It was 1953. I was leaving for college in a few weeks and needed a new winter coat—one that was warm and made well enough to suit my mother, a more than competent seamstress who couldn’t abide badly made clothing.
We started at S. Klein, a discount department store where it was possible to find bargains. I found a few coats I sort of liked, but my mother made it clear—they were poorly made and not warm enough for the cold winters in upstate New York.
As I was leaving to play tennis, I noticed my partner had left a message on voice mail saying she couldn’t play and had gotten a sub, not saying who the sub was, which was odd. Still, I headed to the court, looking forward to playing.
Fortunately for me I saw her before she saw me. I stopped. Trying to control my anger. My partner knew better than to pair me with a woman who had done her best to isolate me from other players, telling lies about me, accusing me of cheating, criticizing me in front of others. I thought about leaving, but that wouldn’t be fair to the other two with whom I played regularly.
The mountains and city trails in Santa Fe were closed for almost two months due to fires, drought, and high wind. Since I need to hike three times a week, all that was left was a 4-5 mile walk around where I live. As roads go, it’s not bad, winding up and down, with well-designed houses, lots of trees, shrubs, and flowers providing pleasant vistas. There are enough hills that I get somewhat of a workout, but it doesn’t lift my spirit the way hiking in nature does. If I go after nine and before four, there’s not much traffic—just a lot of parked contractors’ trucks.
Given that the road is free of rocks, stumps, roots, and drops, it’s all too easy for me to space out as I walk, deep in thought, although when another walker says hello, I respond, and then can’t remember what I was thinking about. It’s almost as if I’m transported into a different space and time,
Stories inspired by world tales to challenge and comfort.