East side, west side, all around the town …

It is time for the final tally of miles walked this past year. Yes, I made it … whew! I actually finished up a few weeks ago thanks to stellar weather in October and early November. Good thing I wasn’t down to the wire as my walking regimen halted for four days over Christmas weekend courtesy of the Bomb Cyclone, when my measly walks were a trudge to the garage to run the car and along whatever snowy paths I cleared with my shovel.

What a difference a week makes, BUT, although the weather now feels like Spring, perfect for walking …

… it has rained yesterday and today, so I have slept in and rested on my laurels.

So here is how it all shakes out.

I met my goal of 1,256 miles (2,022 kilometers) on December 11th. I added another 28 miles to my total the past few weeks. Next year I will add one more mile for my 2023 goal (1,257 miles/2,023 kilometers).

And yay me for what I did driving wise, probably shocking fellow bloggers Ruth …

… and JP, both who teased me about my low car mileage back in January.

You both inspired me, (plus in May the mechanic reminded me I needed to drive the car more, forcing me to drive it to the Park daily and walk two more loops there, instead of walking through the ‘hood, unless we have wintry weather). I used to think it was fun to walk more miles than I drove, that is until I realized I was harming the car. The car was in the shop for two weeks in May or I may have racked up more miles.

Here are my odometer readings from January 2022 and a few weeks ago (1,300 miles is a lot of miles for me):

It was the best of times, …

… it was the worst of times, ….” is not only a portion of a famous quote from Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” but it also describes the last quarter of this year for me, when Mother Nature not only graciously granted me every weekend in October and early November to walk my socks off and really ramp up my miles, but she also had some wily weather tricks up her sleeve.

Yes, Mother Nature became my nemesis.

Maybe I whined about Mother Nature a little too much as to the heat and humidity, like on the first day of Summer when it was 96F/36C, or those doggone Dog Days of August, especially with this real-feel temp – ugh!

On the positive side, that lack of rain (this was our region’s third driest year on record) meant more days to walk!

I took every chance I got to enjoy the dry and unseasonably warm Fall weather. One local weatherman said the weather was “boringly great” and a couple of days later The Free Press described our weather:

It was great until it wasn’t …and, as you see here, again, like Christmas and New Year’s weekends, what a difference a week made!

Perhaps I offended Mother Nature by complaining here in comments or grumbling to myself as I added and subtracted clothing to match the weather that day, then, just before Thanksgiving, every time I turned around I was dealing with some weather-related issue here at the house. I was told it was our ever-changing temps: hot/cold and it was that disparity in temps that caused consternation, not to mention money.

I suddenly needed new deadbolt locks on both doors … never mind the fact that one door’s deadbolt was installed in 1984 and the other had been replaced in 2017. Both suddenly seized up and refused to turn. The locksmith said “hot/cold weather cycles are making your door frames shift ma’am.”

Then there was that hairline crack I noticed on the hall ceiling earlier this year. I thought it was pretty inconsequential – that’s a good way to describe it, THEN it morphed bigtime! Perhaps if I used the long-handled duster more, or had paid attention to that crack before I needed to change the light bulb in the hall light fixture, I would have seen that crack expanded and traveled across the hall ceiling and down the wall. That’s my job to fix now. And a paint job to boot … that painting task can wait until retirement, whenever that will be.

The Wicked Wind.

One day I noticed wide cracks in the mortar on the outside bricks. I had the handyman take a look and he determined the wind had caught the awning, partially pulling it from the wall and that created fractures in the mortar. Everything’s been shored up and tuck pointed, so hopefully that won’t happen again!

Yes, Mother Nature had her way with me with that wicked wind, but there was more to come … for sure my worst experience of 2022. Many of you know the whole story of the weather woes on December 2nd, so I’ll give you the abridged version here.

As I tootled off to bed that evening, I knew that gusty winds were forecast for the 1:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. time frame. And yes, that big old dead tree in the backyard two neighbors down was worrisome, but I fell asleep quickly as I’d walked five miles earlier in the day.

After hearing a series of horrific booms at 11:30 p.m., I bolted out of bed. Simultaneously I heard banging at the front door, threw on some clothes and found neighbors standing at the bottom of my front porch steps trying to alert me there was a raging fire in the house behind mine, just 25 feet from where I slept. The loud booms happened when a tree branch from the dead tree fell onto the power line and the line fell onto the chain-link fence between our houses – the arcing noises on the metal caused the booms. The wind whipping around moved the downed wire to the neighbor’s garage and it was on fire.

These are some photos of the fire from our City’s Facebook Resident Forum. These photos were taken at the front of the neighbor’s house – you can’t see my house as it’s behind the flames:

The fireman put caution tape around my house and I was told to wait for the all clear, which came shortly before 2:00 a.m. Inside the house, it was very smoky and I wore a mask for two days. We got power back mid-day Saturday.

