I could walk down to the waterfall. It's about 40 minutes through the woods. I used to make that trip in under 30 when I was in my late thirties. Now I have to sit down along the way and rest ever so often because my hip starts to hurt. I rationalize that I am waiting for the dogs to catch their breath. They are not getting any younger either. Used to be, I'd always carry a rifle with me. Not because I want to shoot anything, but because the trail passes through some pretty thick vegetation and you can walk up on hogs or a bear. Now I just carry a pistol because a rifle gets too heavy. Walking in our woods is not like walking in the woods out in the Great Plains or the West Coast. The humidity is really high, which is why this place is called the Smokies. Often you get out there and you think low clouds are flowing down the mountain side, but it's just water condensing out of the air.
My wife is still up North with our kids. She has been going to malls, going to nice fancy restaurants, and generally doing all the things you can't do here. She's also been helping the kids with logistics issues. We put new tires on both their Jeeps, got the Commander a brake job and the Liberty is going in next week for the same. She got my son some decent furniture for his room. He's always been a bohemian and is not much of a materialist, but he's old enough now at 24 to start acquiring some decent furniture , at least. My wife has been going horseback riding with the kids up at the stables my daughter goes to. She won't go trail riding with me here because she thinks I am going to fall off and get all busted up. I don't think I would. When I say so, she reminds me that when my son wanted a dirt bike, and she didn't want him to have one, I got him one anyway. I didn't think anything would happen there either but he had a terrific smash up and had to be carted off to the emergency room. It was not pleasant having to call her from the hospital about that.. She never lets me forget it, women are like that. In the Marines we used to say "one ah sh*t! equals ten thousand atta boys." That's how my wife sees it.
I wish I could have gone with her to visit the kids, although I would only have stayed about three days instead of the whole summer. But I have my place to take care of, and the animals have to be seen too. I don't like being gone very long, home is where I am most comfortable. She'll be home in mid August and until then I will just have to get along on my own. I would never make it as a widower, though. If anything happens to her, I will do like my great, great Grandfather, Joseph. He fought all the way through the War Between the States in Company B of the 54th Georgia Infantry. When the war was over he had lost an eye at Kennesaw to a Yankee shell burst, and a leg when the Yankee cavalry wrecked the rails outside Atlanta and the hospital train he was on derailed. At 65 he married a 22 year old woman (there weren't many men left in the South after the war so the women couldn't be that choosey). I might have a harder time finding a young woman for myself these days, so I hope my wife lasts out.