Monday, February 22, 2010
This winter routine sounds more and more appealing the older I get. As my patience with inconvenience wanes and my body develops more aches and pains, winter no longer holds the charm it once did. When I was younger, snow was FUN. Without fail, I looked forward to winter and snow storms. Maybe it's my Norwegian heritage, or maybe I'm just a moron. Either way, when snow was forecast I'd get so psyched. My attitude was the more the merrier! I didn't own a car then which probably accounted for my cavalier attitude. I walked wherever I needed or wanted to go. During the blizzard of '79, I walked a mile and a half to the Capital Hilton Hotel in search of a newspaper. I wasn't annoyed that it hadn't made it to my front door as usual. I simply decided I'd go out to get my own. No big deal. Taking a "short-cut" across the Ellipse turned out to be misguided. There was one set of footprints made by someone much taller than me. Following them took more effort than it was worth. My boots were almost knee-high and the snow as over knee-high. Did I care? Heck no! Shuffling down the middle of freshly plowed Constitution Avenue, with a brilliant, cerulean blue sky overhead put a big grin on my face. Flushed by exhilaration and the cold wind, I walked past a pair of somber looking, fur-hatted Russians, speaking in hushed tones. Of course, my imagination kicked-in -- they were spies plotting their next covert operation. More likely, they were discussing why the red-cheeked girl walking toward them had a big, goofy grin on her face. People on skis shooshed by, dodging bare spots where the pavement showed through. The closer I got to 16th and K Streets, the more people I saw. Unlike recent history, I don't recall any organized snowball fights, but then email and Twitter didn't yet exist. Cabin fever, fear of falling and breaking my aging butt are causing my downer of a mood. Today, looking at the dirty-snow-mounded lawns across the street, I noticed dozens of small, round bare spots. Watching for a while, I discovered that they were made by the resident squirrels when they dig up acorns they buried months ago. Then it hit me -- what did I have to complain about? I live in a warm, comfortable home with food at my fingertips, not in a shaggy nest high up in an oak tree. It's amazing how those little critters can remember where they buried their food supplies! The first, official day of Spring is less than a month away. Despite my misery, daylight hours are slowly increasing, warmth will return, flowers will blossom and life will go on! Phew. . .