Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Walk In Wonderland

After two days of snow, what some called a blizzard, I stepped outside to enjoy the beauty. A white blanket draped all the bushes and trees in sparkling jewels. The full sun already had clumps falling from the trees and the sickles were dripping.
It wasn’t that I had to go out. There was still plenty, actually more than enough grub to keep an army fed for a month, but I was out of beer.
Alcoholic? I don’t think so but it was an excuse to walk up to the nearest convenient store and replenish.
I had made this venture many times before by myself and with another. Today I was alone.
The depth of snow, they say, has broken the record books, but I found my footing. After several layers and a wool cap with a red dress pin on it, I found my way out to Mansland.
One gets a bit of cabin fever and stir crazy in isolation. Just a step outside can free the spirit and a walk can bring it back. So today’s adventure was to go find a couple of beers to watch the afternoon football with. No shoveling required.
Upon entering my inner sanctum I wondered why it was so dark. The constant light was still on but it felt darker and colder than usual, then  realized the skylights were covered in snow. I put out some critter grub I couldn’t before and they came a running. Al was please to have Owl TV on. I selected my bag and off I went into the unknown.
There were no footprints in the alley so this was the first exploration in this area. After kicking enough of the snow aside for the gate to squeeze open, I stepped out.
Up to my knee was how far my foot went until I felt something solid under it. It is not far to the street but lifting and pressing forward through the deep whiteness is a cardio workout.
“Maybe I’m too old for this?” I panted. “Suck it up and be a man. You can do this”, my inner self told me, so foolishly I continued.
The street had been scraped and there were a few cars out. Mostly folks walking dogs or pulling sleds ventured out in the cold. There must be a reason for each of these folks to leave the warm shelter into the arctic but everyone was friendly and conversational, as if we were all survivors.
I found a rut with some powder to get traction. The first slip reminded me to take it slow. Always have one foot on powder. Always!
I start on the go with the traffic side but realized I should be facing the traffic to see what was coming. When a car came close I step into the mound next to the road to let them pass. Of about the dozen cars that passed by most were traveling slow and responsibly, but a few were up to speed and talking on their phones like there was no snow at all.
My main goal is to get there and back without falling. Falling without someone else to pick you up was not a pleasant thought so I just ploddy-ploddy forward and took my time.
The sun was warm on my face so I’ll probably have sunburn. I was already sweating but it was a good workout. My breathing had calmed down to my pace and I was moving forward. The game was on.
I noticed stopped in the street ahead. Wasn’t sure if it was stuck or out of gas? Walking passed the driver who was standing in the roadway and I asked if he needed some help. “I’ve got a flat tire and a broken axel” he replied. “Sorry, I can’t help you. Good luck dude.” He smiled and I shuffled on.
A few couples were just out for a walk in the sunshine and seemed to appreciate the greeting of “It is a beautiful day.” The girl walking her dog got a comment directed at the dog of “Be careful pup. The snow is deeper than you are.” I was having fun.
Head down and semi-sliding block after block I had found my pace. A few cars passed and I wondered why they didn’t offer me a ride? I guess people don’t do that anymore. I wondered how the melting and refreezing would make the road tomorrow but I didn’t worry about it. Today was my adventure.
Upon the arrival at my destination after a brief climb over snow piles, I entered an empty store. Not totally empty for there was an attendant and the shelves seem full. “Have you been busy?” I asked and only got a mumble back. I walked directly to the beer case. It was pretty well stocked but what I wanted they didn’t have. I checked out the options available and had to make a decision. I had walked all this far not to go home empty handed.
I made my purchase and went outside to pack my bag for the long return. As usual all things do not end well. I struggled to get my pack off then tried to adjust the straps. Both processes seem comical and unsuccessful. I finally placed my rewards in the bag, zipped it up as tight as I could and held it by the handle. The cute girl texting in the truck at the front of the store probably enjoyed my silly dance.
The way home was just a reverse of the way I came. Few more folks out shoveling their cars out and walk ways. The broken down car was still there but the driver was gone. A guy walked passes and said, “Be careful, this is really slippery.” I replied, “Yes sir, I am well aware. You be safe too.”
Two more blocks and I were almost home. No traffic allowed me to cross against the red light. What was the golden rule? Always keep one foot on the powder.  Shifting the bag from side to side would hopefully not strain one arm or another but I’ll see tomorrow how old I really am.
I pause at the alley before entering the deep snow. I’d just walked about 3 miles carrying 18 beers and wanted to catch my breath before digging through the drifts. Panting as I met the gate, it was harder getting in than it was getting out.
The sense of accomplishment overwhelmed my tiredness as I pulled up to the folks seated at the table. Al told me “Everything is cool” as I cracked back into my football watching area. I turned on the heater and spread out some more food before a sweet taste of delight and a well-deserved seat. Phew!
After a few cans and a cool down period, I went back into the house to change the wet cloths for dry warmth radiating in my accomplishment. Tonight will be football and music and maybe a recording of another of life’s memories. Tomorrow will tell just how old I am and if it was a foolish venture.

1 comment:

TripleG said...

Tomorrow will tell all right. But it will have been worth it.