I should have taken a photo of the garage, but the shell of a garage was demolished and hauled away a few days later. I only got photos of the debris. That corner of the yard is scorched, bushes planted decades ago gone, BUT the house was spared … as was I.

Years ago, before the Polar Vortex of 2013-2014 ravaged my butterfly garden, the yard was a paradise. I refused to replant, then I began walking in 2011, then blogging in 2013 … less time to garden, so, I will dwell on what to do about not only this corner but the rest of the yard over the Winter.

In 2022, I lost a few friends.

Spring was tough – I lost four friends from March through June. Terry passed away from complications of a stroke and COVID in March; Kirk was in his vehicle at a stop light when a dump truck driver was texting and rammed into his vehicle and Kirk succumbed to multiple injuries two days later in May. In June, John lost his life to heart failure. Lives snuffed out – friends suddenly gone.

I also miss Arnie, a fellow walker, whom I often mentioned in my posts. While I prefer a solitary walk, Arnie and I discussed nature as seasons unfolded at Council Point Park while we fed the squirrels. He only walked one loop per day here, but he frequented other nature venues where I visit, so he gave me rundowns of what he saw on his bike rides there. Arnie did not use a computer so he could not check out my blog, but he would have loved to hear about some of this year’s nature sightings, especially the Sandhill Cranes as he was a birder. Here is a photo of Arnie and his wife Carol I featured in a post. Carol walked sporadically due to back issues and has not been back to the Park since Arnie’s passing in June.

I hope 2023 will be better

I’m borrowing an idea from fellow blogger Ruth. She is a Michigander like me and every month in her blog Ruth features an inspirational calendar’s monthly quote. I saw a great nature calendar with monthly quotes and bought it, then shared with Ruth I was going to be a copycat. This is the calendar front and back.

No, I’m not going to open it and hang it until January 1st. My mom never hung up a calendar until the new year arrived deeming it bad luck to do so. So, “Momism” or old wive’s tale, its shrink wrap stays on one more day. Stay tuned for the January page in my first 2023 post. Finally, (if you’re still here – I know this post is long), my New Year’s wish for you, appropriately an e-card calendar of nature scenes, can be found by clicking here.

Happy New Year one and all!

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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98 Responses to East side, west side, all around the town …

  1. What a YEAR!! Yes, hoping for a safe, happy 2023 … and another mile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rajkkhoja says:

    Very nice you share your walked of miles. Christmas weekend courtesy of the Bomb Ceylon. Beautiful weather.
    Congratulations your goal of 1256miles(2022Kilometers)on end of the year.
    Beautiful you share mother Nature weather to the heat & humidity.
    How the fire your neighbour 🏠.what reason firein the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi rajkkhoja – glad you liked the post. I usually do a recap post the last day of the year to state my miles walked, if I met my goal and any miles over that goal. The weather was pretty erratic this year – we had extremes like that hot weather (hotter than usual and more frequently) and we had drought conditions. I have pictures taken in the Autumn of marshes that are completely dry due to the drought. Even now, we’ve had a rainy day and Spring-like weather. Tonight we will have a wintry mix, possible freezing rain. Not good for people out late celebrating the new year. As to the fire, luckily, the neighbor’s house was not damaged, just his garage as the downed power line fell onto the fence, then onto the roof of his garage. It was windy and that spread the fire more. It was a big fire and took several hours to contain it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        Sorry for distrub you. It’s good your house is safe.
        Thank you so much. Here is cold weather. Not more . I like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You did not disturb me rajkkhoja. You can ask me any questions you want. I don’t mind the cold weather, but what we had last week was a Polar Vortex-like air mass. It was brutally cold outside, plus high winds. Thankfully that is gone, but now it is Springlike due to the rain. Very strange weather. It looks like it is already 2023 where you live. Happy New Year to you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • rajkkhoja says:

        Thank you, Linda 👍 Beautiful you share 🚗 speedometer. It’s look 9999 that’s your target for walk year2022.
        There weather is Rainey & hot. So nicely!
        You lost of two(2) your best friend. It’s very sad. I pray 🙏!
        I live in India!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bekitschig says:

    Momisms are too funny. I nearly put on washing this morning but it’s bad luck to have laundry haning on New Years Eve 😉
    Wishing you a great start to 2023! Bring on the peacocks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, those ol’ Momisms will get you every time Jeanine. I have never heard of that superstition before. My neighbor had a thing where she hid a dollar bill under a rock on New Year’s Eve because it was supposed to bring a year of luck. I had never heard of that either, but she convinced my mom and me to do it … now we never won the big or small lottery. As to the peacock, it’s funny because I was writing a few notes for my annual “how did I do fulfilling my Birdie Bucket List” and I decided I should put a peacock on the bucket list and mention you! Happy New Year and best in 2023!

