Tue 8/18/09

A Daily Walk With DietPower

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

Ruth Tibbetts

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.


Download DietPower and lose poundsAbout 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.

Click here to return to today's page

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

Return to today's page

To comment on this page, .

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information (verify here).   Ann Coulston (click for details)  Robert Epstein (click for details)  Barry Franklin (click for details) Click  here to see biographies
of DietPower's scientific
advisory board members.
  DietPower calorie counter logo

SPAM POLICY: DietPower doesn't send emails to people who haven't requested them, nor do we share email addresses with third parties. If you suspect that someone has subscribed you to our calorie counter mailing list fraudulently, email us at webmaster@dietpower.com.

Database Error
Message: MySQL Query fail: INSERT INTO visitor (join_date, entrance, join_ip, last_ip) VALUES (NOW() ,'http://my.dietpower.com/features/daily_walk_081809.php', '', '');
Date: Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 6:49:30 PM
Script: /features/daily_walk_081809.php
Database Error
Message: MySQL Query fail: INSERT INTO visits (visitor, timestamp, ip_address, domain, landing_page) VALUES ('', NOW() ,'', 'my.dietpower.com', '/features/daily_walk_081809.php');
Date: Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 6:49:30 PM
Script: /features/daily_walk_081809.php