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One Mistake Led to Another (Part XI) – Walking

Yellow wild flowers growing through a fence on Utica Street.
Yellow wild flowers growing through a fence on Utica Street.

When you take a walk through town you can either focus on the garbage cans people have left out by the curb for days or you can focus on the wild flowers growing by the fences and bushes by the sidewalk.

A wild flower by the Erie Canal

The choice is yours. The garbage cans and the wild flowers are both there. It's entirely up to you which one you remember as you go to sleep that night.

Back on June 17th I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer – “a malignant tumor of the cecum.”

On June 24th Dr. Brian Teng performed a Lapararoscopic Right Colectomy and removed about 3 ½ inches of my ascending colon.

As a result, my physical activities were severely restricted. I wasn’t allowed to lift more than 10 or 15 lbs. and I wasn’t allowed to do any straining.

I was told I shouldn’t mow the lawn or work in the garden and that I should not do home repairs, such as painting or scraping.

About the only exercise I was allowed to do was walking, and they wanted me to increase my activities gradually and to walk as much as I could every day.

So I started by walking around the perimeter of my back yard. It took me forever to walk around the yard, and was exhausted when I was done. But I increased the number of laps every day and I was soon ready to walk a lot further.

Next, I walked around the block, and once I felt comfortable doing that I started walking uptown to get a cup of coffee and a bagel sandwich at Java Junction on Main Street.

Java is only six blocks from my house, and I could walk uptown easily enough, but the walk back took forever because I was so tired my pace slowed to a crawl.

But I enjoyed getting out of the house and meeting people, so I kept it up and pretty soon I was able to walk uptown and back again with getting winded.

So I stretched the route a little bit. Instead of walking directly uptown, I walked all the way north on Utica Street, crossed the Smith Street bridge, and then walked along the Erie Canal path to Main Street, where I turned south and walked the two blocks to Java Junction.

Once my body adapted to walking that distance, I stretched the route again by extending my walk on the Canal Path to the lift bridge on Park Avenue, one block to the east, and then walking along the south side of the canal to Main Street and ava Junction again.

As I walk along the canal, I wave to the people in the boats passing by and I chat with the lift bridge operators whenever I can.

The best thing about walking that route is that I have regained a lot of my strength. Now I’m walking about two and a half miles a day without getting winded. I work up a sweat.

That’s the good side of walking through the village.

The bad side of walking through the village is that Brockport is a college town and many of the single-family homes in the village have been converted to college housing.

Unfortunately some of the unscrupulous landlords don’t bother to maintain their properties and don’t adhere to the village code on property maintenance.

So as I walk through the village I walk past unpainted houses, broken down porches, piles of garbage by the curb, as well as garbage cans left by the curb for days and days after garbage pick-up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

It’s an ugly and annoying sight, but rather than ruin my walks, that I have to take anyway, I started to focus on the beauty of the wildflowers growing at the edges of the lawns and by the side of the road.

Some people call them weeds. Other people call them wild flowers.

To me, weeds are the plants growing in my garden that I didn’t plant there. Wild flowers are the flowers on the weeds growing somewhere else.

It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

To Be Continued in One Mistake Led to Another (Part X).

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