Ostomy Memories of Cold Walking


IT WAS 32 DEGREES YESTERDAY MORNING when I left on my walk at 5 AM. I live in Florida! Well, it’s NORTH Florida, which is totally different from south Florida and somewhat different than central Florida. Okay, it really is three states in one. In any event, I had so many layers of clothing on, I felt as if I was waddling down the street. Fortunately, having kept some of my winter clothing from my years in Utah, I have a wonderfully warm coat that keeps me comfortable, but I have to get used to carrying all that padded weight. I also have a great leather flight jacket with a sheepskin lining, which itself likely weighs about 15 pounds, but I can’t wear it since I’ve gained just enough weight around my midriff that I can’t zip the damn thing up without it being too tight across exactly where my stoma is. But cold or not, out I go, and by the time I return an hour or so later, my whiskers are dripping with condensation from my breath as if I’d walked through a sprinkler. Drying that off, I fix my post-walk reward: a hot bowl of thick cream of wheat with fresh blueberries and two cups of freshly ground Columbian java. As Cassandra Clare wrote in ‘City of Ashes’: “As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”

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Life is good with coffee.

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I have begun my walks or bike rides pre-dawn again, starting with layers of 3 sweaters, gloves, and earmuffs. 30 minutes later, the Arizona sun is up and piece by piece my sweatshirts are around my waist or neck ... the gloves bulging in my pockets and the muffs on my thigh. That's when the pretty people come on the paths, sporting their shorts with matching shirts, looking their best ... I look like a freak, smile, and keep trucking along!
Enjoy it no matter what... it's good for the soul, and hot fresh coffee is the reward.

Stay well, my friend, Ritz


Hello HenryM.

Walking has always been one of my favourite pastimes and it doesn't really matter what the weather is doing, there is always something interesting to see. Riverwalking is top of my list as I can almost guarantee not to meet any humans along the way, but there is always an abundance of wildlife, that seem to sense that I am no threat to them and hang about long enough to make it feel that they are keeping me company. Some of the birds actually follow me for  a while until they fly off to find somethiing more interesting. 

What is equally intersting is the riverlife; fish, crayfish, shrimp and a variety of other creatures that rarely ever experience humans walking in their space, so simply do not disappear until I get up very close. I often wonder why it is that people seem to prefer their noisy, polluted, concrete jungles to the tranquility of a shallow riverwalk. 

However, I would not wish to broadcast this experience too widely in case it ever caught on and the previous tranquility be metamorphosed into a human highway. 

Best wishes



I don't do coffee, but running the dog at the lake and getting 2-3 miles in myself is always good for the body and mind.

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Yo HenryM

Just a thought on your midriff, just in case? When I first experienced this, I converted to suspenders with great success.

Being a Levi's and t-shirt (James Dean) type guy for over 60 years, it was a high-level option that wouldn't have been considered 10 years earlier.

I reversed the midriff issue but stuck with the suspenders.

For what it's worth


Reply to corbiator!

Thanks... I often wear the type of suspenders that connect to each side of my jeans, then up over the shoulders as usual.  The problem with the jacket that I mentioned is that it is now simply too small and, ergo, too tight around the middle when I try to secure it.  If it's cold enough to wear such a jacket, it's too cold to leave the damn thing unzipped.  Perhaps next winter....  if I lay off the snacks.

Reply to Ritz

Love, love, love Arizona....lived there 27 years.....the desert is amazing with a beauty all its own...what is your (and Henry's) secret to get you outside and walking in the wee hours of the morning? Love my a.m. coffee, wish it was a cup of motivation instead but sadly not so - it calls my name anytime between 4:30 am and 6 am....but that walk to the kitchen is the longest one I do at that hour.


Hi Henry, how crazy is it that it's 32 degrees in Florida, while here on the southwest coast of Canada, it's been between a low of 41 at night, to a high of 53 degrees for the last few days? Good thing you kept those Utah clothes! I walk every day and I find that I lose weight during the winter, even though my activity level remains the same. I think it's because I burn off more calories walking in the cold. If it stays cold down there much longer, maybe you'll be able to get into that jacket again!


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