Thursday, January 13, 2011

Limp or wimp?

Today I decided to make my traditional triangle walk to Bixby's for coffee, UMD for University of Seniors, and back home.  I have been driving to Bixby's because with all the unshoveled walks, walking has been no fun.  However, parking at UMD is no fun during the day.

Because the city of Duluth has partially cleared many walks with a large snowblower, I've been able to stride instead of mince.  Even though it was snowing lightly, off I strode.

Our street wasn't so bad.  Then I got to the first traffic light.  The pedestrian button was unreachable without climbing a thigh-high pile of snow - an icy pile with few footholds.  I got up high enough to push the button, but when I turned around to come down, things looked almost impossible.  I kind of leapt down from depression to depression but my momentum carried me right into the street.  Fortunately for me, no cars were whipping around the corner.

I stood at the corner waiting for the light to change, but guess what?  There was no traffic!  Do I cross now or wait?  I waited.

The rest of the walk to the coffee shop was uneventful.  Some parts of the sidewalk were even, some had deeper snow, none too difficult to walk in the 8-inch work boots I had on.

After coffee I went to UMD for a couple of classes.  When I got to the campus, the walks were freshly brushed with only a dusting of snow.  There were some icy patches at the edge, but I could walk normally.

While I was in the classes there was light snow.  I wondered if I wanted to take a bus home or walk.  As I told a friend, it was a question of limp or wimp - limp on uneven sidewalks or wimp out by taking the bus.  I opted to limp.

Again, the campus walks were no problem at all.  As soon as I crossed into a neighborhood, the situation deteriorated.  The first couple of blocks had wide boulevards and plow snow had not made it to the sidewalk.  But few had shoveled their walks in the last couple of weeks.

When I turned onto the thoroughfare, things got worse.  The city's snowblower had come by, but a plow had been by again, putting snow and "rocks" on the sidewalk.

Now walking became mincing.

Just after I took the picture and stepped off the curb at the corner, a car turned right in front of me!  What nerve!  What luck!  It was my wife who was coming home from her own activities.  I only had about three minutes walk to get home, but I was glad for the relief.

She wended her way through the neighborhood to our alley, and just as she was pulling in the garage, I saw the bus coming down the hill.  I would rather have ridden with her than with a bunch of strangers.