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Back in the saddle again …

Gene Autry crooned of being “back in the saddle again” and now it’s a relatable term. A bothersome knee has slowly returned to form, and I can finally resume my nightly and weekend walks to clean my pathway of trash. I’ve hummed/sang under my breath Autry’s genial tune a couple of times and it seemed pretty apt at the moment. Otherwise unknowing passersby would likely have been thankful I spared them the louder – and harsher – oral version. If only they knew.

Not that I have ever burned it up, but the resumed walks have so far been more plodding than fast paced. It feels good to be hitting the bricks – er, concrete – again regardless of speed. The knee has taken longer than expected to reach a useable status (there’s no structural damage) and my cadence is more accurately described as a noticeable limp than anything else. Festus from Gunsmoke would have had nothing on me in a head-to-head gimp-a-thon.

I was sweating my first weekend morning out, and for good reason. There's no telling how many items were picked up among this 10 - 12 pound bonanza of litter.

I was sweating my first weekend morning out, and for good reason. There’s no telling how many items were picked up among this 10 – 12 pound bonanza of litter.

As you might expect, the first few laps resulted in one full bag after another. We’re talking very large, very full bags. Yet during my convalescence, the down time for healing meant more time for junk to accumulate. That was hugely disappointing to see. Piece after piece was noticeable up as I drove the streets that form my path. I itched to get out there but wisdom was the better part of valor when it comes to injured knees. This is when I needed a surrogate picker-upper to take over my rounds as I healed.

But a replacement wasn’t forthcoming, and now the treks have resumed and all is right with the world. Well, perhaps that’s not true. Even minor amounts of litter aren’t anything to really feel good about. And for the unwitting victims who might have heard me butcher Gene’s music, my caroling wouldn’t be anything to feel good about, either.

I’m back in the saddle again

Out where a friend is a friend

Where the longhorn cattle feed

On the lowly Jimson weed

Back in the saddle again

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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