Friday, November 18, 2011

Walk With Me? More Commuting . . .

We're anticipating a special visitor here -- Pater/Granddad has taken the car to Vancouver to pick up little Nola and bring here back for a few days while her parents are away. Originally, I planned to join him there today, spend the weekend at little girl's apartment, then we'd all come back Monday in time for my afternoon office hours and evening class.

But Wednesday morning, out on my run, I realized Granddad could manage very well on his own, that he could bring Nola back here Saturday morning, and I'd still get plenty of time for play and hugs while enjoying a restful Friday alone and avoiding the wear-and-tear of a Vancouver round trip and nights in another bed.

So I've been happily quiet inside all day today, watching the rain turn to sleet, then to snow, then to thicker snow. I had a lovely long afternoon nap  -- before which the ground was covered wintry white, and after which winter had retreated for a while, all the snow melted away. Just one of napping's magical benefits. . . .
But all that melted snow has added to the ground's sogginess, and tonight the temperatures will drop below freezing again, and walking will be treacherous. Yesterday, our car on granddaughter-pickup duty, I walked the hilly route to work. In the photo at the top of this post, I'm looking back to the harbour from which I've just climbed -- perhaps you can see the elevation. And just above is the rest of my route, which will follow the road down, then up, down, turning for a while before climbing partway up the first distant hill.

All the way, black ice disguised its dangers until a too-hastily-placed foot almost slipped a hip to the ground. I learned to test some patches gingerly before moving on, and by the time I got to campus I was wishing for a pair of those not-elegant but very practical Yak-Traks that strap on footwear to ensure traction anywhere.

So I wasn't reassured when I confronted this sign at the bottom of the campus hill.

Especially since our campus is nothing if not hilly . . .

These stairs are not the first set -- I've already climbed to get to this point. At least, they've all been liberally salted.

My schedule hasn't accommodated walking this term (I only did so this week by skipping my usual Pilates class, too far to walk to), but last year I was walking 3 days a week. You can see how it would complement my half-marathon training!

Another flight, and you can see why we joke that you can get your B. S.T (buns of steel) along with your BSc here. . .
Even at the top of these stairs, I'm not quite at my office. But I am removing my scarf and gloves, unbuttoning my coat. The ground may be frozen, but I've warmed up, and I'm energized for class. No gym required!

Today, though, I've stayed inside reading by the fire, venturing out only to get more wood from the shed. Even the mailbox up the road seems too far a walk. Besides, I think I should save some energy to play my heart out with Nola. We'll be having fun this weekend. What about you?


  1. BST is hilarious! I'm going to aim to have some fun too. I think it will involve knitting needles, mostly. But we've just come from our weekly Friday night dinner w friends and I've got another friend who will join me for the knitting tomorrow.

  2. I'm really glad that you didn't take a spill on that treacherous black ice! It is pretty hilly here and I worry that if I walk to campus in the winter I will tumble down the hills.

    I have a ton of papers to grade this weekend and must finish them because I get another batch on Monday. But I do plan to do some football watching and to go to a movie with a girlfriend this weekend.

  3. The wording of the sign-the verb "exists"- cracks me up- academic language even on a caution sign!

    No snow on ground here yet, flurries sighted in the air.

  4. Wonderful. I loved sharing your walk. And am very happy you got to have a quiet day, by yourself, warm and dry.

  5. Those stairs look like a workout! That's how Madonna trained years ago when she was on tour, she'd run up and down the interior stairwells of the hotel she was staying at and she has BST !

    Your weekend sounds like it will be fun...a darling visitor who will undoubtably charm and entertain you both.
    Coincidentally I wrote a post about the weekend...
    keep cozy, the sun is shining !

  6. Ice is so treacherous. I live in New England and also work on a hilly campus, but we do not have such a charming warning sign! I've thought about those attachable ice traction devices -- wondering if that's something to add to the arsenal up here. Mostly, though, when the weather gets bad, I prefer to nap, too!

  7. K: Sounds as if you're knitting like a fool (and having fun too, right?)
    Raquelita: I'm taking a weekend off marking, although there are a set of on-line assignments I should get to. Take it easy!
    Duchesse: I know! My chuckles were nervous ones though -- these days, this is just as likely to be a budget action -- put up the sign, cut out the actual remediation.
    Lisa: It was a wise decision on my part, which isn't usual . . . sometimes the chains of obligation one complains about are self-forged!
    Lesley: I haven't quite got Madonna's results yet, but one can hope, right?
    Anne: Good to know there's another fan of the nap out there -- Nature's nurse, as a good friend of mine used to say.

  8. Those stairs remind me of Rocky, I hope you do a celebratory dance at the top!


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