Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It's important to stay grounded, in every sense, so I'd like to wax (wax?) more concretely than usual today. Anyone who knows me knows we've had knee trouble in our household over the past few years. Nothing stops you in your tracks quite like knee trouble. It's all behind us, fortunately — Mr. Betty got a new knee. But now my knee clicks with nearly every step, so either there's some sort of weird transference or sympathetic knee situation going on here, or my walks around town won't last forever ...

Anyway, I was chatting with a guy named Mike (a stranger, but a local, so it didn't feel strange at all) when I went for a walk at Second Beach one morning. We were the only people on Second Beach that morning. That may sound steamy, but the only steam was the sea-smoke rising off the winter water. Oh, and each of our breaths hanging for a second in mid-air before dissipating as we stood there on virtually untracked sand clutching coffee cups with both hands.

Mike was in shorts. (It's December, remember.) Mike said he always wears shorts — always. And why not?? Those are good-looking knees.

Mike's dog Sadie also has good-looking, as in highly-functional, knees. She was chasing a tennis ball at breakneck (seriously) speed into and out of the gentle surf of very early morning. I can't imagine running like that, and my husband with his new knee certainly can't imagine running like that.

Mike told me, with some authority (when I asked), that the nearby Purgatory-to-Paradise street sign I found myself pondering recently was installed just this past summer. In other words, I haven't spent a lifetime driving by without noticing it — that's a relief.

Then he drew a parallel to Farewell Street, the road out of town ... the idea of which always makes me smile as I give directions to visitors who stop cars and roll down windows to ask the way to the Newport Bridge.

Farewell Street is so-named because it runs between two cemeteries. "That's in the history books," Mike said.

How logical, but I'd never thought of it.

I'd also never thought so much about knees ...