Saturday, December 8, 2007

English Lit

I went for a walk this morning as part of my feeble regimen to maintain some control on my diabetes. Yes, I know running would be a better idea but with degenerative arthritis in both knees (actually, a little less than both knees: I've had arthroscopic surgeries performed on both of them and have a partial kneecap replacement in my right knee), walking is the new running.

During the winter, I choose indoor tracks over treadmills because on the latter, the view never changes. I do admire those who can read a book or a magazine while treadmilling (treading? milling? What gerund should we use for what we're doing?) and not long ago I watched a woman concentrate on her PDA for the half hour she was on the treadmill (Is it only coincidental that 'Personal Digital Assistant' and 'Public Display of Affection' both have the same acronym?)

Idle thoughts on a crisp, though not too cold December Saturday morning in the Rose of New England. We had snow last night, with last week's cold temperatures, that actually stuck for a slight, if not light, dusting and accumulation. Good news for me as I'm keen to get a new sled from Santa because while I may be too fragile for running, hurtling down a hillside could be just what my diabetic and arthritic knees really need.

We have an ordinance in Norwich that directs property owners to clear the snow from their sidewalks. It is as well-followed and enforced as the CT prohibition on using a cell phone while driving. Actually, as I realized this morning, the same Obliviots who did not clear November's fallen leaves from their walkways did not clear the snow off the leaves on top of their sidewalks.

I have to admire that dour insistence that only you matter and the rest of us can take the hindmost. Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of New England's Literary treasures, would be as proud of us as we would be of him, if we ever thought of him at all anymore. I recall too many hours struggling with The Scarlet Letter to ever appreciate it as art and must admit that I never saw Hester Prynne as Demi Moore. Perhaps, if he had.....
-bill kenny

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