Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Today is the winter solstice; I'm kind of glad. From here on out until June 21, we're going to be gaining daylight. I always look forward to that happening, although it's not really noticeable until about mid- February up here.
I went out for a walk yesterday with my eldest daughter, Jennifer, or Jen as she prefers to go by. The sun was out full force when we started out, even though it was being really stingy with the heat. That's one of the problems with sunny days at this latitude. They look beautiful and they always entice me to step out, even though I know better, but once outside, their true nature comes to light so to speak. At first it's not so noticeable. You still feel toasty, having just left the warm comfort of your home, but about half way through our walk I start to feel the cold on my cheeks and forehead and the first chill from the frozen ground starts to penetrate my boots. I wear my X-tra tuff neoprene boots year round, even though they don't offer much protection from the cold. I guess I could spend an extra ten or fifteen dollars and get the insulated ones, but I think they are heavier and besides my feet perspire a lot any way so it would just make a bad situation worse.
I once had a totally humiliating situation because of foot odor when I was a teen. I was invited to step inside and visit with my friend and his family, I just needed to take off my snowy, wet shoes. I declined, explaining my unpleasant problem. They were so dismissive of it and so warm in their welcome, that I let my guard down and accepted the invitation. Not a good idea. I found out later that while I was basking in their warmth and friendship, they were trying to keep from losing their lunch. It was a no win situation for everyone involved. In any event we all survived and I would like to think we were all stronger because of it. Ah well....
By the time we reached the spot where we were going to turn around my heel was killing me, I was cold, and I had use the bathroom. It was kind of a triple wammy. I compensated by dragging the foot that was hurting in a skiing motion across the ice covered road and speeding up the pace, thus warming me up a bit and giving me the confidence that I would make it home before disaster struck. Of course my daughter found all of this quite hilarious. It's not uncommon for us to spend a good bit of our time on a stroll laughing so hard that its hard to stand up. I've been blessed with a family who appreciates humor,which makes them fun to be around.
When we approached the old airplane float I was drawn to get a picture of the Ida Marie, an old wooden troller that, for whatever reason, was tied up to the float. If it wasn't for the three inches or so of snow covering the dock, a person might be led to believe that it was a pleasant spring evening, but just in the time it took to snap that shot my hands were starting to freeze. No doubt that even if I didn't have a desperate need for a bathroom, I wouldn't have lingered long outside- it was just too cold.

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