Steppin’ out …


Winter marches on, but I’ve resumed the walking regimen … for now.

Woo-hoo, I’ve walked a total of twelve miles in 2018, as of today.  That lowly total is hardly something to brag about, and, I know I have a loooong way to go to top last year’s total of 1,050 miles walked in 2017.

In my defense, this year’s weather got me started off on the wrong foot, er … boot.  Honestly, if it was not frosty temps with brutal wind chills, it was snowing, or freezing rain.  Or the cement was covered in ice.  How can I gain traction in my walking regimen, when I can barely gain traction to walk to the garage on an ice-slickened sidewalk?   I’ve lost count how many times my morning agenda was shoveling.

So, I waited it all out, with crossed arms, while tapping my foot.

My patience finally paid off, and the past three mornings I’ve strayed over to Memorial Park which is fairly close to my house.  I’ve been walking on the snowy grass, doing laps around the park, meandering past the memorial monuments to the City’s war dead and the big canon.  The flag was flapping in the brisk breeze this morning – yes, that 20 mph wind and 22-degree temperature sure put some color in my cheeks, but, more importantly, I had a spring in my step once more, as I was glad to be back into the walking routine.

The bare trees and snow-covered benches made the park look very barren in shades of strictly black and white.  I suspect after tomorrow’s brief warm-up, the grass will start peeking through the snow and add a touch of color to the landscape over there.

As I began my trek, I watched some chickadees flitting from branch to branch and wished I’d brought along some bread for them, even though they seemed a little skittish in my presence, and quickly relocated to another tree almost as soon as I encountered them.  I wanted to call out “have no fear little ones, as I mean no harm and I’ll take care of you tomorrow.”

Also on that first complete lap around Memorial Park, I passed a group of squirrels playing tag.  At first they were oblivious to me as they raced around in the snow, and up and down the trees.  On that second go-around, they had finished playing but were scrounging for food, down on all fours, their muzzles covered in snow.  I approached three of them, and tossed some peanuts in their direction, and watched those treats quickly disappear into the snow.  It didn’t matter as the trio seemed wary of me and each one scampered away.

I tried to interact with those squirrels back in December when I was walking at this park, but, even then, they were not as friendly as the squirrels at Council Point Park, whose mamas teach them early how to beg once they catch sight of a human who has a pouch of peanuts in their hand or pocket.  The squirrels are a big part of my daily walks at that venue, and, of course, when they’re standing up on haunches, flicking a furry tail and then creeping over to my walking shoe toes, just endears them to me more.

Clearly these Memorial Park critters need to be broken in, as they see me as a tall stranger tromping through their domain.  Perhaps when the snow begins to fade away tomorrow, and they spy their peanuts that magically will appear, they’ll recognize me as a trusted friend to them going forward.

Today’s blog post photo is a painting by my artist friend Maggie Rust.

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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2 Responses to Steppin’ out …

  1. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………….tell Maggie that I liked her “Nuthatch” painting………………..quite awesome……………….soon those Memorial Squirrels will learn whose got the peanuts!


  2. lindasschaub says:

    Ann Marie – OK, I will let Maggie know. I have to teach those squirrels how to beg. So, picture if you will, this tall human telling them how to get treats. I’d better not be too nice or they might follow me home. We dealt with squirrels at the back door for a long time and had to quit feeding them as they’d wait by the door and wouldn’t leave until they got peanuts. My mom was slow getting in and out of the house with her cane and climbing up the stoop and we worried one of them might get into the house. 🙂


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