Sat 3/28/09

A Daily Walk With DietPower

Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!

Ancient barn siding

Although my walking circuit is mostly residential, fifty years ago it was farmland. Only one barn remains. It sits on King Street at what used to be the Forbes farm.

I won't show you the whole barn yet. I'd rather tease you with details. Here is a section of the door frame. The grain of the knotty siding (undoubtedly sawn from local white pines) has been deeply etched by a century of New England cold snaps and baking August suns. (Or maybe two or three centuries. The first European settlers came to this neighborhood in the 1680s.)

We could probably date the barn—or at least this door frame—by pulling out the rusty nail at upper-left and examining the shape of its shank, the bevels on its point, and other details. There are experts who specialize in such knowledge. (What are they called? If you know, please .) My guess is that the nail is no older than 19th-century, however; its head is too neatly round to be handmade. But that doesn't mean the rest of the barn isn't older. A lot can happen in three centuries.

As I stood making this photograph, a young woman who sometimes walks the same circuit happened by. We exchanged pleasantries there in the smiling sunshine, and after a while I joked that the barn's owner was probably going to come out and throw me off his property if I didn't move on. Something in my chuckle must have made her feel good, for as she bid me goodbye she said fondly, "You're such a delight."

Hours later, sitting here in the dark with my computer, I feel the kindness of that remark still reverberating in me. I don't think anyone in my sixty years has ever said that to me—at least not in that way.

I can't wait to pass it on.

Download DietPower and lose poundsAbout this page: Precisely at noon each day, 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


Friday, March 27: Skunk Cabbage

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