“A walk in the park” is a phrase that’s come to mean something easy to most of us. Effortless. Because what could be easier than a walk in the park? Certainly not making pie. Easy as pie is a misnomer! Pie is not easy. Take it from me. I could show you pictures, but I digress. Back to the park. We have a lovely park located on the south side of our community. It’s actually split in two by the highway that runs through it. It’s connected by a tunnel that runs under the highway. On one side of the park, along with all the usual grass and trees and picnic tables, there is a frisbee golf course and a skateboard area where there are ramps and ridges and concrete to hone their skills. There is also a shelter and a pond that you see pictured above. Some people like to fish in the pond. The thing I love most about this park though, is the walking/biking trail that runs through it. It winds past the frisbee golf course, the restrooms, the picnic shelter and the pond. It continues up the hill of the dike which is right next to one of the rivers south of our city and also goes under the highway and leads to the other side of the park. It is a pretty path to walk on and I frequently choose this as a place to get my exercise. The other side of the park contains more picnic shelters, another pond, swimming pool and water park, tennis courts, horseshoe pit, small baseball diamond, football stadium, and one of the city’s 2 golf courses is alongside its west edge. Both ponds have their resident ducks and they frequently bring a smile to my face as I walk alongside them and watch them busy with their quacking, swimming, and food gathering. I imagine them laughing at us with their Quack, Quack Quack Quack Quack noises. It really does sound like laughter at times. I can also imagine conversations going on between them. Ducks are quite animated. Maybe why they’ve been frequently chosen as the subject of cartoons. At times we’ve stopped to feed them. I’ve learned they’re really not crazy about stale bread. Gee, neither am I. ha ha Some of them are quite tame and will eat out of your hand. Or I should say my husband’s hand. I’ve not been brave enough to leave it there long enough to find out. A big hit with them though were the crackers we took one day. They could hear the plastic wrapper on the sleeve of crackers and were flying in before I even had them open. They flocked to me with the crackers. I only wish I would have been ready with my video camera as that would have made a wonderfully fun video. I did get footage of my husband feeding them out of his hand. I love watching them walk on the ice when it gets colder. When it’s very warm out in the heat of the day they will gather under trees and picnic tables to snooze in the shade. I never could have imagined how they would thoroughly entertain me and bring such joy to my life. That is the way of observing animals I think. My favorite times to walk in the park are when it’s cooler and the humidity is non-existent. Which doesn’t happen in the summer here. My favorite walking partner is my husband. It gives us a chance to be together and enjoy each other’s company. With no television or other distractions, we are free to have at least 45 minutes of uninterrupted conversation. At other times we just enjoy the quiet together. Sometimes there are families playing together in the park and we both enjoy watching the children. I don’t make it to the park daily to walk, but last night was a little cooler and the humidity wasn’t quite as bad as it’s been so my husband suggested a walk. He knows I need prodding sometimes to get my much-needed exercise. However, yesterday morning I had babysat 2 young girls and I was quite worn out. At one point I was kicking a soccer ball back and forth with the youngest. So last night I was completely pooped. I decided my husband was right and I needed to get out and walk, but partway through the walk, I discovered I should have listened to my body. I have fibromyalgia and I won’t go into the details now but suffice it to say that when I’m tired, I need rest. As we walked up the hill to the dike, I could tell my legs were starting to wobble a little. Down the hill and under the highway we went and then back up the next dike to get to the other side of the park. Our usual route is a 2 mile walk and last night it was requiring much more effort than usual. After walking past the second pond, my husband suggested an alternate route back which didn’t involve any hills. So I took him up on his suggestion and we walked back a different way. Halfway back though, my legs were done. I was starting to stumble and when he offered to go get the car on his own, I did something I don’t frequently do. I quit. I agreed to wait there while he went and got the car. There was a picnic table nearby for me to sit and rest on. I was really grateful for his help and for the bench to sit on. Last night a walk in the park wasn’t quite as easy as it sounded.