• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


SNOW - inches on everything - deeply - breathe -
 there that is better, cold invigorating snow - 
yay for snow!

I actually kind of like snow.
Not having dangerous roads
or getting stuck,
but skiing, sledding, snowflakes, snowmen and all the other fun and invigorating things that come with snow and winter generally. I like seeing the footprints of birds and animals and shoes/boots and even tires. 

I went for a walk a bit ago - 
before the snow came, 
but it had been here before that and things were fairly icy and nasty out.

On my block my neighbors hadn't bothered to shovel sidewalks and frequent freezing and thawing storms had made that first block very treacherous.  

On the next block came the plowed street and then a street between here and where I was headed that has been mostly blocked off and is used as a walking short cut.  

I could see people tracks - just a few.  Some big fellow had been along while the snow was fresh and then the sun had melted the footsteps down to bare pavement.  My little feet fit into the footsteps and I decided it might be a good plan to 'follow' the footsteps.  I thought it might be safer to walk on the payment than the snow and ice.  There were a few other fresher prints that had crunched through on the colder days (since that warmer one) but they had not melted.

So I started out to step in the steps. I quickly found I could not safely do so. Although my little feet fit in the tracks nicely my short legs could barely reach from one to the next - that was not only exhausting but not particularly safe either. 

Really - have you ever tried to walk, step by step, in someone else's footsteps? 4 of my steps equaled 3 of the big ones - or maybe it was 5 of mine to 4 of those - I couldn't decide but my stride definitely came up short and did not match. I think you or someone like you walked along again the same day I did.  I tried to line up our prints. 

That block was past and I noted that many cars had mostly polished the ice off the intersecting cross street. 

It isn't really used much either.  The next block MIGHT have a car drive down it - nothing there and no reason for any car to turn there or drive along it but once in a blue moon a car might - and sure enough on the part that can still be driven along there had been - one. I could see the tracks. 

They were nicely melted too.

I tried walking along one wheel track. 

It was just a smidge too narrow - I know because later I took a short cut along a strip of concrete edging that was perhaps only an inch wider.

I gave up trying to line up my feet one in front of the other and balance along the tire track. I just walked along the snowy part but along the concrete edging I had no difficulty at all.

I thought about trying to follow 'others' most of the way as I walked that mile or so. Perhaps it is not as easy as it appears to be.  Though we may pass the same way please don't judge me if I walk more slowly - perhaps my stride is shorter or your balance better. And if I stop and snap cell phone pictures - well - what if I do?

I know you would have to be very patient if you tried to walk in my footsteps.  You might wonder why the steps are so close together or why one shoe has a different shape and sometimes tread.  And btw is it your toes that turn out or in? 

During some physical therapy I spent part of my time on an elliptical trainer. It was very difficult for me to make the machine get going.  Over the holidays we 'acquired' an older, used model that was counting its days until dust in a garage after passing through multiple forgotten or discarded exercise programs. 

I have learned something funny about walking/running.

Does your right arm swing with your left leg or with your right leg? The elliptical swings the opposite arm and leg together.  It felt very awkward to me.  I wondered if it was not set up right, until I realized that my normal gait is not opposite.  I swing my left arm and leg together and my rights together - at least until I really get moving.  I don't notice the changeover but when I get moving they swing opposite. I wonder if that has always been the case or if it is a learned way of walking with crutches or some such thing.   

My husband laughs - he thinks it is because of the way I see.  I have a astigmatism.  My two eyes see as if independent from each other. I have very little depth perception, terrible eye hand coordination, cannot use binoculars (I look through them one eye at at time) and I hate 3D movies. 

I think I see things my own unique way - no snide remarks permitted!  I am very far sighted and get nauseous if I sit too near the front of chapels, auditoriums or movies. I love to sit as far away as possible - and resent being asked constantly to 'move forward'.  It makes me sick - seriously! I try to compromise with people that like to sit near the front - are you nearsighted?

As we pass along to our ultimate destinations please allow for my steps being over 'there' a bit and moving like the tortoise compared to the hare. And I will sit nearer the front with you, read upcoming signs before you  can really see what is on them - or whatever. 

And let's shake our heads and laugh together sometimes -
at how truly unique, special and OK we each are.