Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I've mentioned that I receive Real Simple magazine by subscription. I realized with the first issue that I have absolutely no business reading this magazine. It isn't really about "real simple." It's really about "real rich," and I don't qualify.

So I really should cancel the thing.

But it is a very pretty magazine and kinda hypnotic once you start reading it. If you're a middle-aged homemaking mother with delusions of grandeur.

And... I kinda am.

Every issue, Real Simple asks its readers to submit answers to a question, and strangely enough, this issue's question is, "How do you find the motivation to exercise?"

Pardon me whilst I snort at length.

OK. I don't exercise. OK? I don't. I am always reminded of the scene in "The Big Easy," when Ellen Barkin meets Dennis Quaid's mother who asks her what she was doing. Ellen says, "I was running." And Mama, played by the totally brilliant Grace Zabriskie, replies incredulously, "Running?" And the thing is -- she isn't shrill; it isn't an over-the-top and unbelievable shriek or anything. It's just so matter-of-fact and understated. Running. Huh. How 'bout that?

So for me to report that I am loving my walks and enjoying the pain and agony of repeated laps around a track that is steeply raked on one side is, well, unusual. To say the very least.

The hawks always yell at me as I approach one particular bend in the track. The very back of the park butts against a densely wooded lot, surrounded on all sides by open fields. Yesterday the wind blew just hard enough to make the grass look like an ocean of waves.

Yeah, they write songs about "amber waves of grain," but you absolutely can't see that in a city. Not even a virtuous historic downtown district. You have to be in the boonies to see stuff like grass that looks as supple and unending as a sea.

So I checked the "Your words" column in the June issue of Real Simple. The readers replied that they were training for half-marathons, or their husbands worked out with them. Or they just needed the "alone" time.

Not one of them said, "I can't wait to see which wildflowers are in bloom or to hear the hawks or just to smell the densest forest earth at the top of the track."

I am a freak, I guess.

That's OK. I'm used to it! And oh, thank you for not being on my remote rural track with me. I'm afraid I wouldn't love it as much if there were other people there to spoil it for me!


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