Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Optimist or Masochist: bring on more snow!

I'm not one who's won much, but gaining the title of having lived in Boston during the worst snowfall in recorded history would be some kind of badge of honor, especially when the rest of my family is on the West Coast. And who wants to be in second place? A few more inches of the white stuff will take us to the top of the charts. Bring it on!

On March 7, 2007, on a balmy day that promised an early spring, I slipped on some invisible black ice and cracked my head open. Eight stitches later my body felt bruised and beat up, an outer manifestation of my crashing economic and romantic situations at the time. What appeared to be a beautiful day turned into a "whack on the side of the head" that got me moving in a new direction in my life.  What's the point here? I like what I can see. Not the invisible black ice hidden in some imaginary scene of happily ever after.

So when I go out walking in sub freezing temperatures like today, I relish the patches of gleaming ice I can carefully avoid. I like "snow days" when I can slow down the pace, eat junk I normally avoid, in short, get to enjoy sick days without being sick. Or it's like playing hookie without any penalty. I admit I have spent days streaming obscure TV series on Netflix without getting out of the pjs, but that luxury soon led to insomnia from lack of exercise. So I put on my trusty yaktrax, as you know from earlier posts, and resumed my Boston walking.

Today I saw these prickly nuts—excuse me I don't know the correct name—dotting the snow mounds along Massachusetts Avenue beside the Church Park apartment complex. I picked up several and took a picture of them (above) once I was back in my cozy apartment. A moment of beauty amidst the graying snow becoming more ugly with dog urine stains, cigarette buts, and assorted trash. Some new snow will cover the dirt, get us closer to first place, and maybe even give us a few more snow daze.

Counting "Smoots" is moot when you're trudging across the Mass Ave bridge.

More runners than you might expect are out doing their thing no matter the temps.
Perhaps I can be so cavalier because I do most of my work from home, and I gave up having a car over two years ago. I don't own a shovel and I'm proud of it! Condo living has its benefits and not having to dig out a car, go into a skid, or find overnight parking on days and nights of parking bans has gone a long way in my ability to remain unphased by most of this white stuff. Uber and Lyft have helped out as well as Enterprise Car Share for the days when I need a car.
Never retrieved since late January

There is an expression in Buddhism, "When the conditions are right, blossoms appear." So hold on because in a few long weeks we may actually see the crocuses bursting through the melting snow. But in the meantime, I say see the snow blossoms, the prickly inscrutable nuts dancing on the snow mounds and the invigorating air that can clear my head enough to see the beauty of the race for first place. We're expecting more snow tonight and into tomorrow. We're so close! Just a couple more storms and we can get the trophy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My feet think I'm at the beach . . .

Yesterday when I ventured outside for a walk I broke the spell of being officially snowbound. As I was walking with my Yak Trax cleats I noticed that even along the sidewalk my feet were getting more exercise, more massaging than I would normally when walking cleatless on a flat surface. Wobbling through the heavy snow it felt like walking through a sand dune or deep mushy sand at the beach. Today since it was a balmy 30 degrees I ventured out again around 4 p.m. as the light was beginning to fade. When I got to the Mass Ave bridge I saw that the path was totally like deep sand and opted out of that to walk along the river. Here are some shots from that. My camera which has been dropped and abused over the years decided to freeze on me and I had feared that I had lost all the images. But sure enough they were all there and the lens finally went back inside the camera body once I entered my cozy, overheated apartment.
Like walking in deep sand with the bottoms of my feet purring even though they were inside my boots

A tiny spot on the Charles under the Mass Ave bridge along one of its supports

The entire Charles River was a blanket of uninterrupted white.

How deep? Deep enough to cover the benches.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Yak Trax Walker gets me moving again

I love snow days. But after too many of them I get into a snow daze. I feel my body expanding and my mind shrinking from not enough oxygen. My friend Claire who lives in the wilds of Maine challenged me today to get myself walking again. She said, "Go get some of those cleats you put onto the bottoms of your shoes."  I admitted to having a pair I bought years ago but never liked because whenever I used them there was hardly ever any snow on the sidewalks. Not so today. I rummaged through my closet and uncovered my hardly used Yak Trax Walkers for which I had paid $19.95 at least five years ago. Too many days in my pajamas was catching up with me. I got dressed and threw the cleats onto the bottom of my shoes and out I went. Much more confident than the last few days, these things really work to give me the kind of grip that the normal soles don't. Here they are and here's a few shots of what I saw along Boylston Street today.