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  4. Happy New Year and let’s hope 2023 will be less eventful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. peggy says:

    Now 2022 was quite a year for you. Congratulations on meeting your walking goal plua a few miles. Mother Nature was a bear this year – all over the world. Sorry to see your neighbor had a fire – so devastating. You had so many things in this post I felt I saw your whole year pass before my eyes. Happy New year and hope the New Year is GREAT for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Peggy, thank you … good thing I finished up early with my goal, which I try to do as December can get ugly weather. Yes, I am glad to kick 2022 down the road and begin anew. There were even a few more weather-related and oddball things, but the post was getting too long as it was, so I omitted them. I hated to go on too much about the weather because I see what people have dealt with weather-wise this year – you included, between all your tornadoes and the angst that comes with each one, whether your daughter has a safe “hidey-hole” you could wait it out in, or you choose to stay home … there is still angst and fear. Plus you had days, even weeks, of horrible heat. Icestorms in the Winter – Arkansas is a Southern state, so who expects that wintry weather? The fire was devastating – luckily just his garage and lucky for me just charred remains of a garden and a hacked-up tree taken down as it was too close to the power lines. So I was lucky ultimately, but the fear of watching the blaze and wondering if there would be damage to my house, just 25 feet away, was pretty terrifying. I am hopeful the new year is great for all of us, good health and happiness. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Here is to a great year in 2023. Let’s hope nothing drastic happens to either of us. That fire in your neighbor’s house was terrible. So glad your house is fine. Am so proud of you for the miles you walked in 2022. Has inspired me and my husband and we have been walking more. 😊❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I hope you are right – let’s take day at a time and hope for the best Peggy. Thank you! I am pleased that I got it done and today was the first walk of the new year. A bit foggy, but got four miles walked. I was happy to see the end of three days of rain and now we have two more days of rain. I am glad you and your husband are inspired and walking more – best exercise in the world and will not bother your joints like running or other sports. Onward and upward!

        Liked by 1 person

      • peggy says:

        Yes, onward and upward!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lets hope 23 will be more cheerful for you Linda but remember adversity sharpens your point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I hope so too Wayne and I agree with your thinking. Like the song goes “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – it’s terrible that adversity makes you better equipped to get through this thing we call life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jessica says:

    Sorry you lost so many friends. The accident with the dump truck sounds awful. Hopefully whoever’s house burnt- that they’re ok. Glad you still have your house. At our other town, our neighbors’ house burned the week before Christmas. It was devastating to watch and see. Congratulations on completing your miles!!! How exciting! Happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Jessica. Yes, it was a tough year for losing friends – one I’d known for a quarter of a century. If everyone could know the story of the texting dump truck driver, perhaps they would not text and drive. A crane had to used to pull the truck off the car and there were so many broken bones and internal injuries, it is amazing he lasted two days. Fire is devastating … this was scary as it was just 25 feet from my home and it was very windy – two plus hours of wind and flames as they battled the blaze. There are so many fires occurring this time of year – Christmas lights, space heaters are often to blame . I am happy to have made my yearly goal – thank you. Onward and upward!

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  8. Your walking miles are impressive. I didn’t record my walking after John died, being busy trying to keep up with Lise. I wish I knew how much I walked. Maybe I’ll keep better records next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Anne – well you had a lot on your mind. Start fresh tomorrow. I see people at the Park tracking their miles on their phone – does your phone allow you to do that. I just use my pedometer I bought back in 2011 . You would not believe how many steps I take after I clip the pedometer on and even begin walking on the loop. It all adds up.

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      • I have an app on my phone, but I’ve turned it off. It counted steps. I never looked to see if it would calculate distance. When I walk in the morning, the distance is always the same because I go to the same places — either to the stop sign or the creek.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s easier to keep track that way – track steps for each route … just the stop sign or all the way to the creek, then keep track that way. I really prefer walking to/from the Park rather than walking the extra two loops each time in addition to the two or three I usually walk. I think I will start just taking the car for a run, bringing it home and walking in the neighborhood like I did for years. Also, a walker got a flat tire in the parking lot from glass, so I’ve been parking down the street – sounds a little crazy, all to run the more. (And it still has a new leak issue unfortunately.)

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      • It is wearing to be continually worried about a car. I’ve had bouts with cars too, but not with serious weather interfering.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am hoping it can be fixed quickly and I am aggravated this couldn’t have happened in the Fall when we had clear and dry weather for months. We are supposed to have heavy rain when I take it in – will get soaked walking home. They always ask if I want a ride home and I say it’s okay, I’m a walker, so hopefully they ask this time.

