Stuff for recreation and fitness

We haven't bought much recreational stuff, but the ones we had were pretty good quality, so they last and have provided a lot of great recreation. One great source of recreation and fitness, though, for us is working in our yard, then sitting to enjoy it.


John does a lot of bicycling, sometimes as a commuter, but now that he's retired, mostly for recreation. If there were bike paths separated from traffic, I might do bicycle, too, but there aren't enough paths of that type, and at this point in my life, I don't want to risk a fall anyway. I'll stick to walking, which I enjoy as much as any physical activity (though I don't have athletic inclinations). The only stuff required for that are good shoes, which I should replace more often than I do.


We enjoy some games, some of which are the old tried and true, games, such as Gin Rummy, that require nothing more than a deck of cards. We also enjoy Boggle, which also serves as a record of our mental functioning since we keep our scores over several years.

Our favorite game is Carcassonne, which is pricey (especially since we bought two add-ons), but takes up little space. Another other favorite game is Ticket to Ride, which is also a bit pricey. They have provided us many fun evenings, though, and have staying power. It's also enjoyable to play with a well-made, sturdy game board and pieces. As long as we're careful to keep all the pieces, they should last for many years, long enough that we'll have a chance to play with our grandchildren when they're a little older.


Even from before we were married, we enjoyed camping. We've bought a number of tents over the years for different purposes (some small ones just to use as substitutes for hotel stays when on the road). They've served us well. The only real disaster was in Rocky Mountain National Park when a very strong wind came up and ripped our tent so much that it was unusable (and nearly carried our son away with the tent!) Other than that, our Eureka tents have been increasingly well-made and designed over the years. (And we've been fortunate to have the outlet store nearby so we've generally bought seconds.)

We also acquired a variety of camp equipment along the way, such as Coleman stoves, etc. In fact, we had finally just perfected our camp setup when I had knee problems and John had back problems so we aren't able to enjoy week-long trips by the lake as we used to since we can't hike any more. Still, though, we use our smaller tent, sleeping bags, and mats when we're traveling so we don't have to stay in motels.

We hope in the future we'll be able to again do some family camping with the assistance of our more able grown children and their families, so we'll keep our equipment.

On the water

Canoe ©Janet Allen
Greg returning from a canoe trip with his friend

What had been "good stuff" for our recreation and fitness at one point in our lives now has become something we have to think about reducing.

Before we met (now more than 35 years ago), John bought a nice, high-quality, aluminum canoe. It served us very well over the years on our many camping trips, and the kids enjoyed it, too.

It also was a workhorse on the Onondaga Creek cleanups that John participated in. It helped carry away much garbage that had been thrown into the creek.

John also gave in to the temptation of a kayak a few years ago. Shortly after, though, he hurt his back and so he has used it only once. It turns out it was a poor choice to purchase this, but it did seem to be a good idea at the time.