Walks I Take

I like to walk. Some walks stand out more than others. I am writing this essay in Florida, where we took the kids for their spring break. We are staying at my in-laws. A bike path encircles the community they live in and I love walking on that bike path. A complete circuit is two miles. There are sunny spots and shady spots. There are quiet spots, and wooded spots. I walked the circuit a total of three times yesterday, and I am already looking forward to walking it later this morning when I take a break from my work.

I am working remotely this week. (It is a vacation for Kelly and the kids, but not for me, alas.) When I am in the office, however, I try to get out for a walk at least once a day, often twice. I walk around the block on which my office building resides. It is about a mile all the way around. I like that walk, too. It is comfortable, and familiar. I like it in the spring when the sunlight feels warm after a long winter. I like it in the fall when the brutal heat and humidity of summer has finally passed.

There have been other walks that stand out in my memory. One of my favorites was in L.A. I would walk around my neighborhood in Studio City. I lived just around the corner from the Brady Bunch house, and I’d pass it on my walk each evening. My walk would take me north on Tujunga Avenue up to Moorpark Street. There, I’d turn right and walk two blocks to Elmer Avenue, then right again, walking south past Woodbridge Park. I’d turn left down Valley Spring lane, walking past a small house that I loved, and imagining living in someday–if I stayed in L.A. I’d turn right down Fair Avenue, following it all the way down to where it curved into Dilling St. Just before Dilling there was a house on the right where the late actor Jon Polito lived. I’d see him in his yard from time to time, and he’s smile and wave as I passed. I’d turn right onto Dilling. Where Dilling and Klump Avenue met at a t-intersection was the house used in the exterior shots of The Brady Bunch. I’d continue down Dilling to Tujunga, and then head back home.

We walk around a local park in Arlington, Virgina. It’s a nice walk, but it isn’t among my favorites. One things that set one walk apart from others is the memories it creates. I tend to listen to audiobooks while I walk, and some of my walks remind me of the books I was listening to–and vice versa. Over the years on my walks here in Florida, for instance, I’m reminded of books I’ve really enjoyed: Dick Van Dyke’s My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business and Carl Reiner’s I Remember Me. Back in December, I spent a few hours walking the bike path listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. This time, I’m listening to Tom Verducci’s The Cubs Way. They all stand out fondly in my memory because of the walks I take.