#writephoto — The Long Walk

34416887-00AC-41B3-BFF4-821FF8F185D9Eric stopped, lowered his large backpack onto the surface of the road, and took a sip of water from his water bottle. His gaze followed the road that led across the valley toward the foothills in the distance. He looked at his Apple Watch to check his progress. It had clocked 28,321 steps for the day so far. At his stride, that equated to about 13.6 miles. His goal was 20 miles a day and he felt pretty damn good about his prospects for hitting today’s daily target. Less than six and a half miles to go. Piece of cake.

Five Days Earlier…

“You’re doing what?” his daughter, Shana, said when he first told her and her brother, Jesse, about his plans.

“Dad, you’re 67 years old,” Jesse said. “What are you trying to prove?”

“I’m trying to prove that I’m alive, son,” Eric said. “Ever since your mother passed last summer, I’ve been kind of lost, my life without purpose, without meaning. I’ve always been driven by a sense of accomplishment and if I don’t set a goal for myself and work toward achieving that goal, I might as well just roll over and die, too.”

“But Dad,” Shana said, “don’t you think this plan of yours is a bit extreme?”

“Walking 20 miles a day is not extreme,” Eric said. “I used to walk almost that much nearly every day when our dog was still alive.”

“Bandit died ten years ago, Dad,” Jesse pointed out.

“Listen, I’m going to do this and I’d appreciate your support, you two,” Eric said.

“You’re a stubborn old man,” Shana said, “but of course you have our support. Whatever you need, Dad.”

“Thank you, honey,” Eric said. “What about you, Jesse?”

Jesse rolled his eyes and nodded his head. “When are you planning to leave?” he asked.

“On Monday,” Eric said.

“And how long will it take?” Shana asked.

“If all goes according to plan, between five and six months,” Eric said. “That assumes I can consistently log around twenty miles a day.”

“Has anyone your age ever done anything like this before, Dad?” Shana asked.

“I don’t know, sweetheart,” Eric answered, “but I’m not trying to set or break any records. I’m doing it because I need to do something challenging and different.”

“Well, Dad,” Eric said, “I’d say that a 67 year old man walking from San Diego, California to Portland, Maine will satisfy both.”


Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Time To Get Rolling

517CF0E8-3F7A-4D25-B465-2D6A8F7767D4Bruce wasn’t feeling sorry for himself as he took one last look up the steps that led to his home. And yet, he was feeling a bit melancholy as he sat in his wheelchair. Bruce took out the camera he always kept with him and snapped a few pictures. He wanted something to remember the place by.

He took a deep breath and fought to hold back the tears. It wasn’t easy for Bruce to leave his childhood home. After all, he was born there and it had been the only home he’d ever lived in. His parents left him the place in their will and, until the accident, he saw no need to leave.

Six months earlier, a drunk driver hit him while he was crossing the street and that was when everything changed. Navigating those narrow steps multiple times each day was out of the question. He had no choice but to sell and find a single storey home that was wheelchair accessible. Still, it could have been worse.

Time to move on, or as Bruce liked to say, to get rolling. He was alive and had a life to live, even if on wheels instead of legs.

(200 words)


Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. (And yes, I know it’s Monday already.) Photo credit: John Brand.

Share Your World — Coffee and Climate

SYW

Time for another series of Share Your World questions from Melanie. Here goes:

If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black?

I do, indeed, drink coffee. Only hot coffee, only black coffee sweetened with one packet of Splenda.91AC3DFE-3D90-4FA1-A8D3-84E94D02B5D9

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?

I’m using it to respond to Melanie’s SYW questions: the iPhone.94C25DF7-A8B9-4F49-8EBA-4B671FB8D0AE

Global warming? Reality or myth?

Global warming (aka, climate change) is reality. The Bible is myth.Once upon a time

Are you an explorer or more a home body?

I used to be an explorer back in the day. Now that I’m retired (and old), I’ve become more of a home body.DB8ADFC3-4E20-4196-96B8-FA8D97D53972

What were you grateful for this week?

Hmm. Other than I’m still alive and well (as are my wife, kids, and pets), I can’t honestly think of anything else. But maybe that’s enough.C0CAC0E9-781C-4507-8991-576E84794DFD