Today marks the first full day of Spring.
I decided I must get myself back into a regimen in conjunction with the walking, but it has been so difficult after several months of being sedentary – no, make that almost sloth-like, which was pitiful in lieu of the 565 miles I walked last year.
Sure … I said I’d go downstairs and ride the exercise bike every morning, which sounded good on paper and made for a terrific New Year’s resolution. Every morning that alarm would ring and I’d consider the idea – really I would. But, the thought of peeling off my warm polar fleece jammies and traipsing downstairs to the cold basement in shorts and a tee-shirt versus curling up as content as a cat under the covers – well, you do the math on how many bike rides I took.
So, no more excuses, and now I need to atone for all those mornings that I stole a few extra ZZZZs and merely trudged out like an automaton to run the car, which trip substituted as the exercise for the day.
This morning I forced myself to be up and at ‘em, and ready to go and hit the three-mile mark if possible.
However, first I had to resort to a trick with the alarm clock to get me bouncing out of the bed, like it was a warm Summer day. Instead of a snooze alarm, I have two alarm clocks, set about 15 to 20 minutes apart. You might recall one of them broke when we had to spring ahead a few weeks ago. My new alarm clock, a different model, has a rather obnoxious ring to it. It is loud and would wake the dead. So, I put that one in the kitchen last night, and when the first alarm went off this morning, I hightailed it to the kitchen to shut the second alarm clock off, and then just stayed up. Perfect! I was feeling smart to have come up with this plan, rather than just rolling over for forty more winks and falling asleep again.
I headed out, and, just as I closed the screen door behind me, I shot a glance at my next-door neighbor Marge’s big thermometer – yup, the needle rested right at 40 degrees, just like the weatherman said. Nice! Marge is hopeful that Spring has sprung because I noticed her two gliders out on the deck, complete with pillows. Now, that’s a positive attitude. The squirrels and birds, however, are left scratching their respective heads, wondering where she will strew their goodies now?
It was windy out but that is the way March is supposed to be, right? March is all about those winds, followed by April showers and the promise of May flowers. It was also quite humid this morning and wet patches were all over the streets and sidewalks. Someone close by was burning wood in their fireplace and the smell seemed to carry and land on my clothes and stayed with me the balance of my trip.
The snow has not all melted and every so often, in bushy areas where the sun can’t reach, there is an occasional pile of snow. The rest of the landscaping is rather lackluster with brown and yellow grass and bare trees and bushes everywhere.
The chalk artists have already been out – those youngsters wielding a big, fat pastel stick which gets whittled down quickly once they start drawing on the bumpy sidewalk. I saw some chalk drawings with flowers that resembled hippie VW van artwork circa the 60s or 70s. There were also alot of pictures of stick people with no clothes on – brrrrrrrrrrr.
Those pastel chalk sketches were not the only telltale signs of Spring on my walk today. I also saw the perennial harbinger of the season, robin redbreast, who crossed my path soon after I left the house. He spied a puddle at the end of a homeowner’s driveway and hopped over there, eager to try it out. Into the puddle he plunged, and squatted down until his full body was immersed in the murky water. Then he flipped his wings and water droplets flew everywhere. There was mud in the street, so his bathwater wasn’t the cleanest, but he was content and splish-splashed away, totally oblivious to my presence. Seeing that robin, I made a mental note to start coming up with a plan to keep the pesky robin at my house from trying to build a home in the coach light since he and I have an annual battle over his nest-building the entire month of May.
I decided to walk to the border of Lincoln Park and Wyandotte, a familiar route when I first began my walking regimen. I paused at the bridge over the Ecorse Creek, which separates the two cities, and looked for ducks and geese. There were about a dozen or so, and they were tucked away on top of the occasional patches of snow which outlined the fringes of the Creek. They appeared to be roosting there, but a few brave souls had paddled out into the Creek and were enjoying a cold swim.
On my return trip, I took a different route and saw a sign of life in a dirt garden at a corner property. Since the last time I passed by this house, someone had raked the leaves and yard debris from the garden, exposing dark green shoots, which were already about 2 inches high … they will be tulips one day if the snow or icy temps, or even the bunnies, don’t zap ‘em first.
I came home with a little spring in my step after my brush with Mother Nature’s visible signs of this newly minted season.