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Birthday Walk in Stanwood, Washington

Updated on September 24, 2013
The creaks? The grinds? Just trees "talking story."
The creaks? The grinds? Just trees "talking story." | Source

My Walking Program for 2013

Days Walked
Elapsed Days
% of Days Walked
101
212
47.6%
Miles Walked
Goal
% Towards Goal
604
1000
60.4%
Weight on 01/01/13
Weight on 08/01/13
Total Weight Loss in 2013
228 lbs
209 lbs
19 lbs

At 14

The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young. ~Oscar Wilde

At 14, I have the courage to rise from the metal folding chair at the east end of the Kapa'a High School gym and boldly march those first few steps towards the sea of girls on the far side.

Before I reach the middle of the floor, however, I am walking tentatively. It seems the gallantry of my heart's light brigade has made like Elvis and left the building.

I was certain that I was going to ask the prettiest girl in school for a dance. And since the opening eight bars suggested a ballad, my confidence had reared its rarely seen head. I mean, I can do slow dances. I'm pretty good at holding a girl and rocking from one foot to the other. What I can't do is anything requiring my body to move rhythmically.

The aggressive guys pass me like wildebeests anticipating tall grass on the other side of the river.

I have faltered, and in the rite of passage known as the high school dance, there is absolutely no room for faltering. As in life, it's survival of the fittest, baby, and faltering is just one big exclamation point animatedly kicking LOSER in the ass.

The worst thing any teenage boy can do at this point is to turn and do the long, awkward, and extremely embarrassing retreat back to his chair. You might as well get your sweater and head for the exit and hope the weekend is long and busy enough for everyone else at the dance so they won't remember your Friday night fiasco.

So, instead, I try to show some class as I slowly form an arc in my path, gradually veering to the area where the wallflowers hang out.

Whoever says that there's no such thing as a caste system in America sadly lingers in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Just ask any adolescent you see in the cafeteria at lunch time. Or, better yet, at a high school dance.

I am a geek. A brain. A cop's kid. An obsessive-compulsive club joiner. Name a club, and I'm a member. A wannabe jock--good enough to make varsity but never good enough to be a starter; oh, and yeah, I am very, very good at warming the bench.

So, I really fit in well with the wallflowers. I'm shy; they're shy. They boost my non-existent self-esteem, and I think I boost theirs. Works for me!

A contemporary Don Quixote, I've never met a windmill I didn't joust.
A contemporary Don Quixote, I've never met a windmill I didn't joust.
My lengthy shadow is evidence of my very early morning start.
My lengthy shadow is evidence of my very early morning start.

With Great Purpose

The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose. ~Charles Dickens

July 27, 2013.

I woke up early this morning with great purpose.

Today is my 61st birthday, and I am going to celebrate the first tenth of my seventh decade here on earth by going for a long walk. In fact, I'm inaugurating a new long-term personal goal with this walk. Each year, on my birthday, I am going to walk as many miles as I am older than fifty. Today, then, I'll walk eleven. Next year, twelve. The year after that, thirteen. God willing, on my 70th birthday, I will walk 20 miles!

Lofty dreams? Not very long ago, I would have thought so. But I've learned that when I put to task what my mind dreams about, amazing things can happen.

A universal truth I've learned is that life is about negotiating the things that stand in my way. It's not about wiping out an obstacle. It's about creatively strategizing a way to hurdle that challenge.

What's standing in my way today is the town of Stanwood.

And how am I going to hurdle this obstacle?

Simple. I'm going to ask Ms. Stanwood for the next dance.

I love what crops up in a field left to its own devices.
I love what crops up in a field left to its own devices.

Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Wallflowers Roam!

The Legend of Sleepy Willow
The Legend of Sleepy Willow
Is that YOU, Wilbur?
Is that YOU, Wilbur?
Belle of the Garden Figurines
Belle of the Garden Figurines
Main Street Mural
Main Street Mural

Walking is My Time Machine

We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams.
~
H.G. Wells

I walk purposefully towards the heart of rural downtown Stanwood from the gentrified heights on its outskirts.

In deference to the 14-year-old boy, I do not falter as I walk.

Instead, I move with conviction. My strides are long; my carriage is stable; and my breathing is rhythmically comfortable.

