 Sheila

            • Hee-hee! What’s done is done, now for the fun! 😀

  6. Cliff Shiblom, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

    Julia, I have been enjoying your blogs for the last year and a half. Some I have found necessary to share with a small study group who find them challenging. You must be the same sort of observer as I am. It doesn’t matter if it is a gun museum or a botanical garden, if there are labels on interesting things I read them. My wife claims that I take the look off everything. Even a hike in the Colorado mountains takes me much longer than most – no labels but a lot of interesting minutia as well as vistas. Even at 77 I am still fascinated by the complexity of God’s creation. Thanks for your ability to see and bring to us your photos as well as the words.


    • Cliff, thanks so much for your kind comment. I am honored that you share some of my blogs with others. My addiction to reading all the labels and signs can really get the best of me, as I too find almost everything interesting. My life often feels overwhelming and crazy, but at least I’m NEVER bored!! I hope in 20 years I can say the same thing you are saying of 77. I appreciate your presence here, and thank you for taking the time to share a bit of your life with us.

  7. I could really fall into either group Julia. If I have a day of errands, I can whiz along pretty darn fast. Going to the Market with Mr B is a good challenge, he will go up and down every isle while I prefer to sprint through, getting only what I came for. Then again, I have the knack for always getting into the slowest checkout, so I don’t know if it helps to be a speedster. But if we’re out for a walk and I have my camera, it can go pretty slow. If we want to actually walk for exercise, I have to leave my camera at home. When we were in Europe, I had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy what we could manage to get to, in the allotted time. I tended to want to see more because I may never get back to some of the same destinations. While Mr B was into quality over quantity. BTW, I just love Charlottesville. It’s such a cute city and everyone was really friendly.

    • Ha! Mr. B sounds just like me in the grocery store. It drives Jeff crazy. You should go with him and than you can run errands and pick Mr. B and me up a couple of hours later! I do have that knack of choosing the slowest line. Sometimes when people come to stand in line behind me I turn around and warn them that I am a jinx and something is bound to malfunction with the register before we get there. 😀 When traveling I plan to rush through but then in actuality I end up wanting to linger, telling myself “Oh, I’ll HAVE to come back here someday and see the rest.”

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