Friday, February 26, 2010

9 1/2 minutes

I timed my walk this morning...9 1/2 minutes. Less than 10! I couldn't believe it. It always seems like 15, especially when I'm running late. And speaking of late, I do have an as-the-bird-flies, no detours walking route to the office...for those days I'm horribly late leaving the house. At least one of my coworkers is probably thinking, "Wade, you ought to take that route more often." I can't say I blame him. One of these days I'll time that route to see how much of a time saver it actually is.

On my way in this morning, I ran into a fellow walker. He was on his way to class, I imagine. I'm going to keep track of how many walkers I spot this year. Maybe it will help me realize more and more that I'm not alone. Fellow walkers total: 1

P.S. This morning I picked up a red Sonic straw and what looked like a used tissue behind the library. Some readers may never shake my hand again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Texas Two-Step

There are at least a half dozen things I notice during my walk to work...almost without fail. Some more trivial than others. This first walking-to-work landmark fits comfortably in the trivial category (unless you're a Texan). One of the first things I look for each morning is a Texas flag. It's just around the corner, in a neighbor's front window (see pic). It's something I'd probably never notice at 20-30 miles per hour. Walking's perfect, though, for noticing things.
I tend to notice Texas paraphernalia, because it's so rare here. Texas will forever be my birth state, though. It's also where my family lived for 8 years prior to our Tennessee relocation. Surprisingly, not one, but two of our closest neighbors are Texans through and through. We may've accidently formed a commune. I admire folks around here who can fly the Texas flag, even a tiny one like my neighbor's. It only took me a few days of living in Tennessee to realize that the only color of orange appreciated around here is neon, not burnt.

BTW, it was roughly 17 degrees when I left the house--so, yes, I wore my stocking cap. Someone actually asked me yesterday why I didn't wear one on cold mornings. Only Julie knows the real reason, and she'll never tell.

P.S. I picked up an utterly smashed beer can (Natural Light) this morning in front of Hall Roland. Sometime I'll explain why I bothered.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Windchill Factor #1

I'm calling this Windchill #1 because I have a feeling it could be the first of several such posts before winter's end. No matter where I turned, the wind seemed to be aimed directly at my face. Brutal. I need to get over my hang-up about (not) wearing stocking caps on my way to campus.

When I used to drive my way to work (Austin days), I'd have the radio going from start to finish. Hardly did I take time to meditate on anything worthwhile. Walking's different. Off and on this year I've contemplated a question that I vaguely remember borrowing from a book I browsed in '09. How would Jesus live this day as a librarian at FHU? My conclusion, at least for today, was that he'd smile more when greeting library visitors (to make them feel welcome). He'd try to refer to people by name more often (to further recognize their worth). He might actually hustle a bit to meet someone's need (as opposed to slowly meandering, which I can do sometimes). He would also 'go the extra mile' to make those of a different race feel extra welcome. Race is on my mind this morning...after a Black History Month celebration last night on campus. "We Are The World" is still running through my head. I'm not complaining.

P.S. I picked up an empty package of Marlboro Lights (Menthol) this morning in front of Hall Roland. Someday I'll mention the significance of this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1,025 steps

For the sake of this blog I did something this morning I've hardly ever done before. I counted my steps (i.e., paces)--from the bottom step of the house all the way to the back door of the library. It was, as you may have gathered, 1,025 steps. I was surprised it broke 4 figures. I've heard that roughly 2,000 paces equals a mile. So it's a half-mile commute for me each day. Who knew?

P.S. On my way in, I picked up an empty tub of Parkay margarine in front of the new Art Building. Someday I'll explain why I'm bothering blogging about it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

jury duty

I've been walking to work for almost 9 years now, but have never stood in line in the process...until today. Got a summons for jury duty about a month ago. Thankfully the county courthouse is only about 40 paces out of the way for me. The unfortunate news was being a part of what seemed to be some experimental new jury duty process. Ten percent of the town had been summoned, evidently. We waited outside in line for 30 minutes...inside for another 15. The one good thing was being in it together (as a group). The group was fairly diverse, but we all at least had jury duty in common. I stood in line between two mildly talkative people (thankfully). They helped me pass the time. I can be very quiet in unfamiliar settings & this morning was no exception. I'm grateful I was standing with a middle-aged man who regularly (and respectfully) criticized the county's jury duty system. He had a good sense of humor about the whole thing. And I'm grateful for the company of a (former) felon who couldn't have served on a jury if he'd wanted to. He was forced to show up anyway. I felt for him. He seemed like a good guy...someone who could also joke about the overblown jury duty summons. It's rare that I get to rub elbows with folks not associated with the school. I need more of it (desperately) for that part of my walk to work today, I'm very thankful.

P.S. Picked up a flattened styrofoam cup on the county courthouse lawn afterwards. One of these days I'll explain why I bother mentioning such things.