Hardly! It sure isn’t “fangtastic” weather-wise today … in fact, it is about as ugly as it gets out there. We’re in the midst of a 36-hour rain and gusty wind event. Ugh. No … make that double ugh!
I was very young, and still living in Canada, when my Halloween costume was Little Red Riding Hood one year. It was chilly and a little drizzly and my parents said “just around the neighborhood once and then home, okay?” Candy-wise, I wasn’t allowed to eat any of my goodies anyway, especially those chewy and gooey, black-and-orange-wax-paper-wrapped peanut butter kisses, so Halloween for me was all about parading around in my costume, which consisted of a mask and a chintzy-made, red satin dress and matching cape. A plastic bag emblazoned with “Little Red Riding Hood” was included for goodies and completed the ensemble. In those days we didn’t use plastic pumpkins with handles, nor pillowcases, to collect our treats. Mom bundled me up in a heavy coat under the costume – wisely, parents usually bought (and still do buy) the costumes a size or two larger to accommodate cold weather on October 31st. With an umbrella in tow, and holding onto my father’s hand, off I went to yell “shell-out, shell-out, the witches are out!” with all the other kids in the neighborhood.
The slight drizzle turned into a downpour and my father soon had enough of traipsing through the damp conditions and we went home. We stepped into the house, standing in the vestibule, both of us dripping wet, when Mom discovered I had a hole in the bottom of my bag, likely because I had dragged the bag on the cul-de-sac’s gravel roads. All that survived the bumping along Sandmere Place was an apple and a popcorn ball. But that was not the worst of that Halloween night excursion … the cheap, satiny costume had bled red dye into my wool coat, leaving huge stains, which the drycleaner could not remove. Money was dear in those days, so I had to wear the coat until the next season, which, by then, I had grown out of. My parents would often mention that unfortunate Halloween event in great detail when I was growing up. I would not don red satin for many more years … more on that later.
Since Halloween fell on a Thursday this year, I was sure I could find a photo of myself in a Halloween costume and label this post “Halloween Throwback Thursday” but, to my surprise, none existed. I went through all the family and friends photos I painstakingly scanned in two years ago, to no avail. As an only child, believe me when I tell you that through the years my father, with his 35mm camera, or Mom with her Baby Brownie, captured hundreds of images of their offspring. But unbelievably, not a single photo of me existed where I was dressed like a fairy princess, a hobo and not even in the fateful Little Red Riding Hood costume – shame on them!
The only costume photos of Yours Truly back in the day were my high school friends and me at our Millionaire’s Party. This was an event at our high school where we dressed up like characters from “The Great Gatsby” and paid to gamble with paper money at roulette, black jack and, if memory serves me right, slot machines. There were real croupiers that were brought to the high school cafeteria for the event. So we paid to play and all money raised from the event helped to fund our All Night Party on graduation night, June 13, 1973.
My mom must have taken this shot because the top of my head is not cut off. I was proud of my outfit which I sewed myself, even the small satin purse, sequined headband and garter, which I made sure to flash – this was the early 70s after all!
Through my teens and beyond, I always had my Kodak Pocket Camera handy, so I fished it out of my purse and handed it to my friend’s father, (alas, also short in stature, just like my father, who, at a half-foot shorter than me always managed to cut my head off whenever he took a photo of me). Looks like Linda Wilson and I lost the top of our heads, and, in her case, her updo, as we towered over our friends. This was a group shot of us girls before we headed to the event. (Sheila decided to don a fedora and borrowed her brother’s suit for her costume.)
It’s month end … time to mark my miles.
Well October’s weather was fabulous at times, meh at others and the last week or so, it’s been horrible!
I am glad I was able to boost my miles substantially during that wonderful week of warm and sunny weather and I walked my socks off, gleaning lots of steps in a short amount of time. Thus, I was really pooped sometimes after getting my daily, five-mile trek done. Whew!!
Dare I say that these five-mile trips in an hour’s time are for younger legs than mine?
After that week of beautiful weather, from one day to the next we dropped thirty degrees and the weather folks said “cover up your plants (and yourselves) as we’ll likely have a hard freeze tonight!”
I soon had a bone to pick with Mother Nature as I scrambled around to gather woolens, gloves, a hat and a hoodie, all items packed away since Spring, before heading out into the bone-chilling weather. Yikes! Here I am huddled under a hoodie, my teeth chattering.
I’m looking forward to the sun’s earlier appearance after this Sunday, so I can get out and on the road earlier. To gain steps, I’ve been getting home later and later and it’s been a mad scramble to get to work timely. This morning’s weather is abysmal! I wonder how there could be any rain left in those clouds and I’m already fretting over losing power due to gusty winds. Sadly, those beautiful October days are now in the rear view mirror and I’ll forge ahead to get those remaining 166 miles/267 kilometers done to meet my eventual goal of 1,242 miles/2,000 kilometers by year end. In recent months, my steps were on dewy morns on paths damp from an early a.m. rain …
… now there are leaf-slickened sidewalks to traverse, incidents of black ice to beware of, and soon, maybe even tonight, that dreaded, four-letter word “snow” will be uttered – oh no, please say it isn’t snow!
What about the status about my fellow striders on the perimeter path at my favorite nature nook?
Well, as is the case every year, slowly but surely, the regular walkers at Council Point Park are packing it in for the season, resorting to mall walking or using a treadmill in the comfort of their homes.
So, sometimes it is just little ol’ me trekking along my route to the Park or visiting my furry and feathered friends … who knows what dangers are lurking around the ‘hoods or the pathway at the Park?
Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep a grin on my face so I can get this goal accomplished.
On a separate note, I want to tell you that Mike Posner, the young man I profiled in my blog earlier this year has completed his trek. Mike’s 2,851-mile journey began by dipping a toe in the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey on April 15th and walking coast to coast across America. He reached his final destination of Venice Beach and jumped into the Pacific Ocean to celebrate on October 18th. I followed Mike’s trek from Day #1 on Twitter. He had hardships along the way, like a three-week hiatus after being bitten by a baby rattlesnake in Colorado, but he persevered and got his journey done. He says he is a better person for making this trek and for the rich experience and continues to rise daily at 4:00 a.m. to meditate and practice yoga and is still walking, but with no more goals for the immediate future. This map on Mike’s Twitter feed shows his rigorous journey.
I am inspired by Mike Posner and will do my best to achieve my goal, hopefully striding purposely and not just muddling along in the bad weather. At any rate, I am reminded of this quote I saw recently and will make it my mantra for the remaining months of 2019: