Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bird Santurary and 7 miles today

Sweet Anise, birds and Paradise
There's a smell to Marin in the Spring, and I had almost forgotten it. Sweet and spicy, like licorice, the Anise is in its full glory. On my walk today, I walked over the overpass that had me winded on day one, without a slight hesitation. There is a bird sanctuary that is set hidden behind commercial and industrial buildings. You wouldn't image it from the frontage road. Throughout the walk you are greeted with birds hopping from bush to bush, and views out to Richardson Bay, out to San Quentin. (Which despite being a prison is really very picturesque!)

I saw a big sign posted that you shouldn't bring dogs back into this area, but... There was a big brown and white spaniel rolling in the grass, enjoying the sun and the smells. I thought he was preceded by his owner, but I later passed a woman with five dogs on leash and one empty leash, asking if I had seen a dog up ahead. Ooops. We ran off calling for Shelia!

There was one point where I felt a little claustrophobic. The anise crowded me on either side. The spend branches of past seasons lining up like swords of an honor guard. The passage way was longer than I had thought and I was ready to break through. Then finally...freedom!

On almost any walk in Marin you will see the towering image of Mount Tamalpais. Even on this shoreline walk, there she is, watching as if its her job to pay attention. Maybe she is taking notes on those people who are graced by her presence.

Once I left the off road pathway I walked through Mariner Cove. A lot of these homes are "waterside." They have a daily reminder that we are only passing through, like the shorebirds who come and go in their back yards. My final destination was Paradise Foods. This is a great market in Corte Madera. I grabbed a plum, water and salad, taking a break before heading back to the office.

My walk took me under the on-ramp to 101, and to the Town Center Shopping Center. I was hoping to see my friend at her store Featherbed and Bath, but once again... she was missing! But I did run into my friend who is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Don't you think it is an interesting phenomenon that I have run into her today. One more reason to keep on walking. You know... it all is making sense to me!

Thinking back on the day of my surgery

Back 14 years ago... I was sitting in my house on auto cruise. My father had flown out to "help". My husband seemed a little tentative, and at a loss of what to do for me, or how to help the helper who had just arrived. I remember being in the hospital, being prepped and my father asking that we pray together.

Convinced that this was all unnecessary worry, I felt sorry for the stress this was imposing on those that I loved. I wanted space, because my "head down, move forward" attitude, sometimes works best without the worried faces of other people around. But, I understood, that they too had a journey that was important (having dealt with the same helpless feelings they were having myself when my Mother had Cancer).

Tomorrow, I have a good friend going into surgery for a lumpectomy. Her prognosis, so far, is as positive as you can get. But still, she is in the midst of the same uncertainty that I faced and it brings it all back to me. The feeling of anxious limbo.
After my diagnosis, I tried to write a journal but I could muster the words. So I find it interesting that now that I have "survived" I can relive these times with some real clarity. Back then, and for 14 years, I have been working at surviving. Now I am working at LIVING! I truly feel reborn.

Thanks to all of you who have so generously given, to my journey. I value your support and I know we will be a part of something miraculous!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some more pictures from the Marincello Trail...PURRRR

When you are walking, you find interesting critters, people and views on the trail.... Here's Mr. Bobcat. He was not happy to see us as he had staked out a juicy gopher. But... hey, you have got to share the trails!

These photos are Glenn's new camera in action. Not bad huh!





Marincello Trail and More... "You can't hurry goal"

This morning I checked my email and saw one from Tammy. Tammy was one of my members, when I was a Weight Watcher's leader. That was before the Breast Cancer, before Real Estate and before... I fell off the WW wagon, but undoubtedly some of my happiest days.

I was little different kind of weight watcher's leader. I would make up songs (sort like Al Yankovich, but not) for my meetings. To "Uptown Girl" it was "She's a Weight Watcher Girl." To "My Guy" it was "My plan." Then the ever popular "STOP in the name of goal, before you lose control". Tammy had seen my ad in the Novato Advance, her mother had sent it to her. Little did she know it was perfect timing for me to get her email. She said she still hears my songs in her head, and the one she remembers most was "You can't hurry Goal" (To the tune of "You can't hurry love."

Well, its true my training for the 3 day-60 mile walk. I am an overweight 55 year old woman, who cannot expect to be running 20 miles, when I was used to walking one block. I have broken this down into realistic sub-goals. For me it was 3 miles, then 6 then 8. Now I am adding hills and valleys and inclines I never though I could ascent. Today, I walked 5.42 miles along the Marincello Trail, the Miwok and more. As my taller than average husband sprinted ahead, I would call, "hey, how many inches shorter are my legs than yours...could you shorten that stride?!" When I felt like I couldn't go on, I would stop to take a picture and breathe.

Was it worth it?! Look at the views from this day and tell me. I THINK SO!!!

Part 2 - Stafford Lake - Frisbee Course

Did you ever know there are actual Frisbee Courses? They are akin to a golf course but on a hiking trail. I am learning so many new things since I have begun this journey!
Well, our first clue was the Frisbee soundly hitting a tree branch above us, and the red plastic, dinged up disc about 10 feet in front of us. Stafford lake is West of Novato. I will put this on a good distance walk at some point. You could walk from San Marin High School, past a dog park, and on to the lake. There is a golf course "Indian Valley" that is also along its shores. (Made me wish I still could golf!)
We were heading toward the Terwilliger Nature Trail, named after the famous Marin naturalist Mrs. Elizabeth Terwilliger. I think we took a wrong turn. But it was beautiful none the less and full of mini surprises... like the Frisbee and the wild flowers, the creek, the oaks and buckeyes, geese and lizards.
It was a sweet little hike up a 350 ft hill on a warm spring day. What could be better. Look at how green and idyllic Marin is now... I am betting we will long for these 70 degree days come August! (At least in Novato!)