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      • Fingers are crossed for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thanks and now we are having torrential rain tomorrow morning. I guess it is not snow, but still….

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      • Rain could be pre-snow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m hoping not – really raining hard this morning, thunderstorms overnight and more rain tomorrow. I hope none of it turns into snow, but we are expecting a little of that too. Crazy weather – hope you stay safe. I know there were some tornadoes in Arkansas. A fellow blogger lives there and they get a lot of tornadoes and she says her daughter has a “hidey hole” they go to wait it out. I’d be a nervous wreck.

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      • We had high winds today, as well as high temps. I saw 68° on the thermometer. Just a couple of weeks ago we had -1.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The weather is just crazy isn’t it? We had fog so thick you could not see two car lengths in front of you this morning, so I didn’t walk again … it is still raining. We got to 57, higher than predicted and had that -24 real feel a couple of weeks ago. The snow can stay away in my opinion. Maybe buying the snow rake helped to eliminate a lot of snow. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Joni says:

    Congratulations on meeting your goal Linda and best wishes for the New Year! I hope Mother Nature behaves this year and your house woes cease and desist!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Joni. It is good to finish up early as you never know what is in store in December and we have had a few snowstorms in November since I started my walking regimen. I missed walking four days last weekend due to the storm; walked Tuesday and Wednesday this week; Friday was slippery and black ice so I turned around and came home – now two days of rain. I could have gone this afternoon, but stayed inside. Tomorrow morning may be icy as we’re getting some freezing drizzle tonight – not a great forecast for New Year’s Eve. I remember for years watching Guy Lombardo with my parents and eating munchies before getting older and going with friends. In our City they are allowed to shoot off fireworks from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. At least it rained a lot today so the ground is moist. Happy New Year to you and your mom!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I’m too old to go out on New Years….haha! Sometimes I’m in bed before the ball drops, but I had a long nap after supper so I’m good for awhile now. I walked today – it was like spring – very nice but a bit misty. Happy New Years!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’m too old too Joni. After I shut off the computer, I struggled to remember the last time I went out on New Year’s Eve and could not remember. Oh well. The fireworks were done earlier than I thought they’d be. I have shut the alarm off the past three mornings as rain/fog was predicted and happened, so tomorrow I’ll ease back into normalcy and put the alarm on and since there is no rain, so I’ll get to the Park. The weather is incredibly mild and just crazy, but a much more enjoyable weekend than last weekend when I worried about the weather. I finished my book! I’m tempted to start another one, but maybe the smarter thing would be to sort more photos instead – maybe get thru July, the last weekend in July I took a lot of photos, including an hour or so spent at the Emily Frank Gardens when the Gardens were at peak and I will do a post about that while it is still wintry out … hopefully it is not too boring with just flowers. Happy New Year to you too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Good for you for finishing your book!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Thanks Joni – I wish I had a few more days, I would have started “A Walk in the Woods”. I had told myself I’d finish today, but I got caught up in the plot. Today I finally got a walk in and I sorted more photos, but still not done with July. I probably have enough walks/photos to last until Spring at this rate. I did the Emily Frank Gardens … lots of flowers and yard art and may be boring but hope not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Flowers are never boring….esp. in the depths of January.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well, that is true Joni – maybe I should push them ahead of February then. Our meteorologist remarked on the rain (raining hard when I left to take the car in this morning) and a thunderstorm tonight, rain tomorrow morning – crazy weather, to which he said “there’s still a lot of Winter out there yet.” Well that’s too bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Oh I’m sure winter will be back, although next week looks good too. Any news on what is wrong with your car?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, unfortunately Joni. Maybe a little tomorrow or Saturday as to snow … hoping not due to getting the car (hopefully). No, I have not heard about what the leak was and I called today since I took it in Monday a.m. and they had not put it up on the hoist yet. No walk yesterday (pouring raining) nor this morning (very foggy and raining). Bizarre weather!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        They hadn’t even looked at it for 3 days? They must be very busy. Is it an indie garage?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hi Joni – yes, well I took it in Tuesday morning so now it is three days. Yes, they are an indie garage. I have been dealing with them when I still had the Regal. I went there as my horn would start honking on its own and the only way to shut it off was to pull the fuse. Every time I got out of the car, I pulled the fuse, so I went there when they first opened up, 21 years ago to see what they could do. They disconnected the horn and put in a little horn button. I am not someone who honks the horn and I never used it but wanted it if needed. The Regal had a lot of recalls – one of the recalls was a “mushy horn pad” but the dealer could not fix it. I have only taken this car (a 2009) to the dealership once for a recall, the infamous ignition switch recall. All they did was take the ring off the keychain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I remember that recall for my mom’s car – it had something to do with the weight of the keychain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, exactly and I had heard about that ignition issue for a long time and how important it was to book an appointment for the “fix” as soon as possible, but I didn’t know what they would do. When I got there that morning, I was allowed to stay in the car in the service area and they took the keychain away and handed it back to me 1/2 minute later saying “all fixed – we removed the extra little ring.” So I picked up my car this afternoon – it never leaked last night either. He said “your car is in great shape – nothing to worry about.” You know I’ll worry anyway – that is my nature.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s strange, but at least you had it checked out, even if it did take a long time, and you can keep an eye on it. I’ll answer your gmail on the weekend. Thanks for the reminder re ACG&S. I’ll give the first episode a try but if I find the characters too annoying that will be it…..I wasn’t keen on them last year, although the scenery was nice. Mom fell asleep. Lateish,so not sure if I will read tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hi Joni, yes I thought it was strange too, but at least I know nothing is wrong. It was given a thorough check and deemed perfectly fine. I don’t drive too much in Winter unless it is clear/dry out and I need to take it for a bit of a run now as it has sat for three weeks. It was not great out this morning. The sky is gray, the landscape blah, so likely will take no pictures wherever I go. I have too many pictures to sort thru now as it is. The scenery was nice in the Dales in ACG&S. Don’t worry about the Gmail – take your time, when you have time. I did mention reading and I want to start another book, but won’t chug thru 25 books as I stated in the Good Reads Challenge. A book a month would be good … better than what I do now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        A book a month would be more reasonable. I would read a two books a month when I was working, and now a book a week is my usual, so about 50 books a year. I used to record my books on Goodreads, but haven’t been on the site in a year or so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have heard of Goodreads but not their challenge as I often go there after I finish a book to see what others say about it – except the “Hotel Nantucket” as I could discuss it with you. After each episode of “Mad Men” and I watched the entire series which was seven years I used to go to “The Guardian” (UK newspaper site) and there was a columnist who wrote a recap about every single program back when it had originally aired. I would read some of the comments – sometimes there were 500+ comments. Just read a few to get other’s impressions of that show. I think a book a month might be more reasonable, but when I saw the average was 44 books a year, I thought my measly amount might look pitiful, so I upped it. When I worked downtown, before Robb/I moved a mile away, I read going to/from work and at lunch most days. And at night if it was a page turner.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        ACG&S was okay tonight – but I have trouble with the accents sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s funny you said that Joni – I shot you an e-mail after ACG&S was over and said I was struggling with the accents the first 45 minutes. When James and his parents were speaking in their heavy Scottish brogue I was lost for sure. Helen’s father mumbles – glad it’s not just me. I sent you a recap e-mail I got from Masterpiece from last night’s show. It was interesting about the vintage wedding dress and cake … I hadn’t noticed the figurines on top of the cake, but they were vintage and difficult to find.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. trumstravels says:

