This ol’ bear …


… has walked 754 miles in 2016!

I know in my heart I COULD have done better, and SHOULD have stacked up more miles than this final tally. In fact, in late November, knowing I would meet and exceed my goal, I secretly planned to reach 800 miles.  But, boom … the first snow event arrived, then freezing rain and more snow the following weekend, thus dashing my ambitious goal.

Plus, there was an endless stream of calamities and mishaps that happened this year, further hampering my morning walking regimen.

Since I work from home, I schedule appointments for the morning to be less intrusive in my work day.

First, it was the furnace.

I endured multiple issues with my furnace in February, so there were several tech visits to troubleshoot the problem. It eventually quit shutting itself down, that is, until after a very warm Fall, it finally got chilly enough to put the furnace on again.  Then it was round two of the same issues.  After a pair of service calls, finally (knock on wood), on Election Day, the techs were able to detect and resolve the problem.

Next it was the car – grrrrrrrr.

On my 60th birthday, I went out to run the car, only to find it dead as a doornail.  This, despite getting a brand-new battery only six few months before and using a trickle charger as a helper for that battery.  The mechanics revived the car, but I was told to drive it more, or I would be facing more electrical issues.  So, drive it I did … instead of my usual 250 or so miles, I put 655 miles on my car this year!  For me, that is astronomical.  The owner at the gas station where I go to, said he has never seen me filling up every month, instead of just topping it off three or four times a year.  (Yes, he’s a funny guy.)  But, driving around in the buggy also pared precious minutes off my walking regimen as well.

And, then there was Microsoft …

Still other machines behaved badly – computer issues, both at work and at home, were a pain, and, for someone who works out of the home, it is paramount that everything works 100%. I thought I’d lost my mind with Windows 10 and Microsoft’s insistence that I come aboard the Win10 train.  I finally accepted the download, just so I could roll back my computer to Windows 7 and put on “Never 10” to block the intrusion, so they would leave me alone forever.  My computer has never bounced back to its former self and continues to plague me with occasional persnickety problems that I never had before.

And, there was more …

I replaced the battery in the kitchen clock, and out popped the chiming mechanism and the clock is now silent, no longer sounding at the top and bottom of the hour and I miss that ritual and noise.

Unfortunately, 2016 is not done with me yet – this morning I was eating breakfast, and heard the unmistakable sound of water dripping. Sighing, I walked over to the kitchen sink cupboard and threw open the doors.  There were wet spots inside the dishpan that goes under the double-sink pipes.  I wiped it up and shut the door – I’m afraid to look back in.

As I approached my 60th birthday, I figured “no big deal” … another year, another decade, and a few more gray hairs … I even noticed a couple of white eyebrow hairs.

But, along with marking that milestone back in April, came a series of annoyances … not all petty, like …

The parade of little black ants that merrily marched across my countertop one day when the Spring thaw arrived – where did they come from? I’ve never had little ants in the kitchen before, and suddenly there were scores of them, dashing to and fro on the counter, on the ceiling, even on my arm once!  This went on for about a month’s time, then suddenly they were all gone.

Then, other bugs were behaving badly in their stead … in August some carpet beetles chomped on both my ankles, causing an allergic reaction and two monstrous-sized blisters. Worried, I went to the, dermatologist for a look-see, antibiotic cream, and then spent several days staying off the walking path as I was afraid of contaminating the wound once each blister broke.

Bugs continued to plague me, right up to a few weeks ago, when I found a huge winged creature drowned in my creamed corn, after I already took a bite straight out of the can.

Of course, the biggest thing to rock my world was the loss of my beloved bird Buddy earlier this month. I will not deny that his passing has left a gaping hole in my heart, as well as a huge empty space in the kitchen where his cage sat atop the butcher block, a mere seven feet from where I work.  The loss is still unbearable, and, when I picked up his cremains earlier this week, intense grief was renewed once again.  Four weeks after his death, often, out of force of habit, I still find myself commenting to him and waiting for a peep  … but there is no response.  Buddy had my heart and my heart has a fissure that will not heal.  Perhaps it will be easier as time goes by.

