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

July 9, 2002

Dawn’s early light woke me even earlier than usual this morning, shortly before 5. In a way, that was unfortunate, because instead of setting out on my walk at once and getting a nice head start on the day, I had to hang around the house an extra hour. My next-door neighbor and walking partner, who had been out of town for several weeks, was now back home, and he had left a recorded telephone message that he would meet me at 6.

Somewhat impatiently I killed the extra time. At five minutes to 6, I was waiting for my neighbor in the driveway. But the agreed-upon hour came and went, with no sign of him. Peeking through his curtains was his dog, another sign that he had returned from his travels, which had included driving all the way to Canada this time. After several more minutes with still no neighbor, I figured that maybe the long journey had worn him out, and he was still in the rack. So I decided to go it alone, as usual.

For the first 10 minutes of the walk I thought about what I would say to my neighbor when I got back. I'm not past sticking it to him if I get a chance. It goes both ways. Since getting one-up on him is rare, I decided to take advantage of this golden opportunity.

“Still on Palm Springs retirement time, I see,” I rehearsed in my mind. “But if you want to hang with me, you must learn to soar with the eagles and hoot with the owls." Yeah, that should do the job. Yet after trying out a couple more nifty put-downs, I realized that what I should have done was knock on his door and wake him up. Even more than I wanted to needle him, I wanted his company. As I've said before, he is a special neighbor.

Even without my neighbor there to push me into a brisker pace, I found myself walking at maximum speed, as though he had indeed come along. When I got to the French Pastry Shop at La Fonda, I yearned to reward myself with coffee and one of the delicious morsels inside the shop. But then I remembered that the first three blocks on the way back home were all uphill, and how tough it always was for me to keep up with my neighbor after we stopped for pastries. So I resisted the temptation.

Proud of myself for being so noble, I walked taller and continued at warp speed through the three uphill blocks. I got home a little less than an hour after going out, one of my best times ever. And I even decided against needling my neighbor, who by now was finally up. Although he had not accompanied me, he had still been a good influence on the walk. So I let him off the hook—this time.

After a refreshing shower I set out for the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, where I had been asked to testify in a trial concerning some real estate problems two parties were arguing about. By the time I got to Las Vegas, which is about 60 miles from Santa Fe, I was really hungry. And then I had a very good idea.

There is a mom-and-pop restaurant there called the Spic & Span, which like the French Pastry Shop does its own baking. Because I had been such a good boy all morning and had not yet eaten anything, it was not hard to convince myself that I deserved a reward. That reward turned out to be the largest cinnamon twist and the largest glazed doughnut on display at the Spic & Span.

OK, OK, so maybe I didn’t come out ahead in my constant battle with the calories by waiting until I got to Las Vegas and then having TWO pastries instead of one. But nobody could blame me—they were having a special sale that day, two pastries for a dollar, which is a heck of a lot less than I would have paid at the French Pastry Shop. “See,” I said to myself, “this is just one more good reason to live in Santa Fe: I can drive over to Las Vegas and get a deal on pastries." I wondered what my neighbor might say.

Have a great day.


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