A Daily Walk With DietPower
Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!
I passed Ruth Tibbetts’ house on King Street again today, for the 220th time this year, and regretted again that I had not stopped more often to see her. One of my favorite people at King Street Church, she died on Sunday at age 93 in the house she and her late husband, Jim, had built across the road from her girlhood home, whose barn I pictured here on May 30 and March 28.
Two things about Ruth continually surprised and delighted me. One was that no matter how old she got, she maintained a deep and detailed knowledge about current events, nature, history, pop culture—everything, it seemed. She could hold up her end of a conversation on almost any subject. This was all the more remarkable in her latest years, when I doubt that she could see well enough to read newsprint.
Another thing that impressed me was her hands. I used to marvel every time I saw them. When they weren’t sheathed in formal white or ivory gloves (Ruth was the last of us who really dressed for church), they looked gnarled and veiny, of course—as I’m sure mine will if I am lucky enough to reach my nineties. And yet they retained an almost preternatural delicacy and grace. When she picked up an object, her long, slender fingers seemed to touch, explore, and evaluate it even more keenly than her eyes did.
In part, I suppose this was an accommodation to her advancing blindness; but I believe it also stemmed from a lifetime of examining and appreciating fine objects. Did she acquire it from her years as an antiques collector? Or was it an inborn penchant that fated her to become an antiques collector?
As I passed her empty house today, I wondered about this—and about why I had never taken the time to ask her about it. For me, the saddest loss in the death of a friend is the stories that will never be told.
I looked through my files today for pictures I had taken of Ruth, and the one above leaped out at me. I had taken it on the afternoon of May 26, 2005, when I knocked on Ruth’s door to ask if she could identify the pink wildflowers blooming at the entrance to her driveway. “Are these phlox?” I asked, handing her a sprig.
She held the blossoms in those remarkable hands for a long time, trying to make them out with her tired old eyes. “Well, no,” she said finally. “Phlox have five petals, you know—not four.”
The flowers turned out to be Dame’s Rocket—proof, once again, that Ruth knew something about everything.
I’ll miss her.
About this page: Every day, usually at noon, I step out of my office for a 3.5-mile walk around my Connecticut neighborhood. I carry a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TX5 pocket camera with a Leica 10x optical zoom lens. My object is to make an interesting photograph of at least one thing that is different that day. I post the results here, hoping they will inspire you and your friends to walk, too. —Terry Dunkle, DietPower founder and CEO.
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All My Yesterdays
Monday, August 17: Mushroom Bugs
Sunday, August 16: A Hot-Pink Sun in a Tangerine Sky
Saturday, August 15: Phonebooks again
Friday, August 14: Humongous
Thursday, August 13: Dalmation Meets Groundhog
Wednesday, August 12: Cute Pests
Tuesday, August 11: Chipper
Monday, August 10: Cobalt Sky
Sunday, August 9: Yellow Memories
Saturday, August 8: A Beetle's Lunch
Friday, August 7: A Sip of Nectar
Thursday, August 6: Phonebook Dump
Wednesday, August 5: A Dream of January
Tuesday, August 4: Martian on a Milkweed
Monday, August 3: When Ponds Turn Green
Sunday, August 2: Headlights Approaching
Saturday, August 1: Should I Eat This?
Friday, July 31: Rose of Sharon
Thursday, July 30: Great Blue Heron
Wednesday, July 29: It's a Saltbox
Tuesday, July 28: Mailbox to Go
Monday, July 27: A Crooked University
Sunday, July 26: Oh, Deer
Saturday, July 25: House-Raising
Friday, July 24: Gnome Reunion
Thursday, July 23: Bugs Galore
Wednesday, July 22: Grand Central Station
Tuesday, July 21: Dragonfly meets Bug
Monday, July 20: URO Mystery Solved
Sunday, July 19: Overlooked Fruit
Saturday, July 18: Painted Turtles
Friday, July 17: House Wreckers
Thursday, July 16: What's This?
Wednesday, July 15: A Pretty Stop Sign
Tuesday, July 14: Beetle 4 Sale
Monday, July 13: I See Pink
Sunday, July 12: I See Red
Saturday, July 11: Keep Out!
Friday, July 10: Most Wonderful Hour of the Year
Thursday, July 9: A Sunny Beach
Wednesday, July 8: Sacked Out
Tuesday, July 7: Soaked!
