‘Fraid to say these chilly temps are here to stay. The bright and sunny skies belied the frigid air when I embarked on this morning’s walk to Council Point Park. When I got to the Park, the couple who usually stroll the perimeter path with their dogs in tow, each in its own stroller, stopped to converse about the weather and to caution me about the icy patches along the pathway. With that caveat in mind, there was no gazing at ducks or fall foliage as I kept a watchful eye to the ground. They were spot on because there were many icy puddles and I veered all over the pathway trying to walk on dry asphalt. As I reached the very last bend in the perimeter path, it might as well have been Dead Man’s Curve, as I slid on the wet pavement. There was no visible layer of ice – it was black ice only. I didn’t fall, and righted myself but felt uneasy, so I left the pathway and walked along River Drive which runs parallel to the Park. I suppose I should now switch to my new walking shoes which might have more tread on them. I bought two pair of Easy Spirit Punter walking shoes in April of 2012, fully intending to rotate them daily. I never got around to it in 2012 nor this year. These awesome shoes never needed “breaking in” and have really served me well. I did not record my daily mileage in 2012 but would guesstimate it to be at least 200 miles, and in 2013 I am currently nearing the 400-mile mark. I have indeed gotten my money’s worth out of these shoes, which is really the only expense paid for my walking pastime which yields entertainment and exercise.
Before I left this morning I raided my cold-weather gear once again for a warmer hat to replace the one that blew away yesterday. Since I took the bus for well over three decades, I have amassed a collection of hats and scarves with matching gloves or mittens through the years. Some were purchased to coordinate with various coats; others were hand-knit by my mom. I had a full-length storm coat with a Sherpa-style collar with a matching hat which served me well for eons as to my daily bus commute. The coat is long gone now and my Sherpa cap features a big visor and a pom-pom adorning the top … or, I should say, used to adorn the top. Several of my caps or hats must be professionally dry cleaned and this cap is one of them. When I take my hats to the cleaners I always need to sign a waiver that the hat may not be returned in the same condition. I picked this hat up in the Spring of 2009 and it was still in its cleaners bag untouched for over four years. This morning when I opened the bag I noticed more than half the yarn pieces in the pom-pom are either missing or pulled out of the center and sticking up on their own. I peered into the mirror and the top of my hat resembles Alfalfa of “The Little Rascals” fame. Now, if my mom were still here, her tongue would first “tsk-tsk” at the dumb cleaners while she pulled out her big knitting bag to rifle through it for some cream-colored yarn. She’d pull off a hat trick by putting her pom-pom maker to use and in record time the hat would be restored to its original state. No hat’s off to me for a great repair job, so I’ll just grumble about it each time I don the cap or relate this little yarn to anyone who might indulge my whining.