Another blustery morning – brrrrrrrrrrrr. The temps and wind chill were wicked when I departed the house and the wind was howling at nearly 20 mph. It is garbage day in the neighborhood and the last week of yard waste pick-up. If I had one dollar for every yard waste bag or hay bale I passed, I’d be rich. As I walked down the next street over from mine, the garbage men had already made their stops, making quick work of their task, casting aside cans and their lids haphazardly on homeowners’ front lawns. Well, that was too bad since the gusting winds moved those cans and their lids all over in short order. Garbage cans were rockin’ and rolling in the street, never hoping to find their way back home unless a big street address was emblazoned on them. The sidewalk ahead of me was lined with lids which looked like over-sized hockey pucks as they slid up and down the sidewalk on their own volition. I had to dodge them all the way down Pagel until I caught up with the garbage truck and as I passed it, I asked the guys if this brutal Winter-like weather was worse than the sultry, sickening-hot days of Summer. They both grinned and told me this cold weather was far worse, which surprised me.
As I walked, hunching over with my head down so my face would catch a break from the brutal wind, my parka hood fell backward and when I tipped my head upright, just then I saw a side screen door fly open and a woman emerge. No doubt she was judging the proximity of the garbage truck after hearing the huge kerplunk and thunk, that would have raised the dead, as the garbage men pitched a whole toilet and tank into the truck’s massive jaws. The woman was struggling to get out the door, while pulling and pushing a black garbage bag, trying to squeeze the contents to get it through the door. Finally successful, the door closed behind her. She was clad only in a short cotton robe, wrapped loosely with a tie belt. Matching dainty pink bedroom scuffs completed her outfit. Just as she grabbed the garbage bag’s tie handles to haul it down the driveway, a huge gust of wind crooked a wily finger under her flimsy robe and sent it airborne in a scene reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s famous photo standing over the subway grate. The expression on her face was just priceless. Since I was within earshot, I said “guessing you’re a little chilly; I was just thinking to myself that I wish I had added tights or long johns to my clothing mix when I got dressed this morning” and then I smiled. Now, she could have thought that I was a smart-aleck, and I probably took her aback with my comment, but she hesitated a bit, then just laughed it off and told me she was glad it was just me who witnessed her escapade, then wished me a happy Thanksgiving.
I fairly flew around the Park perimeter path since it was THAT windy. Again today, the regular walkers, runners and bikers were absent, and I nearly had the trail to myself, but for the Chocolate Labs and their owners who shared my penchant for a frosty early morning walk. Even the squirrels were scarce this morning and I didn’t see my little guy who followed me yesterday. Really … how would I know it is him anyway and not an imposter? There was still an icy skin covering the Ecorse Creek on the first leg of my trip, but around the bend, the opposite branch of the Creek was not icy at all, but the wind was rippling and churning up the water. At the concrete precipice, I deposited some bread for the small group of ducks and dashed back up to the trail, lest a gigantic wind gust caught me and sent me flying into the murky water.
In what little peripheral vision I had with a parka hood drooped down partially over my hat and head, while scrambling back up to the trail, I noticed a darkish blob up in a tall tree in the distance. At first glance I just thought it was a squirrel’s nest. But then the blob took flight and I saw the wide wingspan and immediately suspected it was a hawk. It alighted on another branch and I got a fairly good look at it and confirmed my suspicions. It flew away shortly thereafter, hopefully not to terrorize any of the small birds or critters I see as I wend my way along the perimeter path.
I added four miles today toward my ultimate goal; now only 58 more miles to go. While it was cold and windy, at least it was dry. A light accumulation of snow is predicted before nightfall. That coupled with the cold and blustery weather in this cold snap make this tail end of Fall kind of forgettable.