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Every day, I trek to the woods, no matter what. For me, it’s not just a physical thing to walk every day, but I do it for my psyche as well. Sometimes I feel those trees that envelop me save me. They get me through the worst of times like when we lost my son’s girlfriend Flower in late April, and the good times as well. I can let go and be happy or sad, or somewhere in between while I’m hiking up that hill. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even notice that I’m hiking uphill for quite a while and then suddenly, I must stop for just a moment and rest. My right foot is strong now, though my left foot is still a bit renegade, and eventually, I’ll probably need surgery on that one as well.

But the woods call to me, just as the ocean calls to me as well. The trees whisper in the late afternoon breeze and offer shade and protection from the relentless heat.

Today, I went to my doctor’s appointment, for a Medicare checkup. What the heck is that, I asked. I’ve been on Medicare since last July, and I still don’t 100 percent understand it. I guess they have their own checkups — something like that. I had to answer what felt like a million questions about my health and well-being, and whether I can take care of myself. I’m just not ready for all this, I thought. My gosh.

When I was called back, the usual weigh-in thing happened. And I always take everything out of my pockets and take off my shoes as well. I hadn’t weighed myself in months, since right after that foot surgery last December. I could not believe it. I was 10 pounds lighter than I was at my last weigh-in. Oh my gosh, how did this happen? I’d lost a bunch of weight and then reached a plateau for over a year.

But I kept on walking anyway. It didn’t even matter about the weight. I walked because I wanted to and needed to. I cannot help but feel that all that walking has finally paid off in yet another way besides the woods being so good for my psyche. Sometimes I even write in the woods on my iPhone in Notes. And I finally got past the barrier of finishing my book that struck me right after Flower passed away.

Of course, my doctor is thrilled. I no longer have issues with my blood sugar and I’m generally healthy for an almost 66-year-old overweight chick. If only I could pass this health on to my older son Stevie who still remains on dialysis and still grieves for his beloved Flower…


Way to go Mary! This is great news, written in such a nature-enriched way, as usual. It inspires me to go on more hikes.

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