The Pine cone man

During myeloma relapse 1 recovery (2007) from myeloma treatment I had to devise ways to regain my fitness and strength.
About 3 blocks from home is a very large park with walkways, trees and seats. My initial goal was to walk to the park and return.
That was accomplished fairly quickly. Soon I was adding walking in the park extending the walk as fatigue reduced and I became fitter.
In the park are a large number of pine trees which shed pine cones good for home fire burning.
Ah ha I thought, there is another fitness idea.
My left humerus had just been rodded due to a plasmacytoma destroying the bone at mid shaft. The arm and shoulder needed strengthening. On my park walks I would now take an eco bag to fill with pine cones. I used the left arm to carry the bag flexing the arm along with other exercises as I walked along. Over time it all became stronger.
Then Myra dropped a bomb shell. She said, “We use electricity for heating. The pine cones will have to go.” After negotiations with her (I won) it was decided after drying out I would store the pine cones in rubbish sacks and place outside and cover with a rain proof cover ready to give to those who needed them over winter.
A bag full of dry pine cones on a cold, wet winter’s night is a welcome surprise.
I still continue collecting pine cones on my walks and have found some more parks with pine trees that I drive to. My two grandchildren have become expert pine tree finders.
Best time for collecting pine cones is after strong winds or a storm.