Seattle, 53 miles to the south, may be the prettiest girl at the dance, but I am compelled to make the acquaintance of and engage in casual flirtation with my wallflower, Ms. Stanwood.

In so doing, I am taking very good care of that 14-year-old boy. While I am ever mindful of and present in the moment, my walking emphatically declares its vehicular value as a time machine.

You did not falter for naught, my dear young man. That fateful night when you attempted to camouflage your social inadequacies set into motion a chain of sweet mysteries. For one thing, you discovered the unrequited and sensual beauty of Wallflower Nation. For another, unbeknownst to you, you became an honorary member of the Wallflower Club.

In your four years at Kapa'a High, you danced with every wallflower, and you thoroughly enjoyed every magical moment.

Later, in the afterglow of every Friday night dance, as you washed your face and brushed your teeth, you perceived yourself to be a tad bit handsome. And you were pleasantly surprised by the revelation.

The quiet of the lonely road before me in the waning minutes before 7 AM is split asunder by the loud knocking of a redheaded woodpecker. Like my feathered red, white, and blue friend, I am intent on accomplishing my objective.

At 36 seconds into this video, you'll see a Starbucks where I once indulged in a "tall blonde" (the drink, not the barista) while writing a personal essay.

Chewing the Cud--Bovine Social Media
Chewing the Cud--Bovine Social Media
Don't ever fence me in!
Don't ever fence me in!

Why Do I Liken Stanwood to a Wallflower?

Because she's there.

Waiting for someone to notice her.

Yearning to be asked for a dance.

Tired of being overlooked. Wanting to be given a good looking over.

Fantasizing about taking off those dull, heavy-framed glasses; tossing the bun and liberating her shoulder-length tresses; tearing her restrictive white blouse and black skirt off, and

Emerging from the self-imposed cocoon of despair as...

Wonder Woman!

Wallflower Cuddling
Wallflower Cuddling
Where my gorgeous wallflower waits for me...
Where my gorgeous wallflower waits for me...

What's the Greatest Benefit of Going on an Eleven-Mile Walk?

R O I.

Return On Investment.

The perks? The bennies? The rewards?

At 14, I faltered on the dance floor and pretended to be cool and suave and debonair by asking a wallflower to dance with me. Me! The ultimate Guy Wallflower!

And she said, YES!

I ended up enjoying the experience.

So, like the true nerd that I was (and still am to this day), I repeated the successful venture, and the thing compounded into a universal lesson.

Look past the glitter and glam, the cosmetically enhanced and superficial, and find the plain and simple truth.

A wallflower has a unique and endearing quality that the prettiest girl at the dance could never touch.

Invariably, without fail, a wallflower--over time--will appreciate a thousand times over in beauty, substance, and value.

This was true of Ms. Stanwood on my walk today.

And it's especially true with my beloved wallflower of 31 years.

Aloha and Mahalo! Welcome back anytime!
Aloha and Mahalo! Welcome back anytime!

© 2013 Hawaiian Odysseus

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @nanderson

    Hey, Nick!

    Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, Stanwood is a great place--a great combination of farmland, quaint logging town with cool antique shops, country ambiance, and suburban appeal...and not so far away from the Emerald City and the Seahawks! LOL! Congratulations on your awesome success at picking the games through week 3! Aloha, my friend!

    ~Joe

  • nanderson500 profile image

    nanderson500 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Stanwood is a nice place. You do a very nice job of depicting it here. Great pics and writing!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, Brandi!

    Thank you, my new walking partner via HP! There's always enough cake and ice cream on my birthday walks, my friend. Thank you for joining me, and I am even more grateful for your beautiful writing, especially the poetic prose adorned with lovely pictures about your strolls through nature. Aloha, and may your weekend involve continued discovery of innovative ways of looking at what's right in front of us.

    ~Joe

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

    Joe, I'm always late to a good party. I'm sorry I missed this one. Happy Birthday Friend! ~ Brandi

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Brad! Hope the 'Boys have a better year in 2013-2014. If I have any concern about Seattle, it's in their pass rushing. Hopefully, that'll improve over the next few weeks. They have a real test, preseason or not, in Green Bay on Friday night. A real bonus, offense wise, is that they have a strong backup QB in Tavaris Jackson.

    I wish you the very best in your Fantasy Football League this year. You wrote a tremendous hub last year about some of the dynamics going on with your respective FFL circle, and I hope to read more about your experiences this coming season.