Speaking of time, there are only a few hours left in 2016 … I am hoping for a happier and more stress-free 2017.

I know it was cold and windy this morning, and, while the wind pummeled me as I walked down Emmons Boulevard to the marina, I was able to count the blessings of good health that enabled me to make that trip effortlessly, and, the ability to crow about my meanderings to all of you who follow this blog.

On a whimsical note, for this blog post photo today, I chose a teddy bear named B.W. from my bear collection. My mom and I were shopping at Hudson’s back in 1986, when she spied a display of cute bears and bought him for me.  His abbreviated name of B.W. is short for “Boundary Waters”, which was a line of Dayton-Hudson women’s outdoor apparel that was popular back in the mid-80s.  His camping outfit and lug-soled hiking boots complete the outfit, but his “bear wear” also included a yellow vinyl slicker as well. I remember sitting him in the back of my AMC Pacer to drive home from Southland Mall, and, people were honking, waving or smiling at us since you couldn’t miss him looking out the back window of that Pacer, which car many referred to as a “fishbowl”.

So, now that we’ve celebrated my miles walked and commemorated B.W.’s thirtieth “birthday”, it is time to sign off for the last time this year. While we are gathering statistics, today’s post is the 857th since I began this blog in February 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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10 Responses to This ol’ bear …

  1. Majorie Aubin says:

    Your blog is full of yearly information. Next year you will easily meet your goal in walking. I love your bear. I hope all the little bugs are ironed out of your life.
    Happy New Year.


    • lindasschaub says:

      I aim to please 🙂 I hope I can meet my goal next year as well. I gave it a good start by getting in four miles this morning. B.W. is a cutie from way back … he sits in the T.V. room on a chair with Bernie, a huge grizzly bear my mom’s friend Bernice gave me back in 1990. Most of those bears are from way back. I hope it is a bug-free year for 2017 … not only the creepy-crawly kind but all around … Happy New Year back at you Marge.


  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….BW is quite old at that and congratulations on your 857th blog!……………….HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO!


  3. lindasschaub says:

    Thanks Ann Marie – just a writin’ and walkin’ fool. BW is one of the older bears I have – I began collecting them in the early 80s … I have not gotten any new bears in 10 years now. I got my last one when I turned fifty – a Boyd’s bear from the “Ladies of the Red Hat Society” … she is in a purple velvet dress and has a big hat and red necklace – the “Society” celebrates older women and purple and red are their colors of the “club”. Thanks for the well wishes.


  4. Cheris says:

    Linda, wishing you a happy 2017! Congratulations on your miles walked in 2016. I too, collect bears of all sorts. Most are Upnorth at the cottage, but I have them at home as well. I even have a bear nativity scene for Christmas… gotta love ’em!


    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Cherie – I didn’t know we had that in common. The last bears I got was when I turned 50 – Boyds Bears had a pair of “Ladies of the Red Hat Society” teddy bears and I got the tall one on the stand and a shorter one to match – that made 50 bears in all. Those are the fuzzy teddy bears – have some resin bears as well. There was finally nowhere else to put them … I encroached into my mom’s room, the den, and every flat surface in my room. My mom got me a Boyds Bear Christmas Tree Sculpture … it is bears climbing up a ceramic tree and it lights up … next year I will set it up and take a picture. I was happy to achieve those miles and already have eight miles under my belt for 2017 so far. I am loving this weather. Best to you in the new year as well. – Love, Linda


  5. B.W. is very cute!! He’s fashionable with his smart outfit detailed down to the scarf and lug soled boots. Love the story of how your mom surprised you with the bear and all the cars honking.
    And happy continued blogging and to making more friends and writing success.

    Liked by 1 person

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