ANN BAILEY: Fate can be cruel. so keep snow boots handyI have a confession to make. The recent snowfalls are my fault. I knew when I hauled our winter boots to the basement and washed our winter gear and put it in storage that I was taking a calculated risk, but I did it, anyway. I just couldn’t take the muddy snow pants, grubby jackets and muddy boots anymore. Meanwhile, the weather had warmed and it looked like we were on track to finish out April snow-free.
I have a confession to make. The recent snowfalls are my fault.
I knew when I hauled our winter boots to the basement and washed our winter gear and put it in storage that I was taking a calculated risk, but I did it, anyway. I just couldn’t take the muddy snow pants, grubby jackets and muddy boots anymore. Meanwhile, the weather had warmed and it looked like we were on track to finish out April snow-free.
So much for being optimistic. Still, even if it doesn’t feel or look like spring, the calendar says we’re already a month into it. And adverse weather conditions or not, I want to be ready for spring when it decides to arrive by being in good physical condition. There are a lot of chores waiting to be done so I need to hit the ground running.
Although I keep pretty busy during the winter, I tend to be a little bear-like and put on a few extra pounds. This spring, I noticed that Rosebud, my daughter’s golden retriever, also looks a little chubbier than she did last fall. I decided that it would do us both good to get more exercise so about a month ago I started taking her on mile walks.
After about a week of walking a mile, I decided to increase our distance to two miles. Walking two miles gives me a pretty good workout because Rosebud trots at a pretty good clip. If Ellen or other two dogs go on ahead of her, she strains hard on the leash, so I get some resistance training in, too.
Because I walk on gravel roads, I usually don’t have to worry about icy conditions. However, for the first couple of weeks I wore boots with good traction because it was cold in the evening. I also wore insulated coveralls and a hat. Although, the extra weight of the boots and clothes probably helped burn off some extra calories, I was glad when it warmed up and I could switch to tennis shoes and a hooded sweat shirt.
Besides being good exercise, walking down country roads is a good way to track changes in the countryside, up close and personal. During the past month, I’ve seen the snow melt, the ponds in the field grow and scattered blades of grass in the ditch turn green. Then last weekend, I saw the fields and ditches again get covered by a thick blanket of white snow.
I felt pretty discouraged by the return to winter the first day I brought my winter boots back up from storage in the basement and went for a walk after the snow. My trek down our road actually could be described more as trudging than walking. Because the plow didn’t come, I had to walk in the tracks where vehicles had driven or in the deep snow in the center of them. Rosebud, like me, preferred taking the path of least resistance so we alternated walking in the tracks.
Although walking in the tracks was easier than walking in the snow, it also was more hazardous because the surface was hard-packed and slippery. A couple of times I had to do a little dance to keep my footing. Fortunately, Rosebud and my daughter, Ellen, were the only ones around to see my fancy footwork. The solitude is another one of the reasons I like walking in the country. I like having the roads pretty much to myself.
By the next day, the sun had melted the ice out of the tracks, so I switched back to my tennis shoes. I still wore my insulated coveralls and a stocking cap, though. I read an article recently that said that wearing a hat really doesn’t keep your body warm. That may be true, but I also know that wearing a cap does keep my head warm and my forehead and ears from freezing.
According to the forecast I heard earlier this week, temperatures are expected to moderate and precipitation is supposed to be normal. If that’s the case, I should be able to switch back to my hooded sweat shirt. I’m not putting my coveralls and boots in storage anytime soon, though. I already learned my lesson about tempting fate.