    Have a wonderful day, young Brad, and just for grins, if they ever make the movie based on your award winning autobiography someday, my casting choice to play you would be that very talented and astronomically rising star, Cuba Gooding Jr. I've always thought highly of his acting, just as I've always thought highly of your writing, and that's why I picked him to play you. Thank you, Brad, for being a really cool neighbor here on HP. Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • prospectboy profile image

    Bradrick H. 3 years ago from Texas

    You're very welcome sir! That's pretty cool that you thought of me while watching the game. I didn't catch that one. I've been watching the Dallas Cowboys preseason games to see what they're gonna have this year. There are so many question marks.

    I think that Seattle is definitely a dangerous team heading into the season. Another year for Russell Wilson to develop even more, a solid running back in Marshawn Lynch, and an awesome defense gives them all the tools to be successful. It's going to be tough for them to win their division since they're in such a competitive one, but it should be interesting nonetheless.

    I've yet to draft in any of the three fantasy football leagues that I'm playing in this year. I would definitely be interested in snatching up Wilson or Lynch if they happen to fall to me though. This time of the year is so exciting. Hope you're having a great week thus far.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, Deborah, and thank you so much for your lovely birthday wish. You brought a smile to my face when you mentioned a hundredth birthday. Why not, right?

    Stanwood is a very pleasant mix of suburbia and old rural logging town. One can be content to visit its antique shops and stroll through the quaint downtown area. You're just a short walk away from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. A 45 minute ride south takes you to the Emerald City of Seattle. So, yes, it's an area of picturesque appeal. My wife and I visit this area (almost 6 hours of driving from our home in SE Washington) about 2-3 times a year. This was my first long walk in Stanwood, and I'm so thankful I had an opportunity to share it with you and others. Aloha, and have a great week!

    ~Joe

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    Happy bleated birthday. I love your idea of a birthday walk. But it's going to be tough to walk 50 miles on your hundredth birthday. You may have to split it up over a couple of days. : )

    Stanwood looks like a lovely place.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Brad!

    Thank you so much for your kind words, my friend! This certainly was a fun hub to write as well as "walk" in Stanwood, WA.

    I was thinking of you last night when Seattle was shellacking the stunned Broncos at Century Link field. True, it was only a pre-season game, but you couldn't have seen more extraordinary combined football offense than that displayed by the Seahawks last night. And the defense was stellar as well!

    Next week, they go into Green Bay, and that will be an even greater test.

    I'm looking forward to an exciting season, Brad, as I know you are, too. Just curious...do you have any Seahawks on your fantasy league team this year?

    Blessings and aloha to you, my friend. Have a great week ahead!

    ~Joe

  • prospectboy profile image

    Bradrick H. 3 years ago from Texas

    First off, I want to wish you a happy belated birthday! I don't have to say the words "I hope you had a great one", like I normally would. This hub alone lets me know you had more than a great one. Secondly, you have once again amazed me at how well you illustrate and draw comparisons. You probably get tired of me saying this, but it can't be said enough since it's the truth; "Another amazing hub sir!" Like many of your previous hubs, this one brought a smile to my face, and took me back to when I was in high school trying to fit in and find my place. It's really great that at the young age of 61 that you're able to vividly recall those precious moments in your life. Great job again, and continued success to you. Voted up, rated awesome, shared, Facebooked!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Okay, good to know, Jim! Thanks for the info!

    And for those readers who come across this message, please search for xstatic and find his hubs about his terrific acting experiences. Oh, and while you're there, check out his other great hubs as well!

    Thanks again, Jim! Take care, and I'll see you at the next hub!

    ~Joe

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Hi again Joe! The Bad Exorcists film is in "post production editing, I think. The short film about PTSD, called Never Gonna Break opened last week as one of 14 films invited to the Santa Monica Film Festival and got the Best Drama award, so that was pretty cool. I am signed up on a couple of actor sites so will hope for more opportunity.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Jim!

