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Prior to Six in the Morning

Here’s one good side effect of writing my blog: I open my notebook and flip through pages and pages of writing. I must be a writer! Look how much I write!

That said, I’m experiencing a little resistance lately and not a little Writer’s Blank. Oh, sure, I’ve got pages of notes from Finger Lakes wineries (we visited a few last Saturday). Yet I am not moved to write about them. Now, let’s not get into that discussion about Never Mind Mood and Motivation Follows Action. It’s boring.

Instead, I offer another Pedestrian Post. This one has something a little different, because I walked Tabby (our schnoodle, for anyone who didn’t know) prior to six this morning.

When we first got Tabby I would roll out of bed, into sweats and take her out on a leash for her first business meeting of the day. At first around the backyard, then down the sidewalk. Eventually, Steven tried just letting her out the back door. She is a good dog who stays where she should, and first thing in the morning she generally wants to do her business quickly and get back inside to hang out. Funny how dogs can’t wait to get up in the morning but very shortly after that are napping on the couch.

This morning we got up a little earlier than we have been, because Steven pulled a rare early shift. Hate getting out of bed, love the extra time. Soon it occurred to me to use a little of the extra time to take Tabby on a short perambulation (like many dog owners, we avoid using the actual word “walk”).

I’ve read in dog books that it is a good idea to take your dogs for a walk before you leave them. They might get a little tired and just nap while you are gone. In any case, it is always good to spend quality time with your pet. I try to take Tabby for many walks (and not just when I need a blog post), especially if I am going to take off for parts unknown (at least to her, sometimes to me). After my delightful walk this morning, I shall make even more of an effort to do so prior to the work day.

Part of the reason the walk was so delightful is that it has AT LAST gotten warm out. Fifty-two degrees, according to my thermostat. It felt like heaven. The sun was not completely up, so the world had that half light I so enjoy at dusk but rarely see at down (oh, I’m usually up at dawn, but it’s more a matter of noticing it’s gotten light out than watching it get that way).

I like seeing the tree branches outlined against the grey sky, although I am really looking forward to buds and leaves. I saw some daffodils in one yard. I planted some daffodil bulbs, but they haven’t done much so far. Now I can’t remember where I put them.

Prior to six is a nice quiet time to walk. I heard an empty can blow down the road, then the softer tinkle of wind chines. A sign for some law offices swayed in the breeze but didn’t creak. In the far distance we could hear some traffic but did not see any.

We only went around two blocks, because I didn’t have a whole lot of time, but it was very pleasant. We were headed back towards home when Tabby did her business. Tuesday is trash day, and I thought about how some people do not scruple to put their dogs’ poo in other people’s trash. I decided against such an action. It was not that much further to my own trash can in any case.

So I finished our excursion thinking that walking in the early morning is the Way to Go. I hope to have my act together enough to do it again soon.

Oh, For a Bare Sidewalk

I had planned to run today, and that was good news for me, because I did not have a blog topic and a run is almost always good for a post.

Was that a run-on sentence? I have a tendency to write these long sentences, then claim it is not a run-on sentence and invite doubters to diagram it and see. So far nobody has called me on it.

I put on my running clothes as soon as I got home from work, not allowing any time to talk myself out of it. I had not put out my running clothes last night, which would have been a good idea. However, I haven’t folded laundry the last couple of loads, and that was almost as good.

It was warm this afternoon. The forecast said 40. I didn’t check any thermometers, but it felt a little colder than that when I left work. Still, not frigid. I put on leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt but not sweatshirt, hat and mittens. I was also hoping for some bare sidewalk.

It was a silly thing to hope for. Why, just the other day I was writing about Steven jumping over puddles. Did I think they had evaporated that quickly? They had not.

I skirted the long ones as best I could. Into the mud to get around this one, into the snow for that one. Watch out for that ice! Can I leap over that one? Splash! My feet got a little wet.

As I ran, I seemed to be moving very slowly. But at least I kept moving. Eventually I found whole stretches of bare or almost bare sidewalk. Bliss! I even looked around at some of the houses, envying screened in porches as usual. On one open porch I saw a row of red wooden Adirondack chairs. I’d like to get some cool furniture for my deck or front porch. Then again, I look forward to sitting outside even if it’s on dining room chairs I haul out the front door.

I ran for as long as I ran on Saturday. I even picked up the pace a little at the end. Not a full out sprint, which would have made me breathe funny. But I lengthened my stride and almost achieved that athletic lope I so envy in other runners. At least I told myself that was what I achieved. Perhaps it looked quite different to an impartial observer.

No matter. I ran, and that’s the important thing. I burned a few calories and got a topic for a blog post. Now it’s time to start pondering what I could possibly find to write about tomorrow.

No Spring in My Step

So there I was, having Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I had managed to grocery shop, do dishes, put in a load of laundry. Where, I asked myself, was the Mohawk Valley adventure in that? Then my husband Steven came home from work and graciously agreed to go with me and our schnoodle Tabby on a walk. I decree that it is perfectly acceptable to write a blog post about a walk.

It wasn’t bitter cold out; in fact, it was above freezing. This was evidenced by the fact that the snow was melting and making some major puddles. Still, I wished I had remembered my mittens. I compensated by pulling my hands into my sleeves. Unfortunately, I was wearing the coat that fits, not the insulated sweatshirt where the sleeves are way long, so this was not as helpful or as comfortable as one could have wished. Did I mention it was Wrist to Forehead Sunday?

As we walked down the sidewalk (can’t trust the cars around here to be careful of a cute little doggie after all), we saw a major lake of a puddle up ahead.

“Let’s not plow through that,” I said. “Let’s cross the street.”

The other side of the street had been neglected by the sidewalk plow, but there was a beaten path. Mushy snow offered less moisture to penetrate our sneakers. Tabby didn’t care either way: wade through water, plow through snow, she was happy.

We spent the rest of the walk skirting large puddles, crossing the street to avoid larger puddles, and walking through small puddles. It felt good to walk, and I did feel grateful that, after all, melting snow means spring is on the way. As happened on my run, though, I was not able to enjoy the scenery as well while watching where I could put my feet for the least soaking possible.

Then Steven got the bright idea to leap over a puddle. He got a running start. He leaped! He made it!

“I am not going to try that,” I said. And me the athlete of the family. I hang my head in shame as I type.

As we walked down Main Street, we came to a long expanse of bare sidewalk. Awesome! We sadly observed closed businesses. Less awesome. There are some signs of life. Pete’s Tavern still does a business. Collis Hardware is still around. Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner is a going concern. The lady in Hummel’s Office Plus waved at us as we went by. Tabby likes to go in and say hello sometimes, but I thought her muddy paws were best kept outside. Belly Up Pub was open too.

We went through Meyers Park and started up Bellinger Street. I saw a puddle up ahead.

“Are you going to jump that one?” I asked. Then as we got closer, “Oh, no, that one’s bigger now that I look at it.” Steven attempted it anyways. He got a running start! He leaped! He didn’t make it! I should perhaps mention that he had not changed out of his work pants before we started out. “Oh, no, and I already did laundry,” I lamented.

“Water dries,” Steven pointed out.

“Mud doesn’t,” I said. “At least, it does and then it’s dirt.”

I did enjoy our walk, even though I am SO looking forward to warmer temperatures and no snow. For one thing, it gave me a 500 word blog post. Unless I read the draft to Steven and he insists I take out the part about him jumping the puddles. Some of you are probably still thinking I should have attempted it, too (you know who you are).