so i started walking while i was in florida. time to listen to part of an audio book, or some podcasts, or even just music. also trying to recover some strength i lost when i hurt my back last year.
i’m not much on soaking in sunlight, or being outdoors when it’s warm in general, so in florida i would get up early to walk, or go after dark. it was really pleasant. the neighborhood near my aunt’s is very well kept. i only needed to watch out for rogue lawn sprinklers that were better aimed at the road and sidewalk than the lawn.
so now i’m back in northern ny. i’m not so worried about being too warm while going for my walk. i worry about the opposite. i wear silk underwear under my clothes, an extra sweatshirt, scarf, mittens, hat. it’s possible that i resemble randy from ‘a christmas story’. . . i am wearing 4 layers on my chest to keep my core warm. and silly me, i bought new shoes for walking in florida. . . but they are no good here. maybe i should get boots, but i’ve never liked boots. i do have very warm socks, so i mostly need to keep out of frozen puddles.
i now wait for the sun to come up for my morning walk. the temperature has fluctuated from 40° F to just about 0° F. i’ve gone each morning but two since i’ve been back. it’s a small town and the snow plows are out often, but the sidewalks aren’t usually the first thing on the list of areas to clear. at times, when trying to stay out of the way of traffic, i’ve been thigh high in well packed snow. (and yes, i’m short, so thigh high for me might just settle on your shin so. . . bleh.)
it’s great when the small plows clear the sidewalks, but sometimes they do a really good job of slicing an inch above the cement leaving this really slick sheet of packed snow which make it treacherous in a different way. as it has gone so far, there’s usually been a decent meltdown with lots of puddles and small rivers and lakes to avoid. . . followed by a freeze, turning all those waterways into icy hellish walkways. . . then of course, a small snow that lightly covers the ice making for a false security of walking on snow that really turns out to be ice. which sends me right back to walking in the street, jumping into banks of snow when traffic appears. ha, not really, i don’t move for those buggers! let ‘em drive ten feet out of their way to avoid me. ok, unless they have ice too, then i’m getting out of the way.
sometimes i get a little psyched to see skidoo paths on my way, since that usually makes for better traction. sometimes the wind is steady. sometimes it’s steady and in my face both ways. that is just totally not fair. so as i’m on the first half with the wind in my face, i comfort myself by thinking that it will be at my back on my return, only to have the wind change, oh! and pick up snow to leave me in a partial white out with only a quarter mile left. i walked in looking like a short snow covered sasquatch.
i’ve run into a friend who mentioned a couple of paths in the woods, but, i am bootless and orangeless. (he’s the same guy that warned me to wear enough orange to alert the hunters.) so i’ll keep to roads for now. . . even though passers-by can watch me flail as my feet give out from under me on the ice, or wonder what i’m saying or who i’m talking so as i mouth along with lyrics. . . or laugh at a podcast. (i discovered a quick solution to this one, scarves can cover half your face, so now when someone says ‘hello’ i just seem completely rude because i can’t hear them and i don’t respond- and they can’t see the headphones buried under all the layers.)
i guess i could come up with some sort of metaphor to align the difficulties in the walk i take to the difficulties and aimlessness of my current life or something like that. but sometimes a walk is just a walk. . .