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I awoke up at 3:00 am yesterday and was as excited as a kid in a candy store with empty pockets and no money!

But I could not understand why I felt so down.

I usually am up between 3:45 and 4:30 am – which may seem too early for most – but I go to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 pm each night.  Usually, Holly Golightly wakes me up each morning and lets me know when it is time for bed.

But yesterday, I woke Holly up at three o’clock in the morning, and it seemed to take her by surprise.  She opened her eyes but did not move.  It was her way of telling me she did not want to get up.

Normally, I have to pick her up to put her on the bed, and when it is time for her to get up, I pick her up and place her gently on the floor.  She’s thirteen years old and not as active as she used to be.

So, instead, I decided to let her stay in bed while I made my coffee and got her breakfast ready.  We all have those kinds of mornings when nothing is as important as a little more shut-eye.

I had just finished my first cup of coffee and was catching up on my email when it dawned on me:  maybe I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms!

But withdrawal from what?

At that very moment, a light flashed on in my empty head – and a moment of complete clarity followed.

It was withdrawal from not walking!

Actually, it wasn’t so much the walking that I missed – it was my friends from the Vancouver ‘Venturers!  Since the New Year, because of the pandemic restrictions and/or health issues, I have only been on one walk with the club.

I checked the schedule to see if there was a walk on Tuesday and was happy to learn that the walk was in Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona, Convention Center, and along the inner harbor’s waterfront.

I usually avoid the downtown walks during the week because of rush hour traffic.  It usually takes me forty minutes to drive downtown from Langley – during non-rush hour times.  But in the rush hour – it takes twice that long!

And like most people – after driving during rush hour, my nerves are frazzled, and my enthusiasm is nearly empty.

However, when I arrive at a walk’s starting point and see my friends’ smiling faces as they greet me – I become as happy as a kid in a candy store, with a pocket full of quarters!

And as I continued reading my emails, I kept getting an urge to go for a walk in downtown Vancouver.  So, I decided to leave the house at 7:00 am and take my time driving to the city.  The walk begins at 9:30 am.

There is comfort in not being rushed or stressed from the numerous working drones on their commute to work.  These drivers are the ones who switch lanes without signaling and end up cutting you off.

But Danny boy has his favorite music playing, and he is driving in the slow lane – all the way to the city and smiling from ear-to-ear!

And wouldn’t you know it – I got there in about 60 minutes!  It was 8:05, and I would now have to wait until about 9:00 am, when my friends begin arriving at JJ Bean Coffee House, on Bute Street, which is the starting point of this walk.

I drove to a covered parking lot and paid $15 for the day.  Then I called my buddy Philip to see if he would be walking.

Philip said he would meet me at about 9:15.

So, I sat in my vehicle and wondered what I could do to pass the time.  I decided to get a coffee.  I had already drunk two cups of coffee at home but figured there would be lots of washrooms along the way.

I am like the character ‘Fish’ on the old Barney Miller tv show – I can pass by anything but a washroom!

As I got out of my vehicle, I couldn’t find my winter gloves or the toque (knitted cap) that I usually have in the car.  But during the move to my new place, I put all of my winter clothes into my storage locker.  After all, it was Spring!

But it was only 1 degree Celsius – which is colder than a politician’s heart!

I quickly walked to the coffee shop and ordered a large latte.  As I walked along Alberni Street, I noticed that all of the stores had a sign on their door that indicated they opened at 11:00 am.

So, I wouldn’t even be able to purchase a pair of gloves to wear during the walk!

When I got back to my vehicle, I drank my coffee and tried to think of an excuse not to walk.  But a voice from within reminded me that I am not a quitter and that I needed to put my big boys’ pants on!  I would hate to become such a wimp.

And then I got a flash!

There is a Shoppers Drug Mart on Robson Street, and drug stores are always open early.

So, I walked several blocks, and when inside the store, the only gloves I could find were light, garden gloves in size Large, that fit like a size Medium.  Maybe they were meant for ladies.

$7.00 garden gloves are not made for the cold!

Although I have large hands, I decided that they were better than nothing.

I paid the clerk the $7.00 and put them on.  But as I walked back to my vehicle, my hands seemed to get colder – even though I was wearing the gloves!

So I walked down the street with my gloved hands inside my pant pockets to keep warm.  I worried that passersby might think that I was playing ‘pocket pool.’

Hey Danny, what the heck is a pocket pool?

Well, Spanky, back in the day, if you were raised in a family that did not have a lot of money for buying toys, your mom would cut holes in your pant pockets – so you could play with yourself.  And one of the games you’d play might be the pocket pool (billiards)!

Anyway, sorry for the interruption.

At about 9:15 am, I left my vehicle and walked the two blocks to JJ Bean – the start point for the walk.  From a distance, I could see Agnes and a few other walkers.

After signing the register and paying the one-dollar fee, I spoke with Susan, one of my gal pals.

Sue told me that Doug Jackson’s sister had passed away a week ago.  She had cancer.  And then, within the week, Doug’s mother passed away!  (Doug is the president of our walking club).

I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been for Doug, and his wife, Nancy.

I hate cancer so much!

I wanted to give Doug a huge hug but had to settle for an elbow bump.  It left me with a lump in my throat and a hole in my heart.  It was like a dark cloud had suddenly enveloped everything.  Mothers should never have to bury their children!

The walk began at 9:35, but Philip and I waited until the registration ended at 10:00 to walk with Agnes and three other walkers.

We were walking along the cobbled streets of Gastown when I started to feel a bit queasy.  It dawned on me that I had not had breakfast!

