July 19, 2011

Exercise? Let's Do It! Come Along on My Morning Walk.

Exercise tops my list for aging well and dealing with Parkinson's. For me, the most important health-related development this year was realizing that I could take advantage of the hour between meds and breakfast to get out and walk. Here's why it's has been a great discovery:

  • All too often in DC's summer heat and humidity, by the time I've had my breakfast and coffee, the thought of getting out and exercising has lost its appeal. The mercury will climb into the 90s today, but at 7am... no problem!
  • It's a treat to complete this important to-do item first thing each day. Exercise? Check!
  • I've lived in the DC Palisades for 55 years. Only now, by walking, am I really getting to know this terrific neighborhood.
OK, let's get going. What will we see today?
The walk gets off to a great start by greeting Penelope ("Penny"), one of the many dogs on my cul de sac:

Isn't she a beaut? She's a mix of Jack Russell (one of my favorite breeds) and dachshund (which would be a favorite except for its tendency to hump everything in sight).
My street is only two blocks long, so I head the other way. Another pooch, in a blur, rushes to greet me.

I've driven this street thousands of times. Only now do I notice some recently remodeled homes:

Here's another lovely house on the same block that I'm admiring for the first time. (As you'll see, just as the bumper sticker for my natal town is "Ithaca is Gorges,"  the motto for my neighborhood should be "Palisades is Porches." And flags. Unfortunately these days, I sometimes think that only right-wing conservatives fly the American flag. Not so here. The Palisades votes overwhelmingly Democratic, and flags are everywhere:

Now we cross Arizona Avenue, one of the main traffic arteries in the neighborhood. At 7am, no problem! For the first time, I notice that the Jehovah's Witness hall (a neighborhood fixture) is for sale. It's hard to see the for-sale sign; I should have used the zoom lens.  

Now we head down a street I've seldom explored. Isn't this a lovely house? And another porch.

Next door, there's a more modest home and another porch. One of the things I love about the Palisades is the diversity of houses. Sixty years ago, when my wife and I were looking for our first house, we decided against suburban developments with cookie-cutter houses. 

As we continue our walk, more porches...

....and more flags.

Why does everyone else's crepe myrtle look better than mine? I love the way this stuff enlivens heart-of-summer Washington.

No porch or flag. And beautiful:

In addtion to porches and flags, the Palisades has lots of churches. These two are on today's walk:

St. David's is especially memorable to me, since I attended many alcoholism-recovery meetings there.

Oh, to be a kid again! How cool is this?

OK, the time and temperature signal it's time to go home for breakfast: (It hit 92 later in the day.)

We end where we started. Here's Tyler, another of the cul de sac's dogs and a lovely one:

Want to come in for cereal, fruit and coffee on the back porch?


Tgfpm said...

Definitely a nice picture diary!
Tommye Grant

Lbaumann said...

I'm really enjoying the blog and photos.  It's a real gift and paean to the neighborhood. Hope you make it to 49th Street one of these days!
Linda Baumann

Ross Vann said...

Thanks for the tour. We'll look for you on Sherier sometime!

Mat Thorp said...

Congratulations. John. You`ve shown the flavor of our neighborhood(`hood?)-Mat Thorp

John Schappi said...

Ross -- You can be assured that Sherier will show up and soon. Our first house, which started the 65-year love affair was at 5030 Sherier.  I[m just back from my early a.m. walk part of which was spent taking photos of the old Glenn Echo Trolley right of way along the Palisades bluff. For the first couple of years, I was able to commute to work on that beautiful trolley ride. Stay tuned.

John Schappi said...

Thanks Linda.  It's on my list.  Amazing how many photogenic places we have!

John Schappi said...

Thanks Tommye and thanks for all you do for the Palisades. I was thinking of how this sort of involvement is one of our traditions on this morning's walk which took me by Bill Smith's lovely house tucked away in a seldom-seen hideaway 3-house lane. Bill, now in his 90's (I hope he's still with us) was a past president of the PCA who contributed greatly to the neighborhood.

Meek Jb said...

Great photos and narrative John!
JB Meek
Watson St NW

Mkrayer said...

Very nice John. My partner and I have been in the Palisades for a mere 10 years and I have grown to love and appreciate more each year. I'm also a friend of Bill W. and am grateful for St. David's meeting space.

Maryann K.
V St.