It was a day tailor-made for Frosty the Snowman … in fact, just like Frosty, I felt like I might melt away once I stepped into the warm house.
But, despite the morning’s bone-chilling temperature, it was dry and without snow, so I was lucky to tack on five more miles toward my ultimate goal.
I took the car for a spin due to the cold, so I arrived earlier than usual at Council Point Park. There were no walkers around … no cars in the parking lot, not a single soul on the perimeter path. So, it was just me and my thoughts, and, oh yes … about a dozen squirrels.
My furry friends came running over to me as soon as I neared the pavilion area like we were long-lost fiends. I said “guys, it’s only been one day … what will you do when snows covers the path and Linda disappears for a while?”
But, whether they love me for myself, or just the two Ziploc bags of peanuts that they spied poking out each pocket of my puffy parka, they surrounded me in a heartbeat as they waited for treats. Who could resist all that adoration?
The asphalt path was outlined in snow on both loops, and likewise, the water’s edge of the Ecorse Creek still had minute traces of snow from yesterday’s flurries. In some places, a thin coating of ice had formed on the Creek surface, but in other places, the mallards paddled along freely and there was no ice.
It sure was blustery, despite all the precautions I’d taken by adding multiple layers, but, after all the air temperature was 19 and the wind chill was in the single digits when I left the house.
There had been a horrible apartment fire about a mile away and the flames were finally doused at 7:00 a.m. I’d seen photos of the raging fire online before I left on my walk and figured the air would still be filled with a choking smoky smell, but it was perfectly fine.
After my five-mile trek, as I was walking back to my car, I recognized a couple of cars whose drivers were regular walkers – they were just pulling into the lot. Then I saw Parker, who appeared out of nowhere (beneath the car perhaps?), so I turned the Ziploc bag inside out and he got the rest of the peanuts, all spread out at his feet, like he was a little prince. It was quite the booty, and those peanuts were paired with his benefactor’s advice, mumbled through frozen lips, to “be smart little buddy and squirrel some away because the snow is on the way.”
[Image is a painting entitled “Wish Upon a Star” by Cheryl Lynn Miller]