A Daily Constitutional

Just before I was discharged from the Army (honorably, of course) I took 53 days of ‘terminal leave’ (it isn’t as deadly as it sounds) and explored Western Europe by train. Whenever I ran low on clean underwear, I returned to my central ‘base of operations’ near Heidelberg, where my brother and sister-in-law lived. I spent a lot of time in their laundry room.

My brother was frequently in the field with his tank squadron that summer, and poor Liz found herself in the awkward position of entertaining a feckless brother-in-law. (After all, training their kitten as a ferocious attack-beast could only fill so many of my hours). So one weekend, she took me off on a Volksmarch, and we were each awarded a valuable tin plate in commemoration of our achievement.

The German people are a hardy bunch, much given to brisk, orderly marching around the countryside, breathing large draughts of healthy country air. In a similar manner, our family has begun a new tradition: before we watch anything in the evening (whether it be a movie or some episode of a show on Netflix) we require ourselves to walk at least a mile (but in our own shoes, not in someone else’s moccasins).

An evening promenade with my youngest girl.  You can see Sarah really has to push herself hard, to keep up with me ...

An evening promenade with my youngest girl. You can see Sarah really has to push herself hard, to keep up with me …

Some days we are more eager than others, but on the whole, it seems a healthy habit — helps to digest our dinner, and it gets us out-of-doors if we haven’t been out earlier (as is often the case with me, when I work from home). We use our Map My Run™ app on our phones so we get full credit for the exhausting walk — it is so nice to be patronized by the app: “Congratulations! This was your 49th fastest walk!”

Famed as we are for starting new traditions, it will be interesting to see if we are able to continue this habit. We’re already on our fourth day, which is not bad, by our standards. Maybe when my brother moves to town, he’ll take me on one of his famed ‘death marches’, carefully crafted to show me for the soft-bellied, programmer wimp that I am.

But there is always hope for the next generation. David has decided to take on the dual challenges of the Junior ROTC program at Curtis High School and the Cross Country Team at Lakes High School, this Fall. On top of three Potter’s School Classes and a bunch of other coursework, David is really raising the bar for himself, as he leaps boldly into High School.

What a fine, manly specimen!

What a fine, manly specimen!

This evening, David and I met to plan out his life, and to detail the steps he’ll need to take to place him in a position where he will be equipped for certain paths, should God offer them to him. It was encouraging to talk it out with David; he’s a level-headed kid with a good understanding of what his priorities should be. I’m so pleased and excited to see him briskly and firmly stepping into manhood!

Project 365, Day 245

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