Yesterday Dear Hubby and I walked here. No, we're not the talented photographers who took this picture. I used it on another blog entry a few years ago and I found it at PortlandGround. The credit belongs to Miles Hochstein. I've used several of his photos in the past to illustrate this beautiful city we live in. This photo was taken above one of the reservoirs in Mt. Tabor Park and looks west towards downtown and the West Hills. Beginning just on the right edge of this photo on the hills is Forest Park, the largest city park fully contained in a city's boundaries in the United States at 5,156 acres. The highest point of the West Hills range is around 1,500 feet. And underneath them runs a large seismic fault. Another one runs down a street about a mile north of our house. Mt. Tabor Park, where this photo was taken, is a dormant volcanic cone. In other words, there could be a whole lot of shakin' goin' on around here one day. We took our walk early in the morning before all the serious walkers, runners, bicyclists, and moms/dads with jogging strollers showed up...we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The view of Mt. Hood as we trudged up what I call 'the Big Monster' on the east side was spectacular. It's amazing how the body gets used to exercise, especially when you do a lot like I do. Dear Hubby and I hadn't hiked to the top of Tabor in several months -- we've been too blasted busy -- but he tweaked his back at work the other day and his chiropractor told him in the past one of the best exercises for the back is walking. So....off we trudged. I trotted up the 1/2-mile stretch of the 'Monster' like a kid....piece of cake! I know I do a lot of walking with the grandboys but most of it is on flat ground...pushing over 100 pounds of boys and stroller up an incline is more work than I care to do. But I wasn't even the least bit winded. VAST improvement over the first time I attempted walking it when I was 60+ pounds overweight and hadn't done any exercise in years. That first time I had to stop ever 20 yards or so and catch my breath, and my heart felt like a triphammer slamming against my chest wall. I thought I was going to die. So now, when I watch episodes of "The Biggest Loser" I totally understand and sympathize with the contestants when they're agonizing thru their first physical challenges. It's a very scary thing when you're morbidly obese and begin exercising...you're sure you're going to die. But, oh my...once you get your body into a regular routine of it you crave it. You feel SO much better and alive! Energized! One of the reasons I began getting in to shape is because 10 years ago this month I had a medical crisis and my doctor told me if I didn't make some drastic changes in my lifestyle I wouldn't live to see too many more sunrises. That was my wake-up call. And just imagine if I hadn't listened to her. I might not have been around to see my beloved grandboys. Oh, how thankful I am that I listened to her.
And another thing I'm thankful for is this. Towards afternoon Dear Hubby and I decided to take a ride out to the Goodwill in Sandy, Or. We take the backroads to avoid a lot of the traffic which takes us out on to a main two-lane highway leading towards the town of Estacada, where we eventually take a cutoff that brings us almost to the front doors of the store in Sandy. Just about every time we go for a long drive, and before I take the boys for a walk, we always say a short prayer, asking for traveling mercies and the Lord's protection for us and for our family, which we did yesterday. As we're driving along this two-lane highway enjoying the Autumn beauty and sunshine, two motorcycles were heading towards us from the other direction. The speed limit on this highway is 55 miles per hour. There was a truck right behind them. Suddenly, for no apparent reason at all -- no slick roads, no curves, just level straightaway -- it looked like the front wheel of one of the motorcycles just caved in to the side. As Dear Hubby and I watched in disbelief, this motorcycle AND RIDER hit the ground and began sliding towards us head-on in our lane, the driver tumbling head-over-heels. Thank the good Lord that Dear Hubby had the presence of mind to react as quickly as he did, swerving sharp and fast to the right. We just missed running over that person. We pulled over to the side of the highway to stop, our hearts in our throats, and looked at each other in horror, thinking we were going to see absolute destruction behind us, since we'd had traffic behind us, too. But, miraculously, the driver was standing up, walking around, and appeared not to be seriously hurt, tho I imagine today they're feeling it as far as bruises and joint pain goes. When we took off again I looked at Dear Hubby and said, "What if we hadn't prayed?" I don't think either one of us could've ever forgiven ourselves if we'd run over and killed that woman driver, even if it wouldn't have been our fault. A very good lesson reinforced on this one, that's for sure.
So, that's how our weekend's been going. This morning it'll be church in a few hours. Dear Hubby just left to drive his Sunday School van, something he's done for around 30 years now. I'm going to stick a lasagna in the oven to have ready for dinner when we come home. Then it's up the Big Monster again for another walk. Today the east wind is blowing and the weather is transitioning towards rain. But what glorious walking weather! And yesterday's walk improved his back a thousandfold. This one ought to make him good as new. But for now, I'd better get busy on answering some emails. I haven't been on the computer all weekend until now...I've been reading. And I'll be reading when we get home from our walk, too.
Life, truly, is good.