    I have been thinking about you. Hope all is well with you and that you're having a nice, relaxing, and maybe a little adventurous summer. How are things going with the filming, or is that project all wrapped up and now being processed? I had a wonderful 61st, thank you, and we had a great time touring Whidbey Island and walking along the bridge at Deception Pass (that connects the island with mainland Washington) and taking a lot of pictures. One thing I noticed and appreciated as I walked the 11 miles in Stanwood is that the air on the west side of the Cascades is menthol cool compared to the dry desert heat. Perhaps that refreshing ambiance helped me to walk further without feeling exhausted and dehydrated. Thanks for stopping by, Jim!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Sorry I missed this one! A very merry un-birthday to you, Joe, today ! This is a splendid hub and the parallels in it are delightful.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Rajan!

    So nice of you to drop by in the midst of your very busy schedule. I always appreciate hearing from you and knowing that you and I are in each other's corner. Aloha, my friend!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you for your birthday wish and wonderful comments, Elias! I enjoy walking and writing, and it's great to be able to pay passionate respect to both activities simultaneously. Aloha, and have a wonderful day, my friend!

    ~Joe

  • Elias Zanetti profile image

    Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

    Happy birthday, Joe ... and what an amazing read! You have the ability to transform a walk into a whole journey with your great writing and wonderful pictures!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Happy birthday, Joe and I hope you had the walk of the day on this occassion. The resolution to walk as many miles as years over 50 is daunting for sure.

    Aloha and have a wonderful day!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Karen!

    No, I don't mind at all! It's actually a very nice thing. My mother-in-law and I shared the same birthday. Alex Rodriguez, a former Seattle Mariner and now an infamous Yankee headliner--can you say, enhancement drugs?--shares the same birthday. Along with, of course, a very popular and successful HubPages writer--YOU! All I can say is, our respective parents must have had some very romantic Octobers...

    ~Joe

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

    Ha ha...you only had it 8 years before I came along. You don't mind if I share it do you? After all we have writing in common as well as our birthdays!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Karen!

    Happy Birthday, birthday buddette! : )

    And remember, I had that day for a birthday long before you showed up on that very same date...hmm...about 25 years later?

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

    Love your pictures. They really illustrate your hubs so well. It's as though you are bringing us along on your walks and letting us in on a glimpse of your life. And happy birthday again my birthday buddy!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Deja vu, Eddie!

    Yes, indeed, I had a memorable 61st birthday. My wife's sister and brother-in law hosted us at their home in Stanwood, Washington, and that's how I had an opportunity to go on this pleasant and exhilarating walk. Thank you for coming along on my walk via HubPages! Aloha, my friend!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Wow, I am blessed! Not just one, but two wonderful messages from you! : ) Thanks so much for the the birthday wish, my friend! I'm sorry that I didn't get back to your lovely comments sooner. My wife and I had to move the contents of one of our three lockers to another site because it appears that some birds have poked their heads through the locker insulation. They've build a nest in the rafters, and as a results, we've found the remains of at least four baby birds or embryos in our locker. Needless to say, the smell was quite atrocious. Working in the 97+ degree heat exacerbated the situation...and the smell. We're taking a much needed break. Anyway, these are the circumstances as I write my response to you. Thank you so very much for your kindness, my friend. Aloha, and have a great weekend!

    ~Joe

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    A belated Happy Birthday to you Joe and another gem by you.

    Wonderful read and all those gorgeous pics too.

    Voting up and wish you a great day ahead.

    Eddy.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    Firstly a belated happy birthday to you and I hope you had a great day.

    Secondly a wonderful hub; voted up and shared.

    Eddy.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Ha-ha, Mary, thanks for your clever and ever-delightful humor! I love to challenge myself in different ways and on all sorts of levels. One of my niche targets this year was to write a status report on or about the first day of each month regarding my walking and weight loss program. Rather than settling for just a linear health update, I wanted to weave a montage of vignettes that would hopefully be as entertaining for others to read as it was for me to creatively spin. Feedback like yours, my dear Mary, assure me that I haven't been too far off the mark!

    Hope you had an interesting weekend, my friend. Have a challenging and memorable week ahead! Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill! I had a magnificent weekend, thank you, and hope that yours was topnotch as well. Following a couple days' respite of cool and rainy weather, we're back to sultry summer weather once again. A serious walker needs to get an early start in order to avoid the uncomfortable penetrating heat.

