Robb and I went out walking yesterday. Thanks to a suggestion by our friend Lea, we discovered another bit of wild space in the middle of Oakland. Robb took the trekking poles, and we did a short but pleasant hike. See that tiny bright blue dot at the end of the path? That's Robb.
I had been thinking about how, when Robb was first home from the hospital, we would go on outings where the extent of the hike would be to go from the car to the nearest bench or picnic table, and then stay there. On those early outings, Robb had great trouble walking if the ground was anything other than golf-course smooth and flat.
The walk yesterday started with a steep decline, on very uneven terrain. I think we probably walked a half a mile, altogether. This may not sound like much, but that is because most of you weren't in the room during the early early days, where walking one hundred feet in a therapy gym was a huge accomplishment.
After our walk, we drove to Piedmont (an affluent and mysterious town, which, as far as I can tell, seceded from the City of Oakland, by which it is entirely surrounded). I am in the market for some rainy weather boots, so we stopped into a funky little shoe store.
When Robb was first home from the hospital, he could only shop in uncrowded wide-open stores. This shoe store was one of those crammed-full-of-stuff stores, without clear pathways. Robb said that he really wasn't sure if he could handle the confusion and crowd of the store when he first walked in the door, but as it turned out, it wasn't a big deal.
Now, I'm not saying, "WHOO HOOO!!!! LET THE SHOPPING COMMENCE!" Neither Robb nor I are big shoppers. But what I am celebrating is how Robb is much more confident, and can begin letting go of some of the hyper-cautious habits he learned when he was first learning to walk.
Faithful blog readers need not be disappointed. No hike is complete without nature photos.
The seasons are changing, but autumn is so totally different from what either Robb or I grew up with. In the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast, plants would be turning bright gaudy colors, and preparing for frost. Out here, everything seems dry and golden, in anticipation of the winter rains. The greenest month in this part of the country seems to be December. I've still not gotten used to that!
The birds were raucous, but elusive. Robb spotted this impressive fellow, who was willing to sit still for me.
East Coasters should note the leaves our not-so-little friend is sitting on. Those are not holly leaves, although they look and feel similar. Those are the eponymous oaks of Oakland.