Adrien’s Many Trails – Oct. 3, 2019

Walking, waulking. I’ve done both, Ninety-nine percent of humankind over the age of about one year walks around after a fashion including my great-grandson Desmond, who utilizes one leg on the floor to scoot around for his “walking.” He’ll get it soon.

The other one percent includes me and a majority of us who fuss (and mess) around a lot with sheeps’ wool.

Back to walking. I suppose I first walked at the normal age of about one. Nobody ever said otherwise, and as the second of five little Footes in my family I had to either set a good example, or keep up at least. Fate dictated otherwise. Or maybe it was my habit of running everywhere. As a 4-year old, I ran through a pile of stove coals that were still hot.

The scar from the burn on my left ankle is still with me. It’s still good sized. Imagine what it looked like on a four-year-old. So that was the second time I had to learn to walk. What I remember is the imbalance. That, and my mother with no big belly. She gave birth to my youngest sister, and we were both in the same hospital at the same time. There ensued a number of normal years at least where walking and running were concerned. In college (the U of U) I was walking across campus at BYU after some game or other, and my right foot slipped off the edge of the sidewalk. A small bone broke. Getting around campus during the next few weeks was a major challenge. And I learned to walk again.

Thence to marriage and children. No bone problems there. Not even with three boys among the four children. Amazing! Many cut lips. Swing sets are a culprit here. And tricky bars. And so through the years. I broke my left ankle in three places and spent what felt like months with casts. In my 70s I fell and broke a small bone in my pelvis. That required some hospital time, and while they are a great bunch at the hospital, I hope not to repeat this experience, or similar.

It’s tough to get in a good amount of walking. I have and use a cane. Well, several in fact. Could be the newest fashion statement, and not just for seniors. ‘Nuff on walking

Waulking is a millinia-old process to stabilize and shrink woven fabric to make it more beautiful, useable and durable. I don’t weave, but I’ve waulked for those who do. Typically the length of fabric is folded or rolled, and wetted. The waulkers sit around a table and thump the roll down as it becomes their turn. There is a whole body of waulking music that comes from this tradition.

Maybe sometime I’ll have a chance to participate in a waulking party again. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to…walking.