Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘childhood

Measured Gait

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When I was a kid in school, I noticed there were others who walked with their feet angled toes-in or toes out and it led me to think the same thing could happen to me. It didn’t look right to me. I didn’t want to walk like that. As a result, I tried consciously aligning my feet with the seams of the floor tiles as I walked down hallways in hopes the practice would keep my gait from becoming misaligned.

How I place my feet as I walk hasn’t been something I constantly think about, but stepping straight ahead in line with those tiles did become a permanent memory that I’ve returned to thinking about many times over the years.

Fifty-some years and too-many-ankle-sprains-to-count later, I’m beginning to notice my right foot “toes out” a little bit in the prints I leave behind in the snow.

What I found interesting yesterday after I noticed my old footprints on the trail was that when I put conscious effort into paying attention to place my right foot straight, it felt like I was toeing it way too far in.

I’m not talking extremes here. The amount of difference is very small. A fraction of an inch. It’s fascinating to me that such a small percentage of change would feel so much larger than it really is.

This kind of correction reminds me of my never-ending quest to achieve an even pedal stroke on my bicycle. I’m decidedly right-side dominant in my pedaling which contributes to a “wobble” of the bike as I unconsciously push stronger with my right leg.

I dream of expending equal power with the push-pull of each leg, but if I’m not specifically thinking about it or I start to get fatigued, I can sense my effort becomes lopsided.

At least I never have to worry about the position of my feet when I’m clipped into the bike pedals. While I wobble down the road on my bike, my toes on both feet are always pointed straight ahead!



Written by johnwhays

March 8, 2022 at 7:00 am

Unidentified Obfuscation

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It starts to get hard when you reach the point of not being able to hear yourself think. The little boy in me who has never grown up occasionally shows up to ask me why I’m so quick to forget about the bliss of being four or five years old and getting lost in some harmless pursuit. The answer is always the same.

It’s not that I’m quick to forget. I’m just slow to remember. Present-day life tends to do that to a person.

An awful lot of years have passed since I sprawled on the floor making truck sounds with my mouth as I rolled Matchbox cars along the borders of our large Persian rug.

The recent stress of the day-job continues unabated amidst a boom of business that started at the same time as the global pandemic and its havoc on world economies. It is proving to be a brain-scrambler of significant magnitude.

Last night the ranch received an impressive sample of the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobol in the form of wave after wave of soaking rain. I think it might make the landscape pond overflow. [wry smile]

We are hoping that the deluge won’t drown any of the plants in Cyndie’s gardens.

She served up another delicious salad last night with all the greens coming from plants she is growing. This time I remembered to take a picture.

The asparagus isn’t ours. They’re store-bought. I can only hope someday our wisps of skinny stalks will someday reach such mammoth proportions.

Much to our surprise, rainstorms seem to improve our connection for Zoom meetings, and last night I was able to participate in conversations with an international collection of members of my beloved virtual community, Brainstorms. (Ward, it was a treat to see and hear you!). For almost an hour my connection flashed instability only three times, but never once dropped my connection entirely. That was a first.

The normal mode for Zoom gatherings by way of our cell connection out here in the countryside is to freeze up frequently and get dropped/reconnected multiple times until I give up and sign off.

The last time Cyndie was in a Zoom meeting during wild weather, she enjoyed similar success. The signal must like having all those raindrops in the air. Who’d uh guessed?

The little boy in me would have, probably.



Written by johnwhays

June 10, 2020 at 6:00 am

Times Change

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This morning, sunrise occurred at a new time, under the change to Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

I saw a poll yesterday, that indicated the majority of people would prefer that we not change the clocks at all. I am included in that majority. I think it is a useless annoyance.

Something about it makes me feel like a helpless kid. I have no choice in the matter. Why do we change the clocks? Because we do. It’s just what we do. It has been in practice for over a century.

“It saves energy.”

“It helps the economy.”

“It does not.”

The debates I hear even sound juvenile to me, but that just may be the mode I’m in. I keep having thoughts about childhood, lately. Maybe it is the many times that my recent experiences on our new property are bringing remembrances of my formative years on my family’s farm property in the 1960s.

I have reduced my hours at the day-job, and spend more time here at Wintervale. I don’t have to get up and get ready to go to work everyday. When that work-day arrives, I look in the mirror and discover I have been doing less daily grooming. I don’t enjoy spending time in front of the mirror. (Maybe that is because I am seeing my reverse image.) Last week, I thought, ‘I never had to spend this kind of time when I was a kid.’

That got me to thinking about the pros and cons of being a kid:

Pro: The only grooming required is, your mom licking her hand to fix your hair.
Con: Your mom licks her hand to fix your hair.

Pro: You never have to drive yourself anywhere.
Con: You can’t drive yourself anywhere.

Pro: Your friends make you laugh.
Con: Milk comes out your nose.

Pro: You get to go everywhere with your mom, and people fawn over you.
Con: You have to go everywhere with your mom and strangers try to talk to you and pinch your face.

Pro: You get to go outside and play games with your friends.
Con: You have to register for a team and wear a uniform and be driven to an official field for games with parent coaches and kids older than you as referee.

Pro: You get to be the center of attention.
Con: You have to learn you don’t always get to be the center of attention.

Pro: You get to go to school for free.
Con: You have to go to school.

Pro: You are always learning new things.
Con: You have to learn every new thing.

Pro: The world of possibilities lies before you.
Con: There are an incomprehensible number of possibilities you must face.

Pro: You don’t have to plan each of your days.
Con: You don’t get to set the plan for your days.

Pro: You are encouraged to wish for anything you want.
Con: You might get what you wish for.

Okay, so that last one might not be a con. I got Wintervale, didn’t I? No wonder I feel like a kid again. That, and the fact I had to change the clocks today, even though I didn’t want to.

Written by johnwhays

March 10, 2013 at 10:18 am