Doctor’s Exam

First, the bad news:
I’m getting old.

Now the good news:
I can still pass the three tests.

One: I can still solve chess puzzles.
Like this one.

(White mates in three.)

When I can no longer figure this one out, just pull the plug.
And sprinkle me somewhere nice.

Two: I can still walk under my own power.
I have kept all the original equipment, so I won’t be setting off any metal detectors at the airport.

Good thing, too: I have to fly to Spain next month.
For ten days of sun and fun on the Costa Blanca.

Alla says she has been working very hard.

And needs a break.
How can I disagree?

Three: I can still chew my own food.
Hmm. When the time comes, who will I ask for help?

Today I took one of my favorite walks: Around Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

To celebrate my birthday.

I had to postpone this jaunt for a week because of a funeral.
There has been a lot of that going around lately.

So today, finally, I took the train from North Station.

To Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Then walked over to Mount Misery (one of Thoreau’s favorite haunts).

And took the back way through the woods, to Walden Pond.

It was hot and sunny.

Swimming in October?

Fall has barely begun.

At one point, it got very emotional.
When I thanked the Great Spirit.

For keeping me around.

Luckily, I had one of these babies.

Just like I always do.

On the way back, I stopped at Drumlin Farm Nature Sanctuary.

One of my favorite Massachusetts Audubon Society spots.

I climbed the drumlin to look for bluebirds.

And they were there!

I could see Mount Monadnock far to the north.

The day was as clear as a bell.

Then I made it home.
To the Back Bay.

Where I am writing this.

I hope to complete this walk every year from now on.
Unless Death has other ideas.

Why do I go to Walden? For the same reason that Thoreau did.

Or, as another wise man put it, “Live every day as if it were your last. Because one day, you will be right.”

I am happy to report that today was not that day.