Monday, July 6: Golden Moon
Sunday, July 5: Bicycle Parade
Saturday, July 4: My $10 Million Dream
Friday, July 3: Hedge Fun
Thursday, July 2: FBI Lilies
Wednesday, July 1: Tastes Like Summer
Tuesday, June 30: Party's Over
Monday, June 29: The Three Muscooteers
Sunday, June 28: Watching a Turdus
Saturday, June 27: New England Currantcy
Friday, June 26: Necklace of Champions
Thursday, June 25: A Convention of Geese
Wednesday, June 24: Painting a Scenario
Tuesday, June 23: Why Did the Beetle Cross the Road?
Monday, June 22: Clown Car
Sunday, June 21: What's Green and Sounds Like a Banjo?
Saturday, June 20: Swimming in Primroses
Friday, June 19: I Hate Deer
Thursday, June 18: Drenched!
Wednesday, June 17: They Sprang up Like Mushrooms
Tuesday, June 16: Where Time Doesn't Count
Monday, June 15: Behind a Basketball
Sunday, June 14: Flags for Elijah
Saturday, June 13: Crawling into a Daisy
Friday, June 12: Life Under a Warm Green Lantern
Thursday, June 11: Shell Game
Wednesday, June 10: Fearless Fox
Tuesday, June 9: Wet Clover
Monday, June 8: Two Bees, or Not Two Bees
Sunday, June 7: A Gorgeous Glutton
Saturday, June 6: Two Clowns
Friday, June 5: My Favorite Mailbox
Thursday, June 4: The Tomato's Deadly Cousin
Wednesday, June 3: Electric Pink
Tuesday, June 2: Lucky Boy
Monday, June 1: Six-Figure Mower
Sunday, May 31: Cool in the Shade
Saturday, May 30: Under the Butternut Tree
Friday, May 29: Awaiting a Pink Explosion
Thursday, May 28: I Shoot a Chipmunk
Wednesday, May 27: Who Dropped the Ball?
Tuesday, May 26: Out Standing in Their Field
Monday, May 25: Flags Galore!
Sunday, May 24: House of Patriots
Saturday, May 23: Memorial in a Rusty Hinge
Friday, May 22: The Sexually Clever Iris
Thursday, May 21: Raising the Wrong Baby
Wednesday, May 20: An Old Friend Is Dying
Tuesday, May 19: Crow vs. Hawk
Monday, May 18: Yours Truly
Sunday, May 17: A Wild Geranium
Saturday, May 16: War Flowers
Friday, May 15: A Mysterious Barn
Thursday, May 14: Who Invented the Microscope?
Wednesday, May 13: The Kitchen Sink
Tuesday, May 12: Slow Down!
Monday, May 11: What Lilacs Are For
Sunday, May 10: Mama Butterfly
Saturday, May 9: Gone to Seed
Friday, May 8: A Pack of Boston Terriers
Thursday, May 7: Underground Passage
Wednesday, May 6: White Violet
Tuesday, May 5: Singing His Heart Out
Monday, May 4: Kenny's Secret
Sunday, May 3: Monument to an Afternoon
Saturday, May 2: Gasoline Rainbow
Friday, May 1: The Duck and the Bashful Maiden
Thursday, April 30: A Poison Ivy Sandwich
Wednesday, April 29: The Very Picture of Spring
Tuesday, April 28: A Busy Bumblebee
Monday, April 27: Electric Pink
Sunday, April 26: Saturday Night Special
Saturday, April 25: An Old Oak Falls
Friday, April 24: How an Ant Sees a Daffodil
Thursday, April 23: The Nameless Brook
Wednesday, April 22: Weeding Time
Tuesday, April 21: Wet Apple Buds
Monday, April 20: Mr. Allen and the Crew Team
Sunday, April 19: Bloodroot II
Saturday, April 18: Green Jellybeans
Friday, April 17: Bloodroot
Thursday, April 16: Skunk Cabbage III
Wednesday, April 15: Find the Critter
Tuesday, April 14: Blessing of the Animals
Monday, April 13: The Crow Who Said "Wow!"
Sunday, April 12: A Quirky Church
Saturday, April 11: Self-Portrait in a Pothole
Friday, April 10: Easter flowers
Thursday, April 9: Dumb as a Squirrel
Wednesday, April 8: April Snow
Tuesday, April 7: Egg Trees, Connecticut Style
Monday, April 6: I Carry My Lunch
Sunday, April 5: A Tree in Spring
Saturday, April 4: Pigs with Drivers Licenses
Friday, April 3: Forsythia
Thursday, April 2: Skunk Cabbage II
Wednesday, April 1: Mystery of the Hanging Shoes
Tuesday, March 31: Downy Woodpecker
Monday, March 30: 300-Year-Old House
Sunday, March 29: The Broken Fence
Saturday, March 28: "You're Such a Delight"
Friday, March 27: Skunk Cabbage
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