Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Ol' Gray Mare..

She is beyond ain't what she used to be.

When I was a kid, I walked everywhere. All over the ranch where I grew up, all over my hometown, to my dad's work, to the bus (which didn't stop anywhere close to my school...but that's another story), to the store, to my friends house, I walked everywhere. Probably had a lot to do with the amazing physique I sported during my high-school years.

So today, in anticipation of needing to take K to gymnastics, I went out to start "the turd".

And just so you don't think I'm being a pansy, I'll give you some long awaited photos, yes, I know you must be quivering with anticipation:


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And just so you understand that her ugliness is more than skin deep...


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And yes, these are actual miles. But we have no idea how many times that thing has gone around to these actual miles...


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There's not even anything to drown out my misery.


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Remember these images when you consider purchasing vehicles for your teenage sons, my friends. Remember. *end of PSA*

SO.

In all my wisdom and maturity, I decided to see if the turd was actually going to start, and lucky for me, I thought of it before we needed to leave for gym class. Now, don't die of shock on me here, but it wouldn't.start.

*GASP*

I know. I share your disbelief.

SO. I called my neighbors, and my friends, and I briefly considered posting a wanted ad on Freecycle. And then, I had an epiphany: "We could walk."

Albertson's is a mile from my house, I know, because I clocked it once to see how far I'd have to walk if there were ever a disaster and I couldn't drive to the store. Because I'm irrational like that.

Anyhow.

I reasoned that the gym couldn't be more than a mile farther than that, and no, I've never clocked that because I have the attention span of a flea and also because I wouldn't walk to the gym if there were a disaster and I couldn't drive there. Why I would decide to walk there with three children when there is no disaster, I can't really tell you, but I decided to do it.

I thought somewhere I remembered that it should take about 15 minutes to walk a mile, so if we were going to walk two miles, thirty minutes should be the minimum it would take to arrive. So I figured I'd leave an hour ahead of when we needed to be there and we could take our time if we needed.

Now the news that we were WALKING to the gym was met with uneasy anticipation from the other members of my walking party. When I discovered that my totally cool umbrella stroller on steroids was in the back of D's car, at the high school, which is NOT on the way, I almost called the whole thing off, but then the kids found the old umbrella stroller my totally cool umbrella stroller on steroids replaced. After nearly an hour and a half of "when are we going to leave" fun, I finally pulled out all the rest of my hair and just decided to leave. It was 20 minutes earlier than I'd planned on leaving, but I figured if we had time to kill, we could always walk to the college and pick up my text books, because if we were walking 2 miles, what was another 1/2 mile or so...right?

So we set off on our adventure. Let me first say, I hate Texas. More specifically, I hate that Texas has no sidewalks. None. Anywhere. Even along crazy busy highway type streets that people might want to walk next to since they are the shortest distance from most of the point A's in town to most of the Point B's in town. So we used the back streets and walked mostly in the gutters. Occasionally pausing to stare down drivers who drive to darn fast down subdivision streets.

At first, the kids were ahead of me and behind of me, and to the sides of me, and back and forth of me. But it didn't take long for them to figure out that the shortest path between two points is a straight line. They're smart ones, I'm tellin' ya. So we got to the end of our street and B started telling me that his legs were tired. Thinking to myself that we needed to be a little more physically fit, I may have actually muttered something about walking to the gym every week.

We walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. If you were to drive across Texas, you would pretty much think that Texas is flat, I should know, I used to think Texas was flat. But no. There are three big hills between here and the gym. And I'm pretty sure the gym is in a higher elevation than my house because there was not as much down as there was up. When we had gone nearly a mile, I found myself praying that there was a sidewalk over the bridge, surely there MUST be a sidewalk over the overpass, right? There sure is, and I'm here to tell you that it is all of 2 feet wide. I made the kids walk in front of me and hold onto the rail as cars went whizzing by. I did not notice that there are also very large cracks in that 2 foot wide sidewalk, that is, until I dumped J out of the stroller after the pitifully small front wheels of the crappy umbrella stroller disappeared in one of them. Another not so great thing about a 2 foot wide sidewalk with cracks in it and lots of cars whizzing by is that walking behind a 7 and 8 year old is by definition, frustrating. Did you know that a 7 and 8 year old are unable to regulate their walking speed? No? Well, let me tell you that they are completely incapable of walking one speed. One minute they are walking along, so fast that you want to reach out and nab them back because, you know, if a kidnapper has some kind of apparatus for nabbing children from a speeding car, I have to be there to protect them, and the next minute, they are stopped. Spitting off the overpass. And when you are walking with your head down panting and thinking positive thoughts that you will make it to the other side, you run into them, and they are not happy, and neither is the baby in the stroller who nearly falls out some more because of a crappy little thing called physics.

After we made it to the other side, I figured we were about half-way and so far so good, right? And I also reasoned that walking back streets instead of the main road would be better because we've always tried to teach the children not to play in traffic. Let me tell you that the back streets in Texas are not straight, oh no they are not. And they all run uphill. So after winding our way up, up, up through the back streets of Small Town, we finally reached a peaceful little neighborhood with a gentle downhill slope to get back to the busy road that runs in front of the gym. Hallelujah, there was ONE block of side walk right near the gym and we walked in JUST in time for K to start her class, thank goodness they were late starting. Total walking time: 1 hour and 25 minutes. Hubsters estimate of the actual distance between our house and the gym: 3 miles. Number of gloves lost between here and the gym: 1. Number of times I heard "My legs are tired": 437. Number of times I cursed the Small Town Texas zoning and planning committee: 623. Number of times I cursed The Turd: 623. Number of times I wistfully thought about my treasured "new camera fund" being added to my "pay the rent fund" and my "buy groceries fund" and my "keep the electricity on fund" and spending them all on some form of reliable transportation: 627.

If I can drag myself out of bed at all tomorrow, I'll do a special post to let you know what it probably feels like if you were to run your legs through a meat grinder and toss them into traffic before you piece them back together with scotch tape and put them back on. Or if you decide to walk your kids to gymnastics. Whatever.

And in case you are wondering how we got home, no, we did not walk. D gets out of school in time and gave us a ride, and honestly, she could have gotten out of school at seven pm and I'd have still waited for her to give us a ride. Thank goodness class starts next week and I won't get out early enough to walk to the gym ever, ever again.

Amen.

1 comment:

rubia said...

Number of times I laughed out loud: 14