    Wow what a year! Congratulations on your walking! And so sorry about your friends. That is so sad to hear. And I am glad your house did not succumb to any of the fire from behind your place. How awful for that to happen to anyone. I am wishing and hoping 2023 will be better, 2022 was not too great for us either and I am trying to be optimistic that next year will be better! Happy New Year Linda and I wish you all the Best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Susan. I finished up early as I had no idea what this wacky weather had in store and wanted to ensure I reached my goal. Yes, it was a bad year for losing friends, not to mention car and house issues, but this fire was so worrisome as I watched the wind whipping the flames around and I worried for my house. I am glad everything worked out okay and the neighbor lost just his garage, luckily his house was fine. I hope 2023 is a better year for you as well. Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, that was quite the year. That fire was tooooooo close, glad you only ended up with smoke to deal with! Congrats on meeting your walking/driving goals and setting new ones for 2023. It’s the easiest way to keep on keeping on by looking forward to something new. Thanks for the reminder to change my calendar…I completely forgot! Happy New Year, Linda, may the weather be kind and your adventures bring you much joy this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was a scary night – you know the whole story and I just gave the abridged version here. You have to have something to look forward to or what is the purpose for existing? I normally would have walked these days if it had been light snow, not slippery as I could have left later, but heavy rain, no. Better than last weekend though. I didn’t hang the calendar, nor open up – got engrossed in my book! I have to take a photo of January’s pic/message for next Monday’s post which will be a recap of nature pics, mostly birds this year. I did get a lot of joy in my walks this year – I saw more new birds than ever before and my first Chipmunk. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad to read all of your thoughts you just shared, Linda! Keep on keeping on, and 2023 will be a year of accomplishments!
        I could send you a couple of chipmunks…and rabbits…! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes – hope so Shelley! I was sorting thru photos from Humbug Marsh the other day and I forgot I had a photo of a jack rabbit. I usually just see the Cottontails. Yes, first chipmunk despite all the woodsy places I go. I had a raccoon in my yard according to Marge’s son. He came home one night to see raccoons rummaging around in his garbage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You remind me of myself looking at my SD card, while I don’t have the variety of critters and squirrels that you do, I sure take a lot of photos of birds and rabbits.
        I hope the raccoons have moved on from your spot. They can be trouble! Cute, but trouble.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have to start using Google pictures rather than what I’m doing now which is sorting thru them and e-mailing them from my Google e-mail address to my regular e-mail address, or using something like Drop Box. After I get caught up with all these photos, I have to streamline photos … maybe my life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • My kids love storing their photos on Google, I’ve only uploaded copies of ones we have stored on our server.
        That’s a lot of steps you do, so it might be easier to get one of those online services.
        Streamlining is a nice theme for the year. I’m ready for that too. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just went over to Google Photos and looked around. That’s a lot of room. I do have to have a more permanent means to back-up photos. This works and I delete them after downloading them for that week’s post. I had a Dropbox account for work years ago, but just a free Dropbox for receiving client docs. I used to upload them on Shutterfly but then you have to download each one (or you used to); with Gmail, I can download the whole batch at once. Looking around the house “streamline” works perfectly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m curious to hear what you finally decide to do with your photos.
        Ah, yes, streamline it is!! I’m trying hard to do that too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I should have worked in the house, but I got out for a long walk and a little drive … did some stuff, but should have done more. Everyone is Michigan is watching the Lions – will they beat the Packers?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I worked on tax prep and bill paying and reading a book. Still not done with either task! 🤣
        Looks like Michigan should be happy with the results of the game!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Those tasks eat up time, that’s for sure. I wait til I have everything to do the tax document gathering, but you have tenants, so have way more stuff to deal with than me. I was surprised we won – some people thought they may not play as hard since Seattle Seahawks won, so their chance for the playoffs had ended.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m taking a less stressful path with my prep this year. We’ll see how that turns out.
        I’ve seen many people say the game was Aaron’s last one……

