Monday, March 3, 2008

Warm!

It has certainly been one wild winter, with ice, snow, rain, and, most of all, wind. Actually, the amount of snowfall here in Western New York hasn't been that outrageous. It just looked like a lot of snow because of all of the wind that's been blowing around.
But, today, we got a little break from the nonstop onslaught of bad weather. The temperature warmed up to the 60s and the sun even made a guest appearance. That was an amazing sight. In the winter, the sun shows up so rarely that some people don't recognize it anymore and think that some bright, shiny UFO is up in the sky. Well, that may be exaggerating, at least a tiny bit.
This morning, I was prepared for the good weather. I put on a yellow turtleneck and a light yellow sweater to get in the mood of pre-spring joy. I also had a bouquet of yellow flowers, which just exude joy. I have them in a vase in front of a mirror. It gives the illusion that I have twice as many yellow flowers as I really have.
What could be better?
So, today, I decided to take a walk to celebrate this taste of spring. At about 1:30 p.m., I put on a light jacket and went out. Of course, I had my camera in my pocket. I never go anywhere without the camera. Photo ops about everywhere.
And, as I am now Alice of the 21st century, I had my cell phone in the other pocket. I didn't use it, but I had it just in case someone got the urge to call me or I had the urge to yap on the phone... or ask for a ride, in case I should wander off too far, which I have been known to do... and will probably do again, once the weather becomes consistently warm.
My dad had given me a pedometer, so I was wearing that, too.
The first thing that I noticed as I headed out was the profusion of water. Most of the snow had melted, and fast! And, here in Grand Island, once the snow melts, the water simply sits on the surface because the thick clay soil doesn't absorb water very well. So, of course, I had to take a few pictures of the rapid melting. One of those is above.
On my walk, I met a woman named Joyce, who was walking Hunter, a friendly beagle. Hunter and I were happy to be introduced to one another. Of course, Hunter jumped on my legs, prompting Joyce to apologize for her dog's enthusiasm and for the mess on my jeans. I said, "That is OK. That's what laundry is for." Joyce told me a bit about herself and her family. She said that she has been living in Grand Island since she was eight years old. When she moved to Grand Island, there was no town high school so she had to leave the island to go to school once she finished elementary school. When she was 12 years old, she went to live with an elderly lady to help her out when she was not in school. Joyce has eight sisters and no brothers. Her family is now scattered all over the country, in such places as North Dakota and Wisconsin. The family is planning on coming back together this coming summer for a big reunion.
Joyce was an interesting person to talk to, and I suspect that she is full of great stories.
While Joyce and I were talking, the kids started emerging from the nearby elementary school. This got Hunter very excited, and she could hardly wait to greet every child with a jump, a bark, and a wag of the tail. She started straining on the leash with nervous anticipation. That was when Joyce decided that it was time for Hunter to head on home.
So, I, too went home. I hope that I see Joyce and Hunter again because I would be more than happy to hear more of Joyce's stories.
It will be a while, though, because winter is due to return after midnight, which is sort of like saying that the golden carriage is going to turn into a pumpkin once again.
Oh yeah... the pedometer... four and a half miles... a nice, relaxing walk for me...

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