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  • Paula Zimmerman

The Benefits of Walking

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

My golfer, pickle ball playing, Tai Chi practicing, lifelong coach partner and I moved to FH, and I expected that he'd continue those activities here. Not! Didn't play, didn't do yard work, didn't do a lot except read. He's an amazing partner for me when he's active.

I proposed with some steel in my voice that he needed to walk. If he wasn't going to participate in any sports, he needed to walk. He needed to walk five days a week, and I'd mark the days on the calendar. He laced up his Under Armours and hit the streets.

He sometimes needs prompting to enter a conversation. I'm a pretty good prompter. Soon, I found that there were dog treats in the Publix or Food Lion cart. We don't have a dog. I prompted and found that he'd learned the names of the dogs he met on his morning walks. He also learned that they really liked the treats he carried. He even learned the names and whereabouts of most of the dogs' owners. Wow! He is also the destination for several of the dogs walked in our neighborhood. If our garage door is up, several of the dogs walking by stop. That's as in sit at the end of our drive and wait for a treat. Owners always get a greeting and a bit of conversation.

As a result of all this walking, chatting and treating, Willy and Rocky gave my partner a Christmas gift. Their moms brought him a Blue Bird nest box. It now hangs on one of the pines in our front yard. Of course, the bird box required treats nearby to entice birds. After a trip to New Bern to visit the bird store, our yard now has a shepherd's hook on which hangs a splendid yet tasteful bird feeder. The feeder held seeds and suet until some overzealous squirrel made away with the suet. That caused some swearing and an application of grease on the shepherd's hook.

So far my partner has made lots of friends both human and animal, accepted a Christmas gift from two dog friends, and is contemplating ways to discourage squirrels. Oh! He also gets the exercise he needs.

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