I was so excited earlier that I forgot to make a nutritional shake.

I haven’t eaten solid food since 2009 and have lived on nutritional shakes such as Ensure and Premium Protein.  I also have a bowl of pureed potato soup each day.

At that point, I should have excused myself from the group and gone home.  Besides, my hands were freezing.

But stupid me – not wanting to be a quitter – I remained silent and continued walking.

Patricia and I were walking together, and she suggested we go inside a large souvenir shop to see if they sold warm gloves.  But all we could find were bright red mittens with CANADA in large white letters!

I felt like a tourist wearing these, but they kept my hands warm!

I bought them and paid $30.  The shop owner must have been happy to make the sale.  Many businesses in Gastown depend on cruise ships and tourists – and there hasn’t been any for a year because of the pandemic.

And although I felt weird wearing CANADA mittens – they were nice and warm!

We continued walking for another hour and a half and were in the large park beside the Vancouver Convention Center, and I had to sit down.  I was totally exhausted, and my whole body was trying to tell me to stop walking!

Agnes noticed that I was in pain and asked if I was okay.  I told her my back was aching, but that was the least of my problem – but I didn’t want to alarm anyone with how I actually was feeling.

I sat on a nearby bench and told the group to continue without me.  I planned to remain on the bench until I got back some energy.

The group walked on, but after a minute or two, I noticed that they were returning to where I was sitting.  They encouraged me to walk with them because we were so close to the finish line.

About ten minutes later, we were back at JJ Bean’s Coffee House.  I went inside to buy a coffee for the trip home.

I was happy that I finished the 10 km walk but was angry at myself for not quitting earlier.  But as I mentioned earlier – boys mature much later than girls do!  Or maybe boys are not as smart as girls.

Here are some photos of the walk:

The $7 gloves...
didn't keep my hands warm...

A mural I had never seen before...

Mittens that saved my hands

Not sure what species of trees

The city's blossom-lined streets

added beauty to the walk...

More city streets to walk

These beautiful dogs were waiting nearby the finish line

But I wasn't allowed to pet them

Holly was excited to see me when I got home.  I drank a few nutritional shakes and had a hot bath.

Holly and I went to bed, and I fell asleep immediately.

A few hours later, my phone was ringing – it woke me up.

It was my buddy, Norm (the northern one), and he sounded excited.

He had just checked the lottery numbers, and we had won a total of $49.20!

And that made me happy.  Not the money – it was the getting lucky that gave me a boost of happiness!

I spent most of Wednesday in bed with Holly.

I was feeling both stupid and thankful for the walk on Tuesday.  But it was never about the walk – I just missed seeing and being with my friends.

But it was a lesson learned.

I decided not to participate in club walks for a few weeks or months – until Holly and I are in our new place.

I plan to take her for short walks each day, and then after I am confident that she’ll be okay to be left alone, I will hopefully get back to normal.

Meanwhile, I am planning a pajama party for May 1st.  I will be inviting ten gal pals (who are single) because Holly is afraid of men.

In closing, I just received the new Eagles – Live from the Forum – a boxed set of LPs, CDs and a DVD of the concert.

Deacon Frey, son of the late Glenn Frey, is now with the group, and so is Vince Gill.

I’ve already listened to the complete concert and love it!!!

Here’s a link to the Photo Gallery – where I’ve included disc 1 of the Eagles concert.  Come back tomorrow to hear disc 2 from the concert.

There is also a BlueRay DVD of the concert that I hope to watch today.

UPDATE:  Saturday, April 3rd – I just finished watching the concert on the BlueRay DVD and it was awesome!  If you are an Eagle fan –  beg, or borrow a copy of this DVD.

You will love the concert or I’ll buy you a beer!

Please stay safe and be well.  And please be smarter than me!

Dedicated to Doug and Nancy Jackson

I hope my stories are a gift to your head and heart!



Click on this Index to view my 215+ stories.

Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):

Take it to the Limit – lyrics

All alone at the end of the evening
When the bright lights have faded to blue
I was thinking ’bout a woman who might have loved me
I never knew

You know I’ve always been a dreamer
(Spent my life running ’round)
And it’s so hard to change
(Can’t seem to settle down)
But the dreams I’ve seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

You can spend all your time making money
You can spend all your love making time
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
Would you still be mine?

And when you’re looking for your freedom
(Nobody seems to care)
And you can’t find the door
(Can’t find it anywhere)
When there’s nothing to believe in
Still you’re coming back, you’re running back,
You’re coming back for more

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit one more time

Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit one more time

Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit
Take it to the limit one more time

Songwriters: Glenn Lewis Frey / Don Henley / Randy Meisner
Take It to the Limit lyrics © Cass County Music, Red Cloud Music, Warner Chappell Music

About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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By Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).

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2 thoughts on “Yesterday

  1. Why do we men always have to appear so macho?….you would think at our ages we have nothing to prove, and we don’t, yet we still do stupid things to convince ourselves and others that we can still treat our bodies like we are invincible. Nice story and glad everything worked out OK. Beautiful pictures. You know the pink is cherry and I believe the white is a starletta tree.
    Norm from south of the border. No, not Mexico!

    1. I agree, Norm. I plan to sit in the corner and wear one of those pointed caps to show the world how stupid I am. But thanks for liking the story and I appreciated learning the name of the tree with the white blossoms. I would have guessed that the other was a cherry tree but my cherry tree hasn’t got any blossoms, yet. By the way, when I get my big screen tv, you and Gina will need to come to my digs to watch a Mariners or Seahawks game! Hugs and Love to you both! Danny

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