For exercise today I decided to use my backpack to move some rocks. Carrying about 70 pounds in the pack at a time for perhaps a quarter of a mile before reloading worked up a good sweat. Three quarters of an hour of this activity was a good work out. In my solitude a memory came to me of our beloved family doctor for many years, John Ferger, of a long standing practice in Dryden, NY. Dr. Ferger along with his wife Martha, was an avid outdoors person as well a fine and gentle humanitarian. He continued to practice medicine at least part time well into his 80's and in fact passed away on a day that he planned to be in the office.
Moving rocks in the backpack reminded me that Dr. Ferger would train for his backpacking trips into the wilderness by loading his backpack with at least one concrete block and go out for a long hike to build up his endurance. One would see him trudging down one of the streets or roads in Dryden, bent on improving his conditioning in anticipation of his next wilderness adventure. He lived well into geezerhood, although he didn't match the longevity of his parents who lived into their 90's.
As our family doctor, we were blessed with his empathetic care through many good and difficult times. Nancy and I especially have a fondness for him since he provided pre-natal care for Nancy and attended the birth of our daughter Victoria. I had the joy of participating with Dr. Ferger in the care of Victoria after her immediate birth and especially remember him handing her over to me to hold the first time.
So I honor the memory of Dr. Ferger and delight in his long and exceptional life.