Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nature confusing itself

That early blizzard threw everyone off including nature itself. Followed by unseasonal warming the lettuce continued to grow once the snow was cleared in the garden and the forsythia proceeded to start blooming with the subsequent warm weather, only to be nipped by a deep cold snap. Looking out the window at this bush I at first thought that the leaves had turned yellow only to discover that these were actual flowers. It is hard to believe it is almost December, though I expect that winter will eventually land.

I am reading a book about the great 1938 hurricane that happened in late September and devastated huge areas of Long Island and New England, including large parts of western Mass where I grew up. In an era before "storm teams" and the Weather Channel it is amazing how unprepared and unknowing people were for such an event and how quickly it was bearing down on them. Compared with today, weather forecasting and tracking seems more than and amateur activity. Around where I grew up there are now large dikes surrounding many of the areas that were flooded by the 20 inches of rain that fell in a couple of days and burst the banks of streams and rivers.

As I started this yesterday, I look out on the yard this morning covered with frost and the air has that "cold" look to it and the greenery on the ground is curled up as if to try to warm itself . The wood smoke snakes from the neighbors chimney. But the days then seem to warm up nicely still. A gradual progression to winter, that is until we get another dump of snow and hopefully the snow blower will be back by then.

My weekday running has taken to indoors. Locating a gym with treadmills 10 minutes from work gives me at least some time to sprint there, get a half hour run, jump in the shower and dash back to work. A little tight, but better than nothing and works to stem the stress of the day. I leave the weekends for the longer more relaxed trips.

Christmas season is upon us. The outdoor lights went on yesterday at midnight and unfortunately as I returned home last night, I notice a couple strings aren't working, so a weekend chore for the list. Glad that it is Friday.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The snow is gone, the stove is back to normal after the chimney sweep flushed out the flue. Seems amazing that it has been several weeks since those events piled on and were taken care of. All that remains is for the snowblower folks to pick up the machine and fix the auger so that it is ready for the real season.

One of the real bonuses of this wild weather with all its wind has been that 90% of the leaves in our yard blew either into the woods or next door. My neighbor has some pretty huge Maples and also some serious tractor equipment to deal with it, so while I feel a tinge of guilt it soon goes away. This past weekend the final mow mulched what was left and readies the yard to be buried in snow. Fortunately that was Saturday.

On Sunday I was up early readying for a nice long run before I needed to be back for church. The weather and darkness and just general busyness has made running tough. Carving out an hour or so a couple times a week to hit the treadmills at the gym is tough but I'd been able to do it the last few days so I was eager to rack up some more miles, less I fall behind by goals.

So out I go, changing the route from the day before to avoid facing the wind and feeling a little the miles of the past few days but I persevere. Rounding the curve I see a car turning on to the road facing me and being a courteous runner I head off the road to the sidewalk. That is when it happened.

The twinge in the foot, the dip in the pavement both happening at the same split second and down I go. First the knees and then the near forward motion face plant into the pavement and gravel. Yeooooch!!!

I must have been a sight as the driver pulled over and nicely asked, "sir, are you all-right?" Mortified and a little in shock I scurry to my feet and send him on his way with thanks for stopping. Then I assess. Hands and knees scraped, feeling the blood running and that twinge in the foot now hurts. Nothing seems broken, just serious bruises and scrapes. The running tights are torn at the knee and who knows that it looks like underneath. Crap and those are my good cold weather gear.

It is then that I recall that I am 2 miles from home. Well so much for making distance, I'll be lucky to make it home. But walking then trotting to speed up the return I hobbled home.

The last time I fell like this was the last time I used my roller blades and hit a rock than ended with me wrenching my back and bruising my tailbone and retiring me from that sport.

Back home I assessing the damage and peeling back the torn fabric to reveal the embedded gravel and while some might immediately think I was lucky at my age not to be more injured, what really came to mind was, cool I'm not that bad given the spill and my age and I'm in better shape that I was the last time this happened. I'll recover and be back out there.

So the rest of Sunday was spent bandaging the scrapes and icing and elevating the foot to get the swelling down and keep it down. The tear in the tights will provide a Christmas gift opportunity and I can still keep these in reserve.

Today as I expected, the second wave of pain arrives. The sore arms and shoulders that supported me in my skid; the gashes on the knees and hands that hurt and are stiff and aggravated by the bandages that make bending the knee hurt. But by the end of the day I am thinking I might be able to get some mild treadmill time in on Friday to loosen things up. We will see.