    Thank you for your birthday wish, and a happy belated birthday to you as well, my friend! Yes, slowly but surely, the pounds are coming off. A recent doctor's checkup also revealed that my triglycerides have fallen dramatically, and my cholesterol count is finally within a normal range. I am so glad, Bill, that I stuck to my walking goal for 2013. Blessings and aloha to you from SE Washington!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kathryn!

    Your feedback is something I always look forward to reading. You're like the springboard that gives this high diving Hawaiian the extra kinetic energy needed to soar a few feet higher in order to reach an optimal zenith to an incredible arc downward into a turquoise Pacific lagoon. Thanks for the endorphin rush, my friend and walking companion! Here's to some magnificent strolling this week! Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Pearl!

    Well said about the meteorological expertise of the trees! I believe it! The experienced bend of the coconut trees and the hearty mettle of the ironwood trees along the beaches speak volumes to the wise elders who know how to read them.

    Thank you for joining me on my birthday walk, my friend! Enjoy your strolls in the southern New York woods. Aloha, Pearl!

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Hi Joe, and Happy Belated Birthday! I enjoyed the virtual walk, and the sights I saw along the way. I loved the analogies and felt the shyness you felt at 14. That very long time ago for me was an awkward and introverted era I have tried hard to overcome!

    Since it has settled into a cooler weather pattern, walking in the woods has once again become a comfortable and energizing daily sojourn. It's a time that frees my mind and my soul. By the way, when the trees talk here, they are foretelling the next storm ;) Pearl

    Excellent article my friend. Voted Up+++++

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    I love your walking posts. I like how you weave a seemingly unrelated event into the story, and it shows us another glimpse of the man that you are, and were.

    I am glad that there are guys who notice the wallflowers. I also like how you compared the town of Stanwood to one. Beautiful!

    I saw this yesterday, but didn't get the chance to read this in-depth until now. I'm glad I did now, because the read took me on another journey to a place far away from me.

    Have a wonderful day, and belated happy birthday! 61 is just past a milestone. You are doing awesome for your age (or even for a much younger guy), and you have such lofty goals!

    ~ Kathryn

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi Joe. A happy birthday to you. We almost share the same day, mine being 7/22. I love your birthday ritual of a long walk, what a great idea. I also love the photos in this hub, just beautiful. You are well on your way to achieving your walking goals for the year, keep it going. And 19 pounds lost, congratulations.

    As always Joe, your hubs keep me on the edge of my seat. You really have the ability to capture my attention and you always have me looking forward to your next adventure.

    Happy birthday, hope you are having a great weekend.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

    You have the ability to make any hub not only interesting but fun to read. I mean really, look at all your walking hubs and who could write about Starbucks and make it so interesting? If you had lived in "olden days" you would be the top troubador!

    P.S. I am honored by your words of endearment....no wonder your wife sticks by your side you old fox! (I can call you that because I'm older than you.)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Lisa, you're a gem! Thank you for the belated birthday wish. You're hopefully in bed at the time I'm writing this...someplace I need to be ASAP myself. Got a big day tomorrow as we hope to unload a couple years' worth of yard sales and thrift stores "treasures." So much fun finding things...and a lot of work to list them on eBay...and thus, over time, a lot of stuff was accumulated and stored in three storage lockers. So the earnest prayer is that we get rid of a lot of inventory and hopefully have a nice nest egg for the daughter's tuition. Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm always happy to hear from you! Lots of love and sunshine from what promises to be a very hot SE Washington later today! Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Liz!

    Thank you so much for the birthday wish! I'm honored that you stopped by to enjoy a conglomeration of nostalgia, physical fitness, a bit of NW scenery, and a tribute to wallflowers everywhere. : ) Well, it's late, and we're hosting a yard sale tomorrow...had way too much fun shopping at yard sales and thrift stores over the past couple of years, but we certainly went overboard. So now it's all about sharing the "wealth" with others in the community and hopefully making a few bucks in the process. Have a good night's rest and a memorable and relaxing Sunday! Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • LKMore01 profile image

    LKMore01 3 years ago

    Oh Joe,

    Please accept my sincere apologies for being unable to wish you well on your special day. It is now 3:19am EST and I've yet to sleep. Happy belated birthday. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with all of us. Wish you love and happiness this coming week and always. Aloha!

