Monday, September 13, 2010

Poetry .. Questions


If, by inattention

I allowed you to become my life

And then you walked away

If, even by design

I made you my whole life

And then you weren’t there

If, foolishly I guess

I lost myself in the wraps of you

And suddenly you slipped through

If, of late

I took you for granted and leaned too hard

And then you were gone

If, I only saw

The things about you I loved

And then there was something I disliked

If, by some twist of chance

You became my foundation

But you left, in the storm

If, I unwittingly

Became completely dependent

Then you did something unexpected

If, you became my rock

But turned out to be

A rolling stone

If, I made you my comfort

In the darkest of nights

And then couldn't find you in the blackness

If, my laugh

Became tied to your laugh

And then I couldn't hear it

If, my tears

Knew your wiping hand

But then, it wasn't there to stop them

Did you know

How much I let you become

And did it chase you away

Did my life

So entwined with yours

Begin to choke a little

Was I

Too dependent

Too independent

Was I

Too close

Too far away

Was I

Not enough

Too much

Will I

Love again

Trust to love again

Will I

Find another heart

Will I even look


There is no one

To hear my heart

As it continues

To ask the questions

If I

Did I

Was I

Will I


Ron Simpson, Jr.

September 13, 2010

I think my body is staging a revolt ..

Last week was a phenomenal week for me in the weight loss arena.

I increased my walking and walked a total of 13.3 miles on my mostly morning walks.

I decreased my calorie intake without trying.

I don't stay hungry like I did before. Part of this is due to a thyroid condition, and part of it was due to a long time habit of eating (grazing) most of the day. I eat my regularly scheduled meals and typically avoid the snacks. Last month, of the 22 days I charted my eating, my snacks averaged 76.1 calories. This month (12 days in) my snacks are averaging 37.1 and in the last 7 days, 15.1 calories.

Yesterday morning, I was up nearly 2 hours before my alarm was set to go off. I was ready to take my 2 mile morning walk. Typically, I walk from my house and go out 1 mile or more and then I walk back. This way, once I have made the first part, I have almost no choice (except for the embarrassing call home .. come get me, honey) but to finish the walk.

Out the door I went with my timer set, and all the necessary parts and pieces in my pockets. I hadn't gone very far when my body said to me, "you do not want to be too far from the house this morning." (A fairly moderate sense of decorum prevents me from going into detail here.) So, with much disappointment I went only 1/2 mile out and 1/2 mile back and made it to the relative safety of the house and near proximity of the bathroom. Still, I did walk a mile.

Here comes Monday morning. It seems that nothing has changed. I did manage, albeit late, a 1 mile walk, but did not feel comfortable going much farther from the house.

There has been some sickness in the house lately and it seems to be affecting me as well. My wife and son just went to the DR and were diagnosed with Strep Throat. I haven't had any of the throat pain, but the queasy and uncomfortable stomach has stayed with me again today.

Maybe my body is staging a revolt. Well, it has ruled for long enough. I am taking back my life and my health.

Shorter walks are OK. There is a stationary bike just outside this room. On it I can go and go and go, and never get any farther from the bathroom.

Take that .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

poetry .. for 9-11

I wrote this following the 9-11 attacks, when all the talk was about hate and retaliation .. It is not what this great nation was built upon .. More and more today, I see us united, not by our love, but by our hatred and intolerance .. there was a great man that said that we were "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. We are now engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

I will not teach my children to hate

How do I teach my children?
Is it in the abundance of the words I say?
Can words turn their hearts,
When they are held in my actions sway;

What example have I fashioned,
Living in my day to day,
Every harsh or cruel word,
Molding hearts like pliant clay;

What acts of kindness,
Will influence their way,
To which memory will they turn
When passions begin to stray;

When attacks defy reason,
And retaliation seems the way,
Which lesson will stay them,
And let love rule the day;

Please, let me not teach them
A hardness of spirit or heart,
Please, let me show them
Where hatred doesn’t have a part;

Let my actions be tempered,
Make my words wrath turning,
Let me lead them in deed,
Now and forever learning;

A softness of heart,
Is not weakness implied,
It is just the shining out,
Of loves flame inside;

Which flickering flame,
I have sought carefully to tend,
Until brightly it burns,
In today’s fiercest wind;

I do not fear times ravage,
Nor put my trust in fate,
I face the future with pride,
I have not taught my children to hate

Ron Simpson, Jr.
October 20, 2001

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Walk .. Interrupted

Today was going to the the day I broke the 2 mile barrier. I plotted my course. I had it all planned. I was going to actually walk 2.1 miles. The excitement was building. OK, I am kidding about the building excitement, but I was looking forward to the idea of surpassing another milestone (literally.)

As stated, I had plotted out the course. It was a slightly rolling path. There were some up and some downs. There were some small hills and some larger hills. There was nothing like the hill to the cemetery of earlier this week.

