I just returned from a walk down the road here at the lake. It has become one of my daily rituals that after dinner in the evening, I grab my cane and I “stroll” to the end of our road and back, a distance of just over half a mile.
“Stroll” is a relative term in my case. With Parkinsons, it is more of a long shuffle. But I need to keep moving or I won’t be able to move at all. So I force myself to make the effort. Sometimes Mary will accompany me, but I can tell she would rather move a bit faster than I am capable of moving, so she will usually take the dog for a walk instead, using the animal as an excuse to get going. But that’s ok. I enjoy the time alone to observe nature and get lost in my thoughts.
But now there is an added dimension to my evening strolls. I am getting a lot more exercise now than I used to get. It seems all the arm waving and hand swatting of mosquitoes takes a lot more energy than a simple amble down the road. Swarms of the nasty little buzzers are intent on making me their evening meal. With all the recent rain we’ve had there are too many breeding areas of standing water left around. And those puddles and ponds are generating a bumper crop of voracious mosquitoes.
The frightening thing is that the worst of it is yet to come. This is only the first exploratory wave, the recon patrol if you will, of the huge army of flying marauders that will be hatched in the next week or two. Once they get here, it will be advisable to keep small children indoors, lest they be carried off into the woods for later consumption by the horde of bugs. Venturing outdoors will require some serious preparation. I’m thinking several layers of long pants, long sleeves, hoods and netting will be about right. And an industrial size spray can of insecticide to create a fog of safety around me will be the weapon of choice in the ensuing battle.
I realize that I could simply eliminate my evening constitutional and save all the hassle, but, hey, I got here first and I refuse to be chased off by a bug. I need to walk. And a treadmill is not quite the same.