Wind Waves Winter

When this building was erected, in the late 70s, it must’ve been utterly snazz. Money was spent on quality features. Some 40 years on, the double-paned windows hang fast, with just a low tremble and a small rattle with every gust of brutally cold air that would shake us up and off our foundation if it could. 40 years of merciless gusts from the river and lake. Congratulations, aluminum frame makers and installers. You did a great job, and I thank you.

The river was a miniature Japanese ink drawing of ocean storms this morning. Deep green-blue undulating triangles punched up to shimmy and writhe, some transformed into dragon paws, flipping white crests off fingers of instantly frozen, icy drops.

The dog had to take me on the full walk for the satisfaction and health of his alimentary canal. My overall health and fitness benefit from this couple of kilometres of perambulation, also, but a face held in a grimace of squinting against a brutal breeze by a full waterfall of instantly frozen tears cannot be a welcome addition to anybody’s Beauty Plan. I would have preferred the quick release, one round block plan this morning, but Espresso’s guts don’t care about my wishes.

How cold was the windchill? I wore my new 5X men’s Walmart jacket with hood, and my triple-warm homemade hat, and I STRODE MIGHTILY FAST, and I didn’t break a sweat. Ooh. That’s cold.

I’ve been watching the bridge a little bit since breakfast, and I am certain I’d be afraid to drive a big rig today. Especially over the bridge. Unless it was laden with lead ingots or something. 

This an interesting town, weather-wise. No snow to speak of, and we dodged freezing rain. You don’t notice fallen tree branches littering lawns, because anything not hanging on for dear life, for the long haul, got ripped away ages ago.

The snow might be coming south now. The horizon on the Michigan side washes out in a cloud, and soon, perhaps, we will be enveloped. Or not.

A sturdy little land ship. Ever on.

BUNNY RABBITS!!!! (Maintaining mental acuity in retirement.)


Six-oh-four a.m. is a little early for most, and late for some, but it is the time I rolled out of bed this morning to a tail-wagging, front-leg-hopping, let’s-go-walking dog.

He’s happier every day about our new accommodations, and I am proud of him for making the effort to cope.

The elevator was all ours. Joy all around.

The eastern sky, dark, showed a blanket of cloud disappearing southward, and feathery wisps high in the southwest revealed the bright, waning, “supermoon”. It’s always a little damp around here, but it was the start of a promisingly pleasant day.

Down to the river walk we went. Me, trying to keep Espresso walking fast enough that I could say I’d exercised, and he, trying to sniff out the notes and scents of previous perambulators, the better to construct the complex totality of all the life and activity in this small patch of our teeming earth.

Too early today for geese, terns, gulls of any kind. Just grumpy ducks, unhappy to have to swim away from the path wall, in case of jumping, fowl-retrieving, water dog. Which Espresso is definitely not.

And then, after we crossed the railway tracks to come home, just past an art installation I call “Tetanus and her little sister, Lockjaw,” A BUNNY RABBIT! I stage-whispered it aloud, “Bunny rabbit!” as if Espresso was mentally dim, or hadn’t smelled it or seen it perhaps five minutes previously.

Please understand that Espresso has never, prior to seeing a rabbit in the same spot two weeks ago, evinced any interest whatsoever in chasing anything. But he wants to chase this little rabbit. Very, very much. He’s also good enough to sit and watch a small rabbit watching us. For a while. With just a quiver now and then, in anticipation of a run that never happens. Until a second set of ears pops up, giving the word, I guess, and suddenly two cotton-ball bottoms bounce and ping off into the shrubbery, whereupon Espresso forgets the leash for a second