Out the door I went. I usually leave right after TJ leaves to take the kids to work. Today, however, I was early. I wanted to give myself some extra time. I was walking the way she goes when she takes the kids to work. I would be seeing her on my way (bonus!)

I walked and walked and walked. I didn't see her. I figured she must have left late or had to go another way because of a need to stop at a store or something. Just after I passed the turn around point of yesterday, my phone rang. I fished it out of my pocket to see "private number." I didn't answer it as I didn't want to try to carry on a conversation and walk. Back in the pocket it went.

Then, moments later, I heard, in the unmistakable voice of a chipmunk, "Oh look, a text message. Thank you Jesus." I fished out the phone again. It read, "911 emergency. Come home now." I called my daughter and she said that TJ was doubled over in pain and I needed to come home now.

Of course, I immediately turned around and headed home.

When I got home, I found that TJ was better, and the kids still needed rides to work. TJ's pain was a digestion issue. So, I took the kids to work, stopped and got her some OTC meds and came home. She is currently laying down allowing the meds to work.

My interrupted walk turned out to be 1.9 miles. It is short of one of my goals, but still meets the goal of walking farther each day.

There is still tomorrow. There will be no kids to take to work. There will be no need for TJ to be up and about.

So, sometime tomorrow morning, before the sun breaks across the tops of the trees, I will be out there, walking, with my MP3 player playing, my house-key and my phone in my pockets, and a barrier waiting to be surpassed.

I'll see ya on the other side of 2 miles.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Goal I meet and reset most every day

My walking goal each day has been to walk farther than the day before. In the three and a half weeks I have been walking I have progressed from three-tenths of a mile on August 17th, to one and three-quarter miles today, September 9th.

I remember the first day I walked around the block. It was terrible. I hurt all over, mostly. I think the only part that didn’t really hurt were my calves. That was only because they weren’t smart enough to hurt yet. It took me 20 minutes to walk the .33 mile. That is an astounding pace of about one mile per hour.

According to, the average walking pace for elderly adults is 2.8 mph as compared to young adults at 3.4 mph. I am much closer to the elderly group in age and body. Mentally, well, that is a different story.

Today’s walk of 1.75 miles was at a pace of 2.3 mph. So, I haven’t made it to what the walking world considers average, but I am happy with my 26 minute mile, for now. After all, my mile time has increased for walking a mile in 60 minutes to walking one in 26 minutes. Some days it actually gets as fast as one mile in 24 minutes.

I have found that as my distance increases, my time follows suit eventually.

As for now, I will be happy with the goal I meet and reset nearly every day. We will see what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, September 06, 2010

What .. was I insane?

I decided on trying a new route for my morning walk. My walk is up to 1.5 miles. I usually walk through town, one block off of Main street, which happens to be the street upon which I live. From my house to one block past the Library and back, then around the block is 1.5 miles. Today, I decided to do a walk around a cemetery that is about 3-tenths of a mile from the house.

Omigosh ! .. The first leg nearly killed me. It seemed to be straight uphill.

It is nearly at the peak you see in this pic.

But .. I made to the cemetery. Then around was down and up and down and up and then up some more.

This was one of the views. My house is in the clump of trees in the upper left of this pic (which is way downhill from where I was standing.)

another view inside the cemetery..

This is the view from the bridge between the two halves of the cemetery, which overlooks the road I eventually walked back down to get home.

I feel the burn .. or it that just the insanity talking?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Good-bye old friend

This is my cane. I have been using it for most of the walking I have done for a while. It is a great cane and conversation piece. It is an African Chieftain's cane. It is the symbol of his authority. In tribal meetings, it identifies the Chief as the Chief.

It was a gift to a missionary to Nigeria. That missionary was a close friend to our family. I have slept on his floor when I was preaching for his dad when he was pastoring a church in Ohio. His son was married to my sister. He married my wife and I seven years ago.

He gave the cane as a gift to my father. My father pastored a church in Lexington for 39 years. My father passed away three years ago. My friend, the missionary/pastor passed away about two years ago.

I was visiting Mom several months ago and noticed the cane leaning against a wall in the garage collecting dust. I asked Mom what she was going to do with it. She told me to take it. I did. I cleaned it and treated it. I have been using it for walking assistance.

As you may (or may not) have read in my previous posts, I have been walking for exercise. This morning I walked 1.2 miles in my morning walk. I was talking to one of my daughters about it and she asked if I had been using the cane.

As the matter of fact, I have not.

Since I started walking through the pain two weeks ago, I have not used the cane. It will have a place of respect and honor at my home. It is a great reminder.

It is a reminder of a dear friend.

It is a reminder of a mission.

It is a reminder of a calling.

It is a reminder of a day when the pain stopped me from walking.

It is a reminder of the time I took back my walk.

Good-bye old friend.