Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

I generally take a walk between 5:30 am and 6:00 am, and not only is it good exercise, but it gives me time to plan my day and just plain think about anything that is important to me at the moment. I enjoy these walks so much that I decided I would share them with you visitors and see what you thought. - Stan Evans

June 25 , 2002

The coming of daylight this morning woke me just before 5 o’clock. I was coming off a very late night, and after rising I stood by the bedroom window to inhale the fresh air of spring, in hopes of chasing the cobwebs out of my head. Instead I was surprised by the fragrance of Pepe-La-Pew, as I call him—our neighborhood skunk.

It had been a while since his acrid odor had permeated the air around my home. As long as Pepe has been around, you would think that the neighborhood cats and dogs would have learned to leave him alone. But no—some sorry animal had apparently challenged Pepe's authority.

When I set out on my walk a short time later, I deduced that the city park in front of my house was where Pepe had asserted himself. His recent presence was most notable there. To get out of the pungent air, I hurried on my way.

After leaving the immediate neighborhood, I considered walking leisurely, to give Pepe's fragrance time to dissipate before my return. But I finally decided not to slow down, because I had been slacking too much lately, due to my neighbor and usual walking partner not joining me to set a brisk pace.

With each step the air improved, and that made me happy—although Pepe’s rancid air had certainly cleared the cobwebs. All in all, the day was starting well.

For various reasons I had been in kind of a funk lately. And even though I took my walk as usual last week, I just hadn't felt like writing about it. Not being a trained writer, after starting this column about my Tuesday Walks several months ago I have gained a great deal of respect for real writers who must deliver articles on a timely basis, every time.

Last week, which was a real DOG WEEK, I just couldn't find my way to writing anything! It was as though my mind were paralyzed. I interpret DOG WEEK the same as one of my favorite poets, Don Blanding. One of his poems is “Vagabond’s House” (which I might read to you if you catch me in the appropriate mood at my own house). It is a description of his dream house and everything in it. He wrote: "There are times when only a dog will do for a friend—when you're beaten, sick and blue, and the world's all wrong—for he won't care if you break and cry, or grouch and swear, for he'll let you know as he licks your hands that he's downright sorry . . . and understands.”

Such funks come on me when I think of all the things I would like to accomplish, yet can't find the time to do them. But this funk passed too, just about the time I was out of Pepe-La-Pew's range. After that, the smell of spring was in the air, and the lack of cars early in the morning added no carbon monoxide.

It's funny how smell can affect your frame of mind. But even if I had a bit of the funk in me, the crisp morning air would have soon made my worries go away. “Maybe instead of having so much of the smell of the office around me,” I thought, “I should put my computer on the patio table when I find myself getting down—for whatever reason—and take in the fragrance of the flowers in my yard.” I decided to give this idea more thought.

On the return leg of my walk, I stopped at the French Pastry Shop. I had not done that in a couple of weeks. I figured that a whiff of a fresh peach pastry would do me good. It did.

Have a great day.


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