I opened the screen door to leave for my walk this morning and a squirrel sidled right over to greet me. That chubby little imp had been digging in my garden near the door and I surprised him and caught him in the act. His sharp nails were covered with dirt, no doubt due to a spike in the temperature and the dirt being easier to manipulate than the previously frozen tundra just a few days ago. He was wearing a “Who me?” look and no doubt was scrounging for a peanut or two from his harvest time stash, though from the look of him, he has a good food source right now. I shooed him away to get out the door, and he didn’t scamper … it was more of a waddle. I’m sure he is missing his daily handouts from Marge who has been away all week. She usually stocks the bird feeder and replenishes the suet holder when its empty, and the squirrels feel free to help themselves to the bird treats before starting on their own corn cobs and peanut butter sandwiches she provides to them. Well, I felt badly since I had a plastic pouch full of peanuts, but was not going to start tossing treats to him. I’ve done this in the past and then had to open the door very carefully as the squirrels liked to beg for food on the doorstop and I feared they’d scramble right on into the house once I opened the door.
My boss was out this morning and I figured I’d wait ‘til it was a tad warmer and take a longer walk. The weather felt almost balmy this morning but when I looked out the front door, hardly anyone had shoveled, so I thought boots would be a necessity today to get the walk accomplished. Thus, I left the house in my fur-lined boots, schlepping a big tote bag with lots of plastic bags inside. The contents also contained my cushioned heavy walking socks, walking shoes, the remaining “duck bread”, some of which I have been eating all week except the slices set aside for today’s treat, and a medium-sized baggie brimming with peanuts. Once at Council Point Park, I used the picnic bench in the pavilion to swap boots for shoes and socks and then set off, meanwhile dispensing treats to the ducks and squirrels who showed up along my way today – perhaps the bitter cold weather kept them hiding someplace warm when they went missing sometimes on my prior walks. Before I could head home, I had to repeat the process and go back into boots as the sidewalks were not shoveled clear to the cement near the Park either. All the way home, I was lamenting not owning a bundle buggy like my grandmother used which would be helpful to trundle all my supplies with me,. Metropolitan Torontonians really have no need for an automobile if they live or work within the City. The public transportation is excellent and one can get around via streetcar, bus and subway and get hours of free rides by simply using “transfers” from one mode of transportation to the next. My grandmother would walk to the grocery store at the end of the street or hop off the streetcar and head there, then using her collapsible bundle buggy, she’d pile a week’s worth of groceries into it to walk home. I must look online for my own bundle buggy so I don’t look like a pack horse walking to and from Meijer in any season in which I make that trip on foot, rather than by car. I’m still creeping along toward the end-goal, with the end now very much in sight.