I spent a week in Downingtown, PA visiting my sister and her family for the occasion of my eldest niece's high school graduation-that, and the fact that it might be the last time I could count on everyone being together for any length of time in the future. Of course, since all of the kids are teenagers with jobs and active social lives, we rarely were all together at the same time anyway. But I did get valuable face time with each of them.
Downingtown is a small town and there isn't much to do. But it also has some beautiful scenery, so I used that as an excuse to walk for about an hour almost every day. My sense of discipline was in high gear and it paid off--at least as far as my blood pressure goes, as it was way down. Today, for example, it was 107/71 which is a significant drop.
Mt. Rub is nice, but nothing compared to walking the Strubel Trail that runs parallel to the Brandywine River. Lots of green. Lots of shade. One day, while walking with my sister, my younger niece, and their dog, we actually saw a deer wander out on the trail.
On Saturday morning, I awoke especially early. It was the day of my return flight and I slept little. So, around 7 AM, I figured that I may as well get one last walk in before I left. I could sleep on the plane that afternoon if I needed to.
I discovered a variation on my standard route and followed it, not sure if I would get lost--but it's pretty hard to get lost in Downingtown. Keep your eye on a couple of prominent landmarks and you can find your way.
As I finished my walk and returned to my sister's house, I passed some apartments in the area--old apartments that could use some refurbishing. Outside of one, a man carried a large case with a stand-up bass in it that it looked like he was going to try to fit into a car that looked to small. He set it down to bring out some sound equipment.
As I passed, he greeted me and asked "Are you a hiker?"
I said "No, I'm a walker. Are you a bass player?"
"Yeah," he said. "Do you play?"
"Not bass. My axe is the ukulele."
"Alright," he replied. "Do you play around here?"
"No, I just play around the house."
"Well, that's cool too."
"Yeah, my brother and I sometimes play at open mikes back home along with my nephew."
"Hmmmm, I oughta look into getting me one of those."