… is what I told them. Them being three furry little squirrels at Council Point Park this morning.
No fanfare was involved; no fancy wrapping paper, baubles or bows … no gift tags. Just a little gift … from me to you.
What a difference a year makes.
Last year on Christmas Day, striving mightily to meet my self-imposed 500-mile walking goal, I suited up and left for Council Point Park mid-morn. Snow had been predicted for some time on Christmas Day, but though it was a little blustery and brutally cold, it was not a snow sky – so off I went.
I wasn’t there, but a half-hour or so, on the second time around on the trail, when the flurries began. Big fat flakes that did not melt on my nose or my toes like the Christmas song says. The somewhat snow-encrusted trail already had the occasional patch of glare ice from the several snow and ice events we’d endured since Thanksgiving morning.
Soon the snowflakes swirled around and landed on the trail and I could no longer discern clear asphalt from a glaze of ice. A snow squall quickly put down maybe a quarter-inch of snow and slickened up the trail.
Without a hood on my jacket to flip up, the gimungous snowflakes were saturating my clothing and I knew I should probably make my way home post haste. I crossed the grassy divide that is the “donut hole” in the walking loop as it seemed faster and not slick and slippery so I could head home ASAP.
I always wear a hooded jacket when walking, but it was really cold so I opted instead for my heavy down coat and Sherpa hat. By the time I arrived home, unbelievably the snow had gathered and piled up in the crevices of the coat where yarn-like material connected the down puffy squares together. My hat, gloves and sweatpants were soaked, as were my walking shoes. I got inside the house and into warm clothes and finally thawed out. Outside it continued to snow non-stop.
* * *
Looking back on a year ago today … believe me, I sure am not bemoaning the fact that Mother Nature neglected to give us the white stuff this Christmas, and that the Rockies instead have been gifted with the ultimate snow globe effect.
Yesterday, the weather folks predicted severe weather here in Southeast Michigan – thunderstorms for the afternoon and wicked winds for our Christmas Eve and early into Christmas Day. Certainly not your typical Christmas weather!
It was the one-month anniversary of the last windstorm we had, when 58 mph winds made my metal shed tumble across the yard and my next-door neighbor’s tree split in half. In September I also lost my power for 24 hours. Being a believer that bad karma happens in three, I was convinced this windstorm would be the third calamity for me in 2014. Thus, in a rather morose mood, I went to bed, cranking the thermostat up high and piling extra blankets around Buddy’s cage, hoping to thwart the cold temps since I was positive the impending loss of power on the holiday would come to pass.
Whew! It didn’t happen.
When I woke up this morning to hear the furnace chugging away in a very warm house and I saw the dim digital light of the stove visible in the darkened hallway, well … I was just ecstatic.
There could have been no better Christmas present for me than not having to deal with a catastrophic event on Christmas Day.
So, I was solo in the Park this morning and it was nice, as it gave me a chance to just chill out and collect my thoughts. I’ve been so busy with work, trying to finish up everything to just relax for a few days.
I had put together a care package for the critters to “gift them” while I was there on this Christmas Day. There was some stale bread for the ducks which were aplenty, and three baby Clementine oranges which were as hard as my head and couldn’t be peeled … by me anyway. I knew my furry friends at the Park could sink their teeth into that hard skin and they would be slurping orange nectar in no time, while the pulp collected on chubby cheeks and saturated their whiskers. They also got a petite Piñata apple along with their usual peanuts. Of course they ate everything up in record time and then came begging at each successive trip on the trail, scrambling over to see me with their sweet faces and tails swishing, like I’d never been by today. Really!?
For the people who travelled, whether it was to church for Christmas services, the store for a last-minute gift, or even to break bread with loved ones, the dreary and gloomy-looking day was not so very terrible. Instead, the trip to Grandma’s house was uneventful and not treacherous like last year.
Believe me, there will be enough snow globe scenarios down the road – of that you can be sure.