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Joe- First I want to say Happy Birthday!! I think you brought all of your readers back with to age 14 standing in gym. Amazing how you can remember every detail. I think we've all been in that gym in one capacity or another. This was so beautifully written and I love the little sections of comic relief as well. Congratulations on your goal to walk so many miles. I am in awe because I complain when I walk over three! But this hub (like many of yours) is inspiring. Have a great day, Joe!

    -Liz

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Heather, you made my day! The fact that I have inspired you to go walking means a great deal to me. It means I'm making a positive difference in the HP community; it means I'm involved in a give and take sharing with my fellow writers, and it means that--in spite of my quirky spins and rambling homespun philosophizing--I'm actually making sense to a few individuals.

    Like I said, you made my day!

    Hooray for mapquest! Congratulations on your walking program. Be safe! Aloha, Heather!

    ~Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    YAY! Good for you, Liz! I need to get back there once again and check out your inventory! No wonder it's been quiet around Hubsville lately! LOL!

    Thank you for the birthday wish! Really easy to pronounce: how-OH-lee lah hah-NOW. Okay, good. Now that you've mastered it, say it ten times really fast. Following that, immediately go make a video so I can crack up watching you try to talk. : )

    Because of your enthusiastic response to raiken profits and thriftsquest, among other fabulous eBay-selling YouTubers, I was able to cope with the seasonal doldrums of low sales on eBay. You helped me conquer the challenge that was in front of me. This is an example of what I was talking about. Obstacles will always be there; it's what we do to get past those obstacles that define our character. raiken profits talked about having a $6000 month on eBay. thriftquests is increasing his sales at a phenomenal rate each month. It IS doable, but these guys are busting butt to achieve that level of cash flow.

    So I have to ask myself now and then...what the heck am I doing on HP? The same HP that put five or six people on the home page at one time and showcased them as pulling in thousands of dollars with their hubs each month. Lately, no home page; no testimonials; and no Simone.

    But, like Billy, the obstacle is hurdled by changing my perspective and expectations. There is tremendous intrinsic value in writing for HP. I may never make a lot of money here on HP, but it has payoffs for me that transcend the dollar sign.

    That said, I'm going to take a nap now because tonight, we'll be working hard preparing for our yard sale tomorrow. I also am working on another hub, and I need to tend to my eBay business. All of THIS involves hurdling the obstacle(s) in front of me. I KNOW you're doing the same, Liz! 100 listings requires a lot of time, energy, and passion. Kudos to you, my friend, and a big, sweet ALOHA from your wallflower bro' in WA.

    ~Joe

  • Radcliff profile image

    Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

    Hau`oli Lā Hānau, my friend. I'm glad I can copy and paste that because I sure can't pronounce it.

    I love these teachable moments you pull from your ever-lengthening walks. A focus on conquering challenges rather than removing them is something I need to think about.

    By the way, I've surpassed the hundred-listing mark! We're movin' on up.

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    Heather May 3 years ago from Ohio

    Happy Birthday! It is amazing the connection that you have to walking and to the man that you are today....I am betting no longer the wall flower! Congrats to you and your wife on your HAPPY 31 years. You have inspired me to walk and I am up to a few miles. The other night, I actually got lost 2.5 miles away from home. I was also lost in thought and reflecting on where I am and where I need to be. I ended with the conclusion that I needed to call my hubby and get home. I chose to mapquest my house instead!!!! Happy birthday!!!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Tom!

    Good to hear from you! Happy Birthday, my friend! July is a great month to have a birthday. In most places, the weather's nice enough to enjoy some festive celebrating.

    Hope you have a wonderful Baby Boomer of a weekend, my friend! Aloha!

    ~Joe

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    Thomas Silvia 3 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend great entertaining read has always. We have something in common to we are both Leo's and both had birthdays in July, mine was the 30th and i just turned 59. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FRIEND wishing you many more ! :-)

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Jaye!

    I so enjoy your comments...they read like unique hubs of their own, and I always experience the delight of golden connections with you. Thank you so very much for your birthday wish and gracious compliments.

    Yes, my friend, the universal thing about wallflowers is that they have this uncanny ability to grow incredibly attractive over time...in part because they were late bloomers (the very best kind, in my opinion); in part because each individual arrives at a point of feeling comfortable in his or her own skin at different times; and in part because their wallflower counterpart hasn't arrived at the ball just yet. : ) Call me an unabashed champion of shy wallflowers. I am so thankful that I had the distinct honor and privilege to dance--and interact as a gentleman--with many of them en route to shedding my own distinct wallflower self-image. I appreciate you and your soft-spoken yet very perceptive and eloquent style, my friend. May you have a wonderful weekend, and I earnestly hope and pray that you are fully recovered from that nasty fall you had a few weeks ago. Blessings and aloha!