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        That’s a good thing. I had heard my all-news station sports analyst saying that as well about a possible retirement.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s time for both of those things to happen 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Cushy job as a sports analyst/commentator maybe in the cards now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL – you know we liked him best out of all the hosts on Jeopardy after Alex passed away…I’m sure that won’t happen though, Ken has the deal sealed.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on meeting your goals for the year, Linda! 🎉 Wishing you a very Happy New Year with fewer disasters to contend with! Although I suspect the extreme weather will continue to be a major problem. So sorry about the loss of your friends. What a spectacular and scary fire that was. I’m so glad your house was spared. Looking forward to seeing the calendar posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Barbara! That mild October and good weather through mid-November helped a lot. We have been known to have snow storms in November with snow that lasts in December, as do you, so I really pushed myself. You’re right about this weather – it is not my cup of tea. I finally walked today, though it was foggy. Tomorrow we will have torrential rain, almost an inch and there are flood warnings out for some cities. Yes, the friends all passing away at once was tough. As to the fire, I will never forget that night as long as I live … I left out a lot of details as the post was long, but you know the whole story about my fear from the booms, flames and wind, but nothing catastrophic thankfully. I just opened the calendar today to take pics of the January and February pages. I will use the January page for my post next Monday. I spent a lot of time sorting through photos this long weekend – sorted only to July 30th – have many more to go through. Must. Take. Less. Photos.!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, at least the bad weather gives you a chance to sort through all those photos! Good luck trying to take fewer photos. 😉 The anxiety you went through standing outside for hours, not knowing how bad the fire would get or where it would spread to, was super stressful and unforgettable. I keep saying this but you definitely get more than your share of bad weather and urgent home and car repairs!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, that is one good thing about the bad weather Barbara and you mention bad weather … well tomorrow you’ll likely have what we had here today with the all-day rain (when I had to go out early to drop off the car of course). It rained most of the day, we will have a thunderstorm overnight and more rain tomorrow. Not great at all. That was a terrible evening Barbara and you know the whole story, most which I omitted as the post was already so long. That wind blowing the fire around and smoke so thick I couldn’t see what was happening at times – what a night. It was a long year and I hope for some peace and tranquility for everything this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, it rained a lot yesterday and will be raining again this afternoon. Not as much as you had. We’ve been lucky with relatively mild versions of your weather. It seems to fizzle in intensity by the time it gets here. Staying cozy inside and trying to catch up with things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I hope our massive fog fizzles out for you. We never got entirely rid of that fog and it rained a good part of the day. That is a nice thing about the rain as I can justify taking a time out from walking as I don’t care for walking in the rain. Too many years of catching the bus and standing outside in bad weather make me feel like that, but some of the walkers at the Park just put on a raincoat and take their umbrella and walk anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. ruthsoaper says:

