Today was a bonus day for me.
No, not the kind of bonus where you get a Christmas check from your boss, then you scurry off to the bank, secure in the knowledge that you can now buy that item that you have coveted for months, but didn’t want to indulge yourself with.
No, this was a bonus walking day.
The weatherman had predicted freezing precip in the pre-dawn hours, so I had already resigned myself that it would be a hunker-down-in-the-house-morning, so I was pleasantly surprised.
But, because it is Winter, and it is Michigan after all, and freezing rain might still fall out of the sky while I was out and about, I wore my new hiking boots. I’m such a fatalist sometimes, but really … who knows if I’m in the middle of the perimeter path at the Park and all of a sudden there is an icy glaze over the asphalt, plus I still need to walk 3/4s of a mile home? It’s happened before, and, given this year of bad karma in 2017, I would not like to land in the hospital in traction for making a mere misstep.
Besides, I am still kind of breaking in these hiking boots. Basically, they feel as comfortable as an old shoe … as that saying goes, except for the high cuff portion. That takes some getting used to as they tend to rub against my outside ankle bones and it feels a tad uncomfortable. So, what is the secret with the NBA players in their Converse Chuck Taylors … doesn’t that high-top shoe rub them the wrong way just a little sometimes?
So, last night I researched this dilemma. Would you believe there are many websites devoted to the art of lacing up your hiking boots for optimal performance? Well there are, but unfortunately, none for my particular brand of boots. I did discover how to wind those long laces around the double set of metal hooks at the very top where you make a bow, and, in the comments section, someone suggested putting a piece of bubble wrap over your ankle bone. Hmm.
Now, I must admit I haven’t given a whit about winding extra-long boot laces around metal eyelets and hooks, since I learned how to lace up my ice skates back in the day (way too many decades ago). I think I was eight years old, and had finally graduated from those kid’s double-blade runners to “big girl skates” and they were a Christmas present that year. I remember it took forever to lace those ice skates up, then tie the laces tight enough so you had good support and your ankles didn’t wobble to and fro.
In my mind’s eye, while performing this task, I just knew I was on my way to becoming Canada’s next skating star …
… but in reality, those bright-white, single-blade skates with yellow plastic guards actually logged more time in their original cardboard box than on my feet at Oakville’s ice arena.
So, creature comforts are important, as I want to wear these boots and walk all Winter, racking up the miles as much as I can, so I must break in these boots properly.
I was still dwelling on lacing up those big-girl skates during my formative years as I wended my way down to Council Point Park. I dealt with the squirrels rushing to my boot-encased feet and pacified them with peanuts then carried on with my trek.
Most of the surface of the Ecorse Creek in the first walking loop is still frozen over, and, just as I was wondering if anyone ever tried to skate on that ice during our two Polar Vortexes a few years ago, a flock of Canada Geese arrived overhead, honking and carrying on as they usually do. My mind quickly shifted to wondering if they intended to splash down onto that frozen surface, the destination they appeared to be aiming for. A split-second later, I saw the flock abandon the Creek idea and set their sights on landing in the grassy area right next to where I was walking. They were perilously close to me, so close, that I was in fear of my hat’s pompom, or even the shoulders of my jacket and its flipped-back hood. “Please no white speckles!” is what I wanted to cry out, but there were more people on the perimeter path today and I didn’t want to lose my credibility, so I merely mouthed that and crossed my fingers. They passed by without incident, and at least ten of them landed neatly within yards of me. Whew! Way to go guys. I sure don’t blame you for not wanting to skid along that ice and get a cold bum – I had that happen enough times while learning how to navigate those aforementioned ice skates.
What if that ice would have broken open when the flock of geese plopped down so unceremoniously? They’d have plunged right into the chilly water. Maybe that scenario wasn’t for them, taking that polar plunge, or skidding along the surface either.
Sometimes it’s okay to go glam and make an attention-seeking entrance, but other times … you just crave those creature comforts.
[Image of Snowlady by Jill111from Pixabay]
[Image of ice skates by Manfred Richter from Pixabay]
[Image of girl skating by Clker-free Vector Images from Pixabay]