The weather here has been particularly nasty lately, and here's why: It's out to get me.
The problem: ice. Over and over again: thaws, freezes; rains, freezes. It's been happening for weeks now. That the ice isn't everywhere makes it more dangerous: it's hiding, laying in wait for you. Ready to spring a nasty surprise on you when you least expect it. Why is it that 90% of the wet-looking places on the sidewalk are just wet, and the rest are glare ice? It makes no sense.
I've fallen three times so far. And this is one very good reason to lose weight, brother. When my feet go out from under me, I go down hard, like a sack of bricks. As overweight as I am, it's like hitting the concrete with a seventh-grader on my back. One time I fell so hard I just had to lie there on the sidewalk for a few minutes, silently repeating, "please nothing be broken, please nothing be broken." The dog was like, what now? The poor girl has had very few walks lately. It's just too treacherous on the sidewalks for the two-footed.
Nothing was broken. I keep hearing stories of other people who aren't so lucky, though. The nice lady at the supermarket told me her sister-in-law slipped, fell, broke her leg in three places, and now has a metal plate. So, could be worse.
On Sunday and Monday it rained. Melted maybe a third of the snow. It's miserable when it rains on the snowpack. Nothing can drain properly. I had water in the basement, and once again I was out in the rain trying to fix the #@%! gutter in the dark. Last night, yup, everything froze. One more round.
The older I get, the more I hate the end of winter. I don't mind winter; I rather like it. I just don't like so much of it. I can see staying in Wisconsin, but I'm going to have to learn to travel to warm places at least once per winter. I'm thinking twice would be a lot better.
I think of spring like baseball fans do. Except, instead of the beginning of spring training, what's coming is the beginning of photography. There are hopeful signs all around: my beloved Daylight Savings Time has returned (I adore DST, and shut up, please), daylight is lasting well past six, and the summer solstice is only a little more than three short months away. Spring—and photography season—will be here before we know it.
And not a single short moment too soon if you ask me. The dog needs her exercise. And so does the Big Dragoon.
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Featured Comments from:
Jeff: "Good thing Marcin Ryczek didn't wait for Spring."
Mike replies: You would think I'd take that as the zinger it's intended to be, but I do not. He's 30. I'm 56. When I was thirty, I was outdoors in the subzero temps making my winter pictures too. (In fact I recently found a beaut that's been missing for years, a 4x5" neg I've never printed but still would like to. And man was it ever cold the morning I took it.) But I am an old dawg now, and more than happy to leave such shenanigans to you youngsters.
Scott Marriott: "Your post today could have been written from here almost word for word. I'm 59 and live in Latvia. I was down at the frozen 'beach' this morning (the Baltic Sea), with my Pentax K30 and the 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro WR, and fell on my ass faster than I could blink. We've got to be careful out there if were are going to make it to Spring. The dregs of Winter are indeed its most treacherous part. Glad to hear you're all right."
David: "Mike, another spanker here. 56? Im 53 and I was out almost every single day in December and January with a camera strapped on and lake effect snow blazing away here...straight across the lake from you in Michigan, all winter, same latitude. Did some of the best 'woods' work of my life (I'm a city photographer) and it's been exhilarating. Dude, get some cheap snow pants, like snowboarders wear...get your warmth gear and get out...like someone said on this comment section...why are you thinking old?"
Mike replies: You're as young as you feel, as they say.