Sunday, March 22, 2009

On Walking

Me with my grandparents
Sarala with her grandparents September 1961

I took another walk today and found 32 cents (a quarter, a nickel and two pennies). Added to yesterday’s 3 cents, I feel rich.
The walks reminded me of my grandfather. When he was in his 50’s and I was still in grade school, he had a massive heart attack. After his recovery, his doctor told him to walk daily which he took seriously. He walked for around a mile a day for the rest of his life. I believe the doctor’s recommendation worked for my grandfather for he lived for at least 20 more years in pretty good shape before he at last died of congestive heart failure.

Grandpa Al
Probably mid 1970's

My grandfather and I used to walk together on his morning rounds. He walked at a brisk pace and knew exactly how far he needed to go. We toured the mural on the local “wash”—a sort of concrete river they built in LA to control the occasional water run off. We visited the neighbor’s vicious monkey named Kong. He was fun to look at but bit so we were wary of getting too close. And we found stuff.
It was a casual competition we had going. My grandfather would seem quite proud of me if I found money or any other valuables. He used to teasingly call me “eagle eyes” when I found something good. In his years of walking he found a fair bit of cash and the occasional bit of jewelry. Once he found a gold coin.
Walking today with my found change in my purse I felt he would be congratulating me. Of course, if he knew how little a penny bought nowadays he’d be turning over in his grave.

11 comments:

self taught artist said...

love the photos...
you have to know that whomever took that photo of your grandfather near the pool took a cool shot, that hose looks like it's plugged into him and he is powered up.
nice story, i was brought up to look around and i think those experiences have shaped us both.

sarala said...

I took the snapshot with my trusty old instamatic or some such. I was the family photographer back then too.

Marguerite said...

Love the pictures and enjoyed your story. Isn't is amazing how something like the coins can evoke the pleasant memories. I think you were truly blessed with the time you spent with your grandfather. Great post!

P.S. Thanks for the visit.

A Free Man said...

Great post, Sarala. I've got one grandparent left and I wish I had more time to spend with her. Both my grandfathers died relatively young (for the times) and I have the fondest memories of both of them!

LN said...

While doing collections in 'the ghetto' I competed against myself each week for change I'd find. My record for 7 days was $2.17 in pennies.

Tumblewords: said...

How wonderful to share those special times with your grandfather -

floreta said...

this sounds like a great memory. walking like a scavenger hunt.

Crafty Green Poet said...

yes, excellent post, I think walking together is a great way to connect with people

Ellen said...

Nice to relive those quiet, nice memories. My father was an avid walker. Slow and steady and lived until he was 96. Walking is just such a lovely way to slow down the pace of life and engage yourself in your surroundings.

missalister said...

Hey there, Sarala! Thanks so much for visiting my site and dropping bread crumbs back to here. This was a really nicely written, Kong-byte from your memoirs! Very enjoyable—starting out finding change, giving it meaning I cared about, and bringing it all back around with style. I look forward to reading more here : )

keiths ramblings said...

What lovely memories. I love the idae of you and him doing the 'morning rounds'