    What a nice year in review post, Linda. It wasn’t the best year but not the worst either. Congrats on both your walking and driving miles Will you be updating us on your bird bucket list? I’m not sure what to expect for 2023 but something tells me to buckle up because it might be a wild ride. LOL! P.S. I got my new calendar today – I think you will like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Hi Ruth – glad you liked it and thank you. I am happy you saw I excelled (well, for me anyway) in the car miles department. 🙂 I will be doing my bird bucket list next Monday. I figured since I just did the year-end post, I’d wait until next Monday. I should have made a picture folder throughout the year, but that would have been too easy – I have to go through the entire year to get the photos. I have a lot of photos to sort thru and did that part of this weekend, but have still only sorted through the last weekend of July! I had a great year for birds and have a few more to add that I was not looking for that I saw when going through the photos (a Flicker and a Belted Kingfisher) – it was my year for sure! I read your P.S. and went over to see your calendar page for January. I like it – a beautiful Jay and an inspirational and true Bible passage. Thanks for inspiring me to do the calendar pages as well.

      Like

  14. Sandra J says:

    Those photos really show what you had to witness that night. Wow, how nerve racking that must have been. Scary stuff. I am glad you are ok.
    Congratulations on your walking and I do enjoy those inspirational words like that as well. And oh so true they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Sandra – it was scary outside and before I went out as well as the arcing line was on the chain link fence. I know you know the whole story which made it even scarier. Now I am concerned for every wind storm while that huge dead tree is there. I sure hope not. I was pretty sure I’d make the mileage as I was ahead most of the Fall since we had such beautiful weather most of the weekends and I was pushing myself weekdays too. I liked this calendar – a year of inspirational quotes and beautiful pictures. A fellow Michigander blogger (Ruth) did the inspirational calendar pages each month and I liked that idea, so saw the calendar at Meijer and bought it and told Ruth I was going to copy her idea.

      Like

  15. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Congratulations for walking all those miles, Linda. I’m impressed! Our weather in Southwest Ohio can be crazy too–from Arctic Freeze to April Breeze (or the opposite) in a matter of hours. Our daughter and S-I-L (here for Christmas) went to the grocery store the evening of Dec. 22, and it was relatively warm with just a breeze. While inside though, the temp dropped, the snow arrived, and so did a hefty wind. They knew weather-change was coming, but couldn’t believe the difference 45 minutes made!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Nancy – I appreciate you saying that. I racked up a lot of miles when we had such beautiful Fall weather every weekend, so I really bulked up the miles then. You never know when you’ll get a bout of lousy weather which happened here as I didn’t get out for four days over Christmas weekend, then three days in a row over New Year’s weekend due to the rain (which we are having right now and had all day). Very strange weather – even thunderstorms overnight. It is amazing how the weather fluctuates like that isn’t it? I once left the house to go on a two-mile errand. The sun was shining, no hint of rain in the sky or the forecast. Two miles later I drove through a hailstorm that lasted just a few minutes, but long enough to leave pit marks on my car’s finish. I like the idea of “Arctic Freeze to April Breeze” – very clever. Happy New Year Nancy!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I am so sorry for getting behind. Having health issues and with Christmas and all. Anyhow, congratulations on your amazing success with walking. That’s crazy how many miles you have on your car and hilarious they suggest you drive it more. How sad you lost four friends last year. My grandpa always said when your young you read the marriages & births in the newspaper and once you hit 60 you start reading the obituaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, you were very fortunate to have stayed safe (and your house) from the fire. That must have been so scary!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I felt very lucky Diane – a fire just 25 feet away from my house is way too close for comfort. I was shaking like a leaf after hearing the booming noises and running outside and seeing all the neighbors standing at the end of my porch steps and they were banging on the door. I know it is over and I was okay, but I keep thinking about it. At the end of the block a transformer blew and caused a house six doors from me to have the circuit box explode and blew the windows out!

        Like

    • Linda Schaub says:

      No worries about getting behind Diane. Back about a month ago I was 12 days behind and only caught up as people were posting less due to th Christmas holidays and taking blogging breaks. I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. Now that the holidays have settled down, I hope you can take some time to rest up a little as you work so hard during the holidays and deal with constant pain every day. I did like driving less miles than I walked and thought that was kind of cool to do that, then they kept telling me at the shop where I take my car “no, you have to drive it more or it will have problems!” I just picked it up from the shop as it was leaking … it was there several days and never leaked there. They said it was fine (but it leaked and I saw it) … they checked it over, said it was perfect, so I went and got it. Yes, four friends’ deaths in a short period of time floored me and what your grandfather said was very true and it’s a little scary.

