Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Pity the Fool Who Wasted this Day

I did a lot more walking when Hershey was still around.

No matter what the weather, twice a day, at least, I was strolling with the mutt. On the weekends, up at the lake, I was motivated to hike around one of the lakes at least one day of the weekend. Then came the winter of 2013-14. And yes we all agree it sucks. Makes no difference what part of the country you are in, with very few exceptions, all we have done for the past 2 1/2 months is complain about the weather.

And why the hell not? It's been brutal. Last year I think I missed one weekend of walking at the lake, this year I think I walked once. But today was different. Today is a blue sky, breezy, temperature in the high 40s kind of day, and after the past month, it felt good to soak in the sun for an hour.

There's a lot of snow up here. A lot. even with the wide open spaces, you still run out of places to put it. Driveways, our included, are half the width they are normally. Homes with garages have front stairs covered with snow, as people take the easy route of entering their homes through the garage instead of front door. No one has the energy to clean it all, there's just too much.

The community is usually filled with wildlife. On the walk, I saw one herd of deer, all huddled together, a few squirrels and that was it. There is no food for these creatures, and it will be a long time before there is. It's a hard winter for them too.

The plan was to walk around the smaller lake being it's been a while, but I got caught up in the day and blew right past the street where I should have turned. Taking my time, the trek around the big lake wasn't too bad. A light breeze, sun on my face, and music in my ears.

I ended up the walk with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes singing "I Played The Fool." Maybe Johnny, but not me though. The walk was joyous. Can't wait for spring to do it more often.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow? NO.

It's snowing. Again.

Yes, we're all bitching about the weather. We are sick of it. After the the first snowfall, everyone goes out to shovel and there is a great camaraderie between the neighbors. Everyone smiles and talks as we take short breaks between moving another few shovelfuls of snow. You know, those breaks that you hope will keep your rapidly aging heart from exploding.

After a few storms, neighbors get a lot less neighborly. We're tired. We are not happy to be outside lifting another six, eight, ten inches of snow. And while the first couple of storms had nice light, fluffy snow, the last two have been wet, heavy snow. You know the kind... the snow that puts even more strain on your rapidly aging heart.

Now the neighbors barely grunt at each other as we push, plow and pile the snow higher and higher. If we were in the middle of a summer's heat wave, and the temperatures were in the 90's this much, people would be freaking out and beating the crap out of each other. We are at a breaking point, and if we weren't so damn exhausted, I'm sure there would be violence. But, who has the time or energy for that?

So now we wait for the lull in the storm to start cleaning up, because this one is a two-parter. Oh yeah, it's gonna come down all day, stop for a while, then start again sometime tonight, which means there has to be a plan. When do we start cleaning? Do we wait for it to be entirely done? Well, it might turn to rain for a brief period before turning back to snow, so that makes it even heavier. But, if it turns to ice after you clear the snow, well that's another can of worms. It always ends up to be an audible on the field. You go with your gut, there is an inner voice which yells out "hey, time to get your ass outside."

That's when you see all the neighbors digging out of their houses, all about to take on the same task as you. At this point, I doubt there will even be eye contact.