    ~Joe

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    Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

    I think you were wise even at the age of 14, Joe, and your wisdom increases exponentially with each year. 61. Oh, my goodness, from my vantage point you seem so young. Happy birthday, friend! I hope all your birthday wishes come true.

    Reading this hub brought to mind some of my own awkward teenage moments. I was a bookworm, certainly not one of the "in" crowd and didn't wear the most "cool" clothes because it was a struggle for my mom just to feed us after my father left. Shy, too...so it was easier for me just to blend in with the other shy girls. I was a late bloomer, as many wallflowers are, and appreciated my self-confidence all the more when it finally developed.

    I liked the way you metaphorically linked the wallflower theme to your walk through Stanwood. The photos show a charming village, and I'm sure it is a pleasure to walk through it.

    Your walks give you time and (mostly) solitude, not only to enjoy the scenery you pass, but to think introspectively and create new hubs in your mind. While you're making your body fit, your mind is reaping benefits as well.

    Your wife must have been shy when you met her, for--looking at photos of her on many of your hubs (she's so beautiful)--I can't believe she ever looked the role of a wallflower.

    Wishing you a wonderful birthday and a lovely weekend!

    Hub voted Up++++ and shared

    Jaye

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, cleaner 3! Hope all is well with you! Aloha, and have a wonderful weekend!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill!

    I really appreciate the heartfelt feedback, my friend. Intuitively, I know there were aspects of this hub that were universally familiar to you.

    The opening quotation from Oscar Wilde is something that I take with a grain of salt. What I mean is that I agree with his philosophical view of aging, but I completely disagree about the realization of it being a tragedy.

    I mention this because one of the wonderful things you and I have in common--along with our lovely friend, Mary Craig, and so many other Baby Boomers here on HubPages--is the ability to think, speak, and write much, much younger than our chronological ages.

    To me, that is a tribute, not a tragedy; the perspective of an optimist who can't wait to spill his or her newfound youthfulness onto the next blank page.

    With great love and respect, bro'!

    ~Joe

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    cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

    happy birthday ..Great hub .. great pictures ..

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Yes, indeed, Joelle, my heart leaped into my throat when my wife, our designated driver at the time, choked up. On cue, her sister in the back seat began crying along with her. It was VERY emotional. And I was thrilled to be there with my wife at that precise moment. In a very special way, it made my 61st birthday an incredible and indelible memory!

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    kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    It must have been emotional time for your wife to go back to her roots! But it's worth it! It's something that she can share with your children as well! Often, as kids, we forget to ask questions to our parents about our past until it's too late!

    I am happy to see that you had a fantastic day! Nothing like family time to celebrate a birthday :-)

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    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well, buddy, first of all, Happy Birthday! You are so much younger than me and I find it disgusting. LOL

    As for this hub .......I am speechless.....this is so beautifully written as to leave me longing for the right words. Whatever I say about this will be weak and severely lacking in the praise it deserves.....what an incredible metaphor......

    No, I won't sully this hub trying to find the right words...beautiful will have to suffice.

    Aloha my friend

    bill

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, Joelle!

    Yes, we had a great birthday celebration. Along with my wife's sister and her husband, my wife and I traveled to Whidbey Island and searched for my wife's birthplace in a small town called Coupeville. It's a good-sized island, but somehow, my wife and her sister began recognizing environmental cues that they'd remembered from long ago, and before we knew it, we had stumbled upon a big red barn that had been turned into a historic site. Just yards away was the tiny chicken coop converted into a humble first home for my wife's parents, immigrants from Germany in the early fifties. Later, we even found the maternity home where my wife and two of her siblings had been born. We also spent time at Deception Pass, a potential topic for a future hub. Later, we capped the night with dinner at Spaghetti Factory in Lynnwood and a Demi Moore movie--"Flawless"--at their home in Stanwood. All in all, it was an eventful and memorable day. Thank you for your beautiful birthday wish and for your wonderful support here on HP. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend! Aloha!

