You might think I’m nuts if you see me out on the street some morning before daylight. I leave the house just before 6:00 a.m. and meet my friend on the corner. We walk together for one mile in the starlight and then she has to get ready for work. I wouldn’t miss this for anything. No matter what the weather, nor how tired I am, or how warm and cozy my bed is, I roll out of bed and dress in the dark.
My friend and I love this early morning ritual. We get so much more than exercise, as we share our thoughts and ideas. Our time together is priceless. How can you put a pricetag on friendship. Sally is my confidante and my therapist. Sally is moving and I will miss her dearly, but I will still walk.
I walk for my health, but it’s also about sanity. I have found that exercise is a great mood booster and that stress, anxiety, and depression evaporate as I walk. I have walked for years. It is my exercise of choice. The price is right, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and it gets my day off to a great start. Sometimes people tell me that they are impressed with my dedication. I just tell them that it is cheaper than a psychiatrist.
When Sally leaves me, I wake friend-husband and he walks another mile with me. I love spending this time with him. He is my best friend and some days this is the only chance we get to talk. When friend-husband also leaves to get ready for work, I walk another mile on my own. Sometimes two. I walk longer because I have diabetes, and I want to live a long time, and keep my kidneys and my feet. I’ve grown attached to them. Walking is a present I give myself. I love and appreciate my body. It has served me faithfully. I return the favor.
There are other people out walking before daylight, so that isn’t why you might think I am nuts. You’ll notice me. I am the one carrying the cans. That’s right, I pick up cans along the way and carry them home with me. I also carry home any other stray metal I find. I have carried home broken muffler parts, curtain rods, stray spoons, screws and other odds and ends that I happen across. I find more in the daylight, but even in the darkness you’d be surprised what I find.
Whatever do I want with mangled metal, you ask. It’s for Jonah, Simon, and Luke. They are my grandsons and they want to buy a goat. They are recycling metal and saving the proceeds to buy a goat for someone in poverty. Someone they’ve never met. The goat will provide milk and maybe a little income for some family far away. I’m walking anyway and it doesn’t take extra time to gather the metal that I see.
The boys will buy a goat through Heifer International, who will make all the arrangements and see that the goat is delivered to just the right person. Jonah is 7, Simons is 5, and Luke is 2. I think they have the right idea.
You can buy other animals through Heifer International and make someone’s life a little better. You can buy a cow, a flock of geese, or a trio of rabbits. You can buy a llama or a water buffalo. The possibilities are varied. You can also give seeds. Your gift can be combined with others to make it go farther. You can even give an animal in someone else’s name as a gift to them. That’s a gift that gives twice.
Maybe you would like to send a gift to someone across the world. Check out Heifer International at heifer.org, and by the way… what are you going to do with those cans?
How many cans does it take to buy a goat?
Just for fun check out my interview with Michelle Ashman Bell at http://micheleabell.blogspot.com.