Minimum Maintenance

Road closed ahead

This morning we find the cooler air inviting. It invites us to attempt that four mile walk again. The other day we left the yard and headed north only to have Molasses follow us and have to return with a cat in tow. At one mile he was tired of running to catch us and began crying. The next two days it rained and we had to do stay home.

The air is cool and damp. I find a reflective vest for myself and stuff my fanny pack with treats and my inhaler. Honey dances and prances trying to tug on the leash and pull me her way. This is her way of saying “Hurry Up! I have been ready forever.” She is so happy to go with me. We head north again and feel the gentle breeze on our faces. Her nose is very busy. The atypical light breeze is so lovely.

There are only two vehicles before we turn to go east. They see my vest and slow way down. I think I’ll tell Gavin to get me a smaller one that fits better. This one is the vest he forgot to take off at work the day he was angry at a supervisor. It really needs to be washed. It smells like EDM oil and burned plastic.

Heading east we pass the cat-tail bottom. There are no cat tails yet. The frogs croak quite loudly at us. Honey smells an animal track. I tell her to leave it. The rest of this mile is uneventful. We pass the neighbor’s driveway and the hay field. The silence is so peaceful. The traffic on the interstate two miles further east echoes over the tops of our heads.

We arrive at the corner to head south. Honey doesn’t even have to be told to turn right. She just does it. There are some birds arguing on this mile. The meadowlark, the whipporwhirl, the chickadees, the sparrows, and the killdeer all sing their song of warning to us. I always love the sound of the bird who says “I’m over here- don’t look over there!” And other favorite cry is the “Pretty bird! Listen to me-me-me-me!”

The north to south route seems to take forever. I don’t know why it seems like such a long mile. Probably because there are no groves or driveways or any thing to break the space up. The only thing to notice on the mile is sounds and the last truck tracks.

My daughter helped me tape up my two toes that like to slide under the other. But on this mile my pinky on my right food decides to slide under also. The needles that poke me because of this hurt. I stop to do some stretches while Honey smells a track. She is enjoying the walk better than I am at this point.

We arrive at the minimum maintenance road. They have added a large warning “Road Closed.” I decide that we should have gone south and the been able to turn around rather than have to wade through the puddle. “Poodles and Doodles don’t like puddles,” I say. Honey ignores me and marches west right towards the sound of the running water.

Yep, this road is definitely minimally maintained. The two culverts are in desperate need of repair. No one lives on the road however, so it is not a priority. The five inches of rain have done a much damage to the road. There are holes and running water in five different places. Walking the road is okay so far. We just go around the holes. Well, I do. Honey goes right up to them and checks out the sound.

I am thankful the snapping turtle that my neighbor saw the other day has decided the road is not place for her today. That would not have been a good encounter. I didn’t see Any tracks of hers. We saw some small prints of coyote or fox. We also saw the deer tracks in the bottom on the south road. But I was more concerned with how deep the mud would be. As we pass the old abandoned acreage, I see ahead the bottom is indeed wet. Oh well. Tennis shoes wash.

Honey is most interested in the deer tracks. They are quite fresh. Within the hour, I tell her that it is the deer who was eating our plum tree. She wags her tail at me for talking to her. No worries though if the deer tracks are still in the puddle ahead, it should not be over my toes when we plod though it.

The water makes it’s way into my socks as we take on the puddle. I really hate wet feet. The mud does not affect my girl. She just keeps moving forward. I look back at the water and am surprised at how wet it looks from the opposite side. For sure we would have turned around if I had chosen to go south first from the home place rather than north.

When the minimum maintenance turns into a closed road, what path do you take? Would you plod though the water to get to other side? Would you turn around and go back the long way home? Honey and I chose the short route and just push through the mud puddle.

Miry blog.

Isn’t there a verse about that? My mind searches my memory bank all the last mile. We are back on the black top and must listen for vehicle sounds again. There is one semi-trailer to interrupt my searching thought. I am home, have fed the dog, petted the cat and drank another cup of coffee before I remember the passage.

Psalms 40: 2 says “He drew me up front he pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set me feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” (ESV) The miry bog.

Miry bog. Miry. wow- who uses that word these days?


For a total of 20 steps there was miry bog. I will not focus on the trouble that rainwater gave to our path. The rest of the walk is so enjoyable. In spite of the wet socks and the muddy feet. I feel secure walking with my friend. She keeps me plodding forward when the road gets tough. But more than a good companion, the One who pulls me out of the pit is the Lord. His deliverance from the “muck and mire” of life is more like rocks that rise above the mire. His stepping stones through the the miry bog keep me secure.

My faith cannot be minimally maintained. I need these therapeutic walks every few days. Time to reflect and just be. While it is fun to look ahead and look back, being in the moment while I walk with Honey keeps me sane. She sees and smells and warns me of holes and puddles. The Lord is my steady road through all the muck and the mire of life.

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