Just like the Paul Simon song, the year is likewise slip-slidin’ away.
Let it go – I’m in no hurry to keep it around, nor the decade either. I’m eager to start a new decade tomorrow.
As I write this post, through a prayer, crossed fingers and toes, I managed to reboot my furnace and warm air is circulating throughout the house. That wasn’t the case most of Monday when the furnace had a big fail. The HVAC folks will come out to rejuvenate it for New Year’s Eve early this morning. I asked Mr. Furnace why it couldn’t have its hiccup while the temps were above average, instead of the first day when temps were below average and the winds were 45 mph/72 kmh and snow would soon be a’flyin’. I got no answer. I concede that things could be worse … all in all I feel very blessed, despite my occasional grumbling and whining (about the weather mostly).
So, about two weeks ago we had an Arctic blast which lasted a couple of days. The thermometer dipped down very low and the Ecorse Creek at Council Point Park soon froze over. That weekend, though the temps were warmer, the Creek was still frozen solid. I saw Harry the Heron trying to cross the Creek to the other side. He wobbled a little as he strode across on his icy trek. My guess is that he could not take off and fly once he started on his journey. I held my breath a few times, sharing that Great Blue Heron’s pain. Many mornings when I still worked on site in downtown Detroit and took the bus, I’d have to walk on glare ice. I took baby steps down our street to get to the bus stop. I assure you my heart was in my mouth the entire time.
Harry gained confidence at some point in his trek, throwing his head back, saying “I’ve got this” … perhaps this was when the ice was bumpy, enabling him to get a grip.
But at one point, he slid and was off balance and righted himself again by crossing his legs in a very amusing pose – pretty fancy footwork there Harry!
He made it across and I wanted to shout “yay!” I was lucky enough to be able to document his arrival from this side of the Creek banks.
You can see here how the ice was beginning to melt a little, so my guess is the fishing would be better at this spot. After all, who can spear their beak through a frozen Creek to catch a minnow?
I chose these photos, not just for the “slip-slidin’ away” theme, but also I thought the heron’s adventure mirrored my year of walking … there were times, especially after that whopper snowfall on Veteran’s Day, that I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew and I would not achieve that lofty goal I set for myself. After all, my original intent was always just to go one more mile than the previous year. But I rose to the challenge of walking 2,000 kilometers/1,242 miles suggested by a fellow blogger, even though it meant tacking on an additional 80 more miles/128 more kilometers than I would have originally intended to walk.
As I mentioned on December 12th when I made my goal, it was a year of wacky weather. Winter overstayed its welcome (although Winter is never welcome in my opinion) and Spring was rainy – not just a gentle rain, but torrential rain that went many days in a row. Summer arrived and most of my favorite haunts for weekend treks were swampy or muddy. Then it was hot and humid and Fall was just a blip – we really had no Fall and then it snowed twice in one week in early November and that left me shaking my head – it was then I questioned if I could meet my goal.
Luckily the weather rallied back in December – then we had above-average temps … until yesterday.
Last Saturday I took a six-mile walk, back to Elizabeth Park, where the squirrels and birds gathered around me, like I was Snow White. I truly don’t know who was having a better time – them or me? I guess me; plus I finished off the year 2019 with 1,300 miles under my belt and took a slew of pictures as well. I took the rest of the year (three days) off to rest on my laurels (and because the weather was crummy).
And because I like rounding off numbers, I will finish off the year with this 1,400th post.
And, by the way, a few days ago, I reached 7,000 miles on my 2010 car. I took a picture of that monumental occasion, but I’m going to keep this post simple and nature only, so I’ll omit it.
So, I’ve pondered what to do about next year’s miles. I don’t want to merely assume I can get to 1,300 miles again. The weather folks say we are in for a snowy Winter with a brutal January or February in store. I don’t want to fret about making miles – walking is supposed to be fun.
So for 2020, this brand-spanking-new year and decade, I will walk 2,020 kilometers/1,255 miles. If I go over that, I’ll be happy, but I won’t try to top it. When I am retired and can walk any time of day, I can shoot for the moon, but with so many snowy, icy or rainy mornings messing up my walk before I begin my workday, I’ll do this type of goal in the interim. Next year I’ll aim for 2,021 miles and so on.
I believe walking is the best present I’ve given myself because, had it not been for walking, I never would have started blogging nor had a renewed interest in photography. And, of course, I’d never have met all of you here in Blogland.
Happy New Year one and all!