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(by Bill Bailey, newest member of The Calhoun Chronicle staff, filling in for Helen Morris who is on vacation.)

Things happen when you are walking. Your body keeps putting one foot in front of the other, calories are burned, muscles are toned and, at least in my case, your brain goes into neutral. I walk merrily along with the heavenly scent of whatever happens to be blooming in my nostrils, a chorus of birdsong in my ears and my eyes scanning everything. Every now and then, any one of these things occasionally forces my feet to stop just a minute for a closer look. My brain, while idling along, does come up with some interesting ideas though.

While strolling up town hill in 94 degree heat, I thought I was toning up and losing weight (I lost a pound in perspiration). I remembered a book I had almost read titled, “Fast Food Nation,” that said America was becoming the “Land of the Fat.” My idle brain decided it knew why we were gaining weight and losing muscle tone. We do not walk. We do not have to walk.

Hungry? There must be a drive-thru window that can take care of that. Drive-thru banking and direct deposit has eliminated the need to walk into the bank to cash a check. You can buy almost anything, without so much as standing up, with a computer and a modem. Changing the channel on the TV is as easy as pushing a button. We have a remote control for almost everything, even ceiling fans, and we are bombarded with commercials saying, “We do the work so you don’t have to.” I think we need to do more walking and less button pushing.

Mowing the lawn with a push mower is a good way to exercise. At least you are following behind a self-propelled mower and are less likely to run over something and ruin it. Mowing with a riding mower does not even come close. Most riding mowers mow in a continuous forward motion and the finished lawn reflects that mowing style. Push mowers can go straight across and then straight back. That makes a lawn look nice--and you get some exercise.

Planting a garden is good exercise. Flower gardens need constant attention and reward your labor with beautiful flowers and butterflies. Vegetable gardens are much more work, but are more rewarding when you sit down to a meal made with food you raised yourself. You can even walk to a neighbor’s house and give them a bouquet of flowers and a few tomatoes and zucchini.

As for the TV remote, you won’t use it so much if you are out taking a stroll. Many opportunities exist in the backyard for an invigorating and scenic walk. Secondary roads are less traveled and traffic is usually light. Just drive to good spot, park your car, walk for a mile then turn around and walk back. You just walked two miles and it probably took less than an hour. The county park is a beautiful place for walking with hiking trails and many interesting things to see. I know you too can think of someplace nice to walk.

Now is the time to get off of your couch, get on your feet, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

This Week's Editorials:

By Helen Morris:

Wood Festival

By Lisa Minney:

A Steady Rain

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* Waste Not, Want Not is updated the first Wednesday of every month.
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