      Like

  17. J P says:

    A belated happy new year! It is sad to lose friends and relatives, and I lost a few too. There was a time when I went to lots of weddings, but now it seems that we go to more funerals.

    And hooray, the 5th digit on your odometer lights up! I’m going to go out on a limb and predict you will never get to test the 6th one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      It is sad JP – especially having lost four people in just a matter of months – it really makes you stop and think doesn’t it? Just like hearing about people my age with serious age-related ailments.

      A funny thing about having the 5th digit on the odometer there … you may not believe this, but it was distracting until I got used to it as I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye. After all, it took me 13 years to get there. Ha ha – it’s a safe bet that I will never get to test the 6th one at the rate I am going!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Prior... says:

    Hi Linda – I am getting caught up on some posts and glad I was able to read this one
    Glad you and the house were not injected by the fire and maybe the yard needed some clearing out of old debris?
    I am not into gardening anymore either – would rather spend my time elsewhere but I am grateful for the garden days in my life

    And condolences for your losses – the accident with Kirk is just extra sad and reminds us to all be careful when we are out and about whether that is walking, biking, driving, etc
    Oh and glad you are getting more miles on the car – when my friend donna’s father let me store a car at his house – he started it every day and drove it once a week
    He kept it going and I am glad he knew about all of that
    //
    Lastly – regarding the calendars – we used to get the inspirational calendars with bible verses for the month – they had awesome graphics (late 90s and into 3099s) but now I use very basic calendars and fold them back so you can’t see the image – just the days – and i use it less and less because of digital calendars – but found we still need the paper calendar for a few things

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Looking at my backyard now, makes me cringe Yvette. When I had the butterfly garden with its butterfly bushes and all the perennials, it was just a little paradise back there. I spent hours and hours tending to it, with not a weed in sight, never pruning or deadheading to be done. Then the new neighbor (now gone) moved in with his dog left outside 24/7/365 and we got rats for the first time ever. The exterminator put out bait boxes and poison and I had to take the feeders and water dishes away. Then the Polar Vortex of 2013-2014 killed my entire butterfly garden which made me just sick about that. I refused to replant, deferring it to the following year – good thing as we had another Polar Vortex that Winter. I was into my walking regimen and my blog, so I tabled everything until I had more time, as in when I’m retired. But, like you, I am not sure I have the energy to spend every day out there like I once did. Plus, my biggest hesitation in replanting now/when retired is the erratic weather we have now. We were in moderate drought this past Summer and have Spring-like conditions in the next few days. I just don’t know if I want to invest in redoing the yard.

      I lost all the bushes and a lilac tree in that corner of the yard and my energy company (DTE) hacked up two of my trees that were close to the wire. I think everything has to come out back there. The City cut off our yard waste pickup by a week and we had snow, so I raked all the leaves to that corner of the yard which likely contributed to the charred ground.

      I actually keep my walking tally and any appointments on my computer, but this year I bought a pocket calendar to write down my mileage and appointments and then I saw this second nature calendar and decided to copy another blogger’s idea with the quote/verse and image. You have two people in the house, who may need to see each other’s calendar.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Hi Linda – I am not sure my husband ever looks at that paper calendar – but it helps me because I give the dogs heart worm medicine and just write little notes
        And sometimes I just want see a real life calendar and flip the pages until a certain event –

        And I knew a little of the story about the rats and then the polar vortex – and I lost a huge rosemary shrub during that first polar vortex – and that back area was not as lovely as your butterfly garden sounds – but it did hold its own and we lost a lot in that area
        But I actually like it cleared out and plain and because we have dogs – there is less debris for ticks to hide in!

        I was overwintering one reed geranium this year but might have lost it with the cold this week – hmmmm
        No worries if I lost it because when I over wintered two pink geraniums a while ago – they came out leggy and blah

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I’ll see how my bushes and roses fare from this brutal cold spell at Christmas, then decide how I’ll approach this backyard. I wanted to make it a paradise again, but don’t want it wiped out. I don’t like leggy plants either Yvette. For years i bought the hanging bags of impatiens – I got three to hang on the fence and one in the backyard was my spare in case one of the front-facing bags looked bad. But the deadheading and needing to water them twice a day and inevitably they got leggy looking and ugly. I know the geraniums can be done, but it’s nicer to get a fresh one that has shape and is vibrant from the get-go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        Oh yeah – the watering twice a day can get really old!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I finally gave up on the Gerbera Daisies. Even putting the pot under a tree, they’d “faint” halfway through the day!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... says:

        By the way – it was nice to catch up a bit 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It has been nice having you back in the fold Yvette. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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