I realized last night, on our evening walk, that I’ve written very little about them. Most of my focus has been on our morning ambles. There’s a reason or three for that.
Often, and particularly since switching to Daylight Savings Time a month or so ago when I started writing this thing, our evening walks are in the...wait for it...dark. My main sense, unlike Ben’s, has been severely constrained. My ears don’t have a whole lot to do either, as the wildlife is usually quiet, settling in for the night. Consequently, I rarely see or hear anything of particular interest.
Ben is as active as ever. His nose, through which he perceives most of his world, doesn’t need light. He trots from side to side in front of me, covering as much ground as possible while still managing to tug me forward. His nose is glued to the ground like a canine minesweeper. To an onlooker, I might look like a blind man sweeping his 15-foot-long, animated-at-the-end cane.
Since my senses are far from overloaded with outside stimuli, I find it easy to slip into a contemplative mood on these evening excursions. Sometimes, I’ll consider the morning’s walk. Did I miss anything - either in the telling or the remembering?
Occasionally, I’ll find myself recalling a particular moment but see it in the different light that time and altered circumstance often conspire to inspire. Each time you see something from a different angle, you are adding to your knowledge of it. Added lore should lead to greater wisdom. Or, as is usually my case, it becomes another canape added to my smorgasbord of useless trivia.
Perhaps things will be different as the days lengthen again and more and more evening walks take place before the sun sets. We’ll see.
Anyway, last night began as a picture-perfect postcard of a Christmas Eve. Heavy, but still fluffy snowflakes drifted in a gentle breeze, romanticizing the streetlights.
A moment later, no longer protected by a row of houses on the left, the west wind slapped us with a gust. Those fluffy flakes of a moment ago now packed some sting when they smacked cheeks and eyelids.
My legs reminded me early on that I had abused them just that morning, thank you very much. The southern part of the path, which Ben and I take every evening, is less-traveled than the northern one. So I was breaking fresh ground in crunchy snow again and my thighs weren’t too pleased with me at all.
I focused on putting one foot in front of the other while hurling thought bolts at Ben, pleading with him to start shivering and turn back for home.
He was a very bad dog and paid me no nevermind.
By the time we got back on the sidewalk, a half-hour later and a scant hundred yards from home, my legs were jelly. And the sidewalk, under a fine coating of new snow, was very icy.
“Oh crap,” said my thighs, in a manner of speaking.
Luckily Ben couldn’t garner any more traction than I, or even his wee frame might have been enough to topple me. Or tow me. He looked like he was exercising on a treadmill and I was as wobbly as a two-year-old ballerina.
But we made it home without mishap.
This time. They did say it was gonna be a long, cold winter.
So I was leaving the Beer Store yesterday, having returned some empties. Approaching my car, I noticed slush had built up in the wheel wells. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it before and kicked out the offending crud on the front passenger’s side. The stuff in the rear passenger wheel well had really solidified and required several mighty kicks before it finally loosened and fell. The rear driver’s side was easier and I headed to the front to finish up.
It was then I noticed a splash of colour in the back seat. Leaning closer, I peered inside. Wrapped Christmas parcels. Strange. I didn’t recall doing any shopping, let alone wrapping.
And the woman staring at me from the passenger’s seat at the front wasn’t at all familiar either.
I had just slowly circled and kicked the heck out of someone else’s car.
Don’t you hate when that happens? I blame tinted windows. They’re the work of the devil. And why is it that everyone has to buy a silver car just because I have a silver car?
The laughing driver, another lady, returned as I was slapping my forehead and miming my apologies to the woman in the car. Over my stumbling sorrys she not-at-alled and thanked me for ridding her of the accumulated ice and snow. When I peeked over a moment later, before pulling out of the lot, I noticed she and her friend whooping and hollering in a most unladylike manner.
Rascals must have gotten into the brewskies early because it wasn't that funny.