Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18, 2009 - Union Street, South Weymouth, Massachusetts

I hadn't properly tied my right boot, and it felt on every step as if I was about to lift myself right out of it. But I couldn't turn back, and I couldn't stop.

The freshly fallen snow was untouched before me, the winter "blanket" we mention all too often. I've spent many hours this year searching for tracks in the snow on my daily walks, but today, there just was nothing to find. I was blazing a trail.

From time to time, I was forced to hop onto a ridge of snow, as I heard noises to my rear, and I wanted to see what they were. The sky was slate gray from end to end, but the snow had finally stopped for the day, after leaving about seven inches on top of whatever it was that was left from all the other storms. And there's more on the way later this week.

Onward I pushed, one task in mind, one goal to reach. I looked both ways and crossed the major trail through the area. Although the snow was relatively light, I had no idea what was underfoot with every move forward. I slipped and slid, but then, finally I found the quarry for which I had been searching: the mailbox. It had been eight minutes.

Down with a cold that developed late yesterday afternoon, I figured I should stick close to home. Doesn't it always happen this way? I have a day off from work, so I caught a cold and seven inches of snow fell throughout the day. A thought struck me as I walked, or, rather, as I paused to watch a red-tailed hawk fly overhead. Is this stretch of bad weather for the northeast a reflection of the economoic downturn? World War II was known for bad weather globally. The Great Depression was marked by the "dust bowl" years, when farmers out west couldn't grow anything because of unusually arid conditions and terrible dust storms. And during the Middle Ages, as one of my favorite professors at UMASS used to say, the weather was up in the air.

Too much thinking. Time to go beat the cold.

Time: 30 minutes.

New species: None.

Stranger hellos: 2 (32)

More accomplishments for the day: shoveled out both cars; read 50 pages in Beavertail Light Station by Varoujan Karentz; answered dozens of emails that have been waiting for my attention.

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