Friday, December 16, 2016

Still Need a Scarlet Varsity Jacket

I went for a brief walk yesterday afternoon rushing to get it in before the darkness arrived as part of my feeble regimen to maintain some control in my battle with diabetes. Yes, I have been told repeatedly that running would be more effective but with degenerative arthritis in both knees (technically not true; I've had a partial kneecap replacement for my right and a total kneecap replacement for my left), walking is the new running.

During the dark and cold months, I choose indoor tracks over treadmills because on the latter, the view never changes. I will admit to admiration and a touch of jealousy for those who can read a book or a magazine while treadmilling (treading? milling? What gerund should we use for what we're doing?). Not all that long ago I watched a woman immerse herself completely in concentrating on her PDA for the half hour she was devoting to the treadmill.

Just some idle thoughts on a crisp, and getting windier by the moment late December afternoon in the Rose of New England. We've had a couple of threats of snow so far this season with maybe more coming over the weekend. Right now the weekend's promise is for wind chills at or below zero so the earth around these parts is cooling down meaning anything that falls from the sky will stick (two birds just looked at one another nervously).

Snow would, of course, be a Godsend for me as I've got my heart set on a new sled. While I may be too fragile for running, hurtling down a hillside could be just what my diabetic and arthritic knees have been looking for. Or not.

We have an ordinance in Norwich that directs property owners to clear the snow from their sidewalks and about this time each year, a box reminding everyone of that shows up in the two daily papers. The ordinance is as well-followed and enforced as our state's prohibition on using a cell phone while driving.

Actually, as I tread with some care while walking, I realized the same self-absorbed cretins who did not clear November's fallen leaves from their walks will certainly not remove any snow that falls on those leaves which are still on top of their sidewalks.

I have to admire that "I'm the Center of the Universe" worldview that dictates only you matter and the rest of us can take the hindmost. In the meantime, for many of us, our idea of Large Fun is a silent sulk. 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.

Small solace, Nat, in that I do think of you and recall too many hours struggling with The Scarlet Letter in Mr. Moriarity's English Lit class to have ever appreciated it as art. I must admit I never saw Hester Prynne as Demi Moore. Perhaps if I had, high honors would have been mine.
-bill kenny

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