    ~Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks for the heads up, WND! Got so much eBay inventory that we never got to during the past couple of years...it'll be a relief to lighten our load. One unfortunate event we experienced yesterday was a bad smell in one of our storage lockers. I found two very tiny baby birds...one decomposed and the other relatively fresh...so young that they looked like they had just emerged from the eggshell...in the back of the locker. Apparently, they'd fallen through the tiniest crack in the plastic insulation. Hope that storage manager gives us a discount! Thankfully, nothing of value was tainted. Thanks for the good wishes! Aloha!

    ~Joe

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    kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    Happy birthday, Joe! I hope that you had a good walk :-)

    Thank you for sharing your experience as a young adolescent!

    I think it was the right decision to choose a wallflower :-) One of my brother in law says... which matures fast, rots quickly! It's true for fruits and vegetables..... and humans too ;-)

    I hope that you were celebrated in style for your birthday!

    Enjoy your weekend!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Mary!

    So good to hear from the lovely queen of the Baby Boomer set! I was as insecure in the presentation of this hub as was that 14-year-old boy 47 years ago. So I'm really happy that you liked this. Every now and then, I love to experiment with my approach to writing, and this was one of those rambling events. I'm glad and thankful that you truly GOT where I was coming from and going with this one. Mary, I know you love movies, so I am 100% certain that you probably saw "The Summer of '42." I thought it was a beautiful adaptation of Herman Raucher's novel. If I were to ever write a novel/screenplay someday--and I say this with a kind mixture of anxiety and humor (because the sands of time are falling faster in the hourglass at this stage in the game)--this would be the genre that I would most love to write about. I have never been to any of my class reunions. Like a blind man whose other senses are incredibly acute, I am thus able to write with great recall the memories of teenage angst and befuddlement. One of the things on my bucket list is to make an all out effort to attend a future class reunion...and I'd be willing to wager that the wallflowers of either gender have blossomed into mature beauties in their own right. And even the "prettiest girl" and "handsomest boy" archetypes have relaxed from the pressure of always having to be ON and have themselves relinquished the cosmetic hold to unearth the wallflower beauty from within. Heck, who am I kidding? Any survivor showing up at a class reunion is gonna look like a million bucks to me! : ) Thank you very much for the generous support and sharing of this hub, my friend. Me ke aloha pumehana, ku'uipo!

    ~Joe

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    wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

    hawaii,

    You don't need to check- people are responding to an old hub - which I am sure you did already. My computer was down a few days so I haven't had time to do a hub. Maybe I should do a computer woes poem this weekend - LOL.

    Otherwise me and the wetnoses are well. Enjoy yard sale -ing tomorrow.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, WND!

    No, you didn't miss a thing! I went on a mini-break. My wife and I are doing a yard sale tomorrow, so the last couple of days have been hectic. Otherwise, I would've had this hub published on the 1st of the month. Thanks for all your support and kind words. How have you been? I thought I saw a notification of one of your hubs being published, so I need to go back to my inbox and play catch up myself. : ) Hope this finds you and the furry clan in good health and spirits. Aloha, and have a wonderful weekend!

    ~Joe

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    wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

    I love this wallflower walk. It is awesome how you tied in the wallflower story with your walk into this pretty town. Interesting video. It seems small, one of those towns if you blink your eye, you missed it!

    Trusting I didn't miss any others you may have published last week. My computer was down for a few days and I am playing catch up and hoping my computer behaves now.

    Happiest of birthdays!

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    Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

    Happy, Happy Birthday (dare I say Baby as the song goes? Ah my Cool Acid Bro our ages are not so far apart though I am your senior by a few years. A birthday celebration you give yourself is a celebration for us...this incredible hub.

    Really my friend. Your hubs are so intriguing. You 14 year old self ties in with just about everyone else's 14 year old self but your aplomb and beautiful way of looking at things leads us all to recount and remember in a different light. Beautifully done as always.

    My wish for you today is many more miles my dearest friend. I cherish HP for allowing me to become your friend. E pili mau na pomaika`i ia `oe.

    Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting, shared, and pinned on my board and awesome hubbers.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, P. O., for your birthday wish. It was, indeed, and continues to be...a beautiful walk.

    Aloha!

    ~Joe

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    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Happy birthday and many more. It looks like a beautiful walk.

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