morning walk

It was twenty-one degrees when I went on a walk this morning through the arboretum and I could feel every single degree through the forty-two layers of heavy clothing I was wearing. I kept up a brisk pace along the whole length of the walk over uneven ground and I never once felt like I was warming up at all. One of those days.

That said, I love my oboze shoes, which have kept my feet from freezing in every kind of weather. They’re waterproof and they must have some kind of magical insulation because my feet never get cold in them. This morning they were not what I could call toasty warm no matter how I stretched the definition, but they were never cold. My hands were colder than my feet in spite of the thick double-layer mittens I had pulled over my woolen gloves.

morning walk

My early-morning walk wasn’t the act of quiet contemplation it usually is. The snow that winter finally brought us yesterday had frozen to the roads making them go crunchy-crunchy under my feet. And it wasn’t dark as the inside of a cow, either. The heavy cloud cover that I guess means the weathermen were right when they said we’re going to get more snow also reflects the sodium light from the street lamps right back down on the city. Finally, it wasn’t cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra, or whatever metaphor your local slang uses to describe the coldest day of the year. Remembering the way I froze my little nipples off the last time I went for a walk, I dressed myself in the warmest coat I had hanging in the closet and pulled a pair of heavy pants over my pajama bottoms, but I didn’t need anywhere near that much insulation. Still, it was nice to be toasty warm instead of chilled to the bone by the time I got home. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

morning walk #1

The phone rang at four o’clock this morning. I’ve never seen B run so fast to answer the phone as she did when she sprang out of bed and hustled into the living room. She doesn’t move that fast to answer the phone when she’s sitting right next to it.

It turned out to be dead air, probably a wrong number. B said it sounded like whoever it was hung up as soon as she answered. Still, she said ‘hello’ three times before she hung up, just to be sure. And to give all that adrenaline some time to burn off.

I knew I’d never get back to sleep after all that fuss. Also, the cats weren’t going to let us sleep until I fed them, so I did. But, before I did, I grabbed a pair of pants and chamois shirt on my way out of the bedroom and, after the cats were happily wolfing down their ucky brown canned food, I took a walk, about a mile, the first morning walk in I don’t know how long. I would’ve walked farther than a mile, but it was a lot colder outside than I thought it was and, after twenty minutes of walking, I didn’t feel any warmer than I did when I stepped out of the front door, even after climbing the hill to get to Monona Drive, so I cut the walk short.

The sky was perfectly clear and the stars were unusually bright, probably the result of a cold front, to judge from the way I was slowly freezing solid. I couldn’t enjoy the star shine much, as my eyes teared up unless I kept them narrowed and turned away from the wind. Quite a lot of that wind was nipping at my ears, if ‘nipping’ is the correct term to use when the danger of frostbite is involved. And I would have murdered for a scarf.

So, to recap, it was cold outside, I was cold, and did I mention the cold? Ah, I see I have. But on an up note, a morning walk is never bad. I always feel better for having stretched my legs, no matter if the temps are freezing cold or wilting hot. Isn’t that weird that ‘freezing cold’ sounds okay but ‘wilting hot’ doesn’t? Should it be ‘wiltingly?’ Spell-check doesn’t like ‘wiltingly,’ so I guess not.


The neighborhood was mostly quiet during my early morning walk, even though I hit the snooze button and slept in ten minutes beyond the time I normally get up. Although the sky was brightening from gray to blue, it was still practically night. The only bird up and at ’em was a lone cardinal singing twee-twee-twee in the distance. Lots of rabbits were out for their morning silfay, but that was it. There was no other sign that the world had started to wake up yet, not even the guy who walks his dogs at around the same time I usually go for my stroll. Dawn is coming later, and everybody’s sleeping in.