Most of my days begin and end the same way. Follow me around for a day, not just any day, but today, Thursday, September 06, 2018.

I am not an early riser because I like to stay up midnight or later. There are a couple of TV shows I like to listen to. Did you notice I said “listen” instead of “watch?” That’s because I am usually working on a project on my computer at the same time. Inspiration often strikes at the stroke of midnight and I must take advantage of it because the idea may vanish before morning.

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Waking up to fresh air coming through my bedroom window and wafting across my face is heavenly. In my humble opinion, West Head is a little piece of heaven. I have a panoramic view of West Head that stretches to the horizon where the sky and ocean meet.

Next, I crawl out of bed and hurry to “The Bayman,” better known as “Peterson’s” to have coffee with friends. Our little group is made up of retired men and women age 60 and up from various backgrounds — fishermen, plant workers, technicians and teachers. We enjoy each other’s company enormously. Each of us has been scarred by the hard knocks of life — illness, death, loneliness, money troubles and fears to name a few.

Yes, we have regrets and have made mistakes, but we do not dwell on them. From time to time, we shed tears with each other.  We acknowledge that life is not fair, never has been, never will be, but we have determined to put one foot ahead of the other each day and keep on going. If you could be a fly on the wall, you would hear gales of laughter as one funny story leads to another. Can you believe Lockeport used to have gangs? The Chain Gang and the Feather Gang were two of them.

These days, the topic of conversation quickly turns to how much water we have or do not have in our wells. Some believe it is bad luck to measure it. The lucky ones have several feet of water and the unlucky ones only have inches. I belong to the latter group – 15 inches with no sign of measurable rainfall in the forecast.  It has oft been said that we don’t miss the water until the well goes dry. Will we spend thousands of dollars to drill a new well?

An hour or two later, we go our separate ways to face the ups and downs of the day. Walking is always on my mind as I strive for 10,000 steps per day. Most mornings, I leave the coffee shop and walk a loop that takes me down Church Road, go right at the bottom of the hill, walk back to the main road and then back to the coffee shop which totals about 5,000 steps. Today, however, was a different story. At the foot of Church Road hill, I turned left and walked and ran all the way home to West Head – 11,000 steps or about 4.5 miles. NO SORE FEET, HIPS OR KNEES!!! Hey, could this be a 20,000-step day? I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I should walk back to “The Bayman” to get my vehicle. Bahaha!

A couple of funny things happened on my way home. As I was running through East Green Harbour, a kind lady I did not recognize stopped and asked if I needed a ride. Did I look like I was about to keel over? Was I being chased by a bear?  Was my tongue dragging on the road? I smiled and told her I was running on purpose.

I had no water with me because I had not planned to walk the whole way home. I got thirstier with each step and my lips felt gooey. Where could I get a drink? Aha, my friend Connie’s car was home. A knock on the door and I received a refreshing drink of water.

Back home, I guzzle some Gatorade, take up residence in my recliner, whip open my computer and write, off and on, for the remainder of the day. Every hour or so, I talk a 2,000-step walk.

By late afternoon I  ask, “Hey, Glenn, what’s for supper?” to which he faithfully replies, “Why, are you hungry?” I realize I am blessed to have a husband who cooks. On my own, the menu would be cereal and fruit. And he thought I married him for his money.

Lest you feel envious, please know this gift came at great personal cost. When my life collapsed around me in the mid-nineties, Glenn took over the cooking and discovered he loved meal-planning, grocery shopping and cooking.  Believe me, if you dislike cooking, it is not worth having your life fall apart to have someone cook for you. Eat cake, if you must.

Evening rolls in and we wonder who will stop by for a visit tonight. Will Wendy and I thrash Glenn and Francis at a game of “ROOK” or will Glenn, Ruth, Edsel and I watch the BLUEJAYS clobber another team as they do frequently? All events begin and end with food and laughter.

Well, friends, the day is drawing to a close. We picked up my car that sat in “The Bayman” parking lot all day causing many to wonder why I was there all day.  It’s dark outside, Glenn has gone to bed and it’s time to settle down to “listen” to my TV shows.

And there you have it – a typical day in the life of Melda Roache Clark. It is impossible to choose the most wonderful time of my day, but spending an hour or two with Rita, Molly, Bill, David and John is near the top of the list.

row of red hearts