(Part 4 in a series of reflections on striking out from home in each of the four directions
Walking west takes me away from the river.
Walking west takes me to a strip mall. If I walk far enough to the west, I can cross a main artery and arrive at… another strip mall.
When we bought our condo, we looked at another unit in the same complex. That one looked out on the back of the strip mall. My daughter pointed out the window at the “view” and summed up her assessment of that location in one word: “No.”
We opted for the view of the aspen trees.
Still, concrete boxes aside, there are times when I choose to walk west. Sometimes it’s convenient to combine my walk with a stop at the mailbox or the ATM. And I like the fact that there are some errands that can be done without getting behind the wheel of my car. From time to time there are things at the strip mall that I need. There are also lots of things I don’t need.
Here are some examples of things I could obtain within a ten-minute westward walk:
- Cheap plastic toys
- Expensive plastic toys
- A $2000 home entertainment system
- A $2000 parrot
- A case of cold beer
- A case of printer paper
- Automobile insurance
- Roasted chicken on a flatbread, toasted, with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a thin line of honey mustard (and avocado, if I feel like paying extra)
- New sneakers to go walking in
I could also, armed with those new sneakers, go to the gym, where I would have the privilege of walking on a treadmill while I looked at a tiny TV screen. Why I would want to do this when I could be walking along the river trails is quite beyond me. Maybe I will feel differently when it is forty below. I doubt it.
I haven’t yet figured out how far I would have to walk to get to a carton of milk and a loaf of bread, which strikes me as problematic. I would like to be able to do more of my errands by walking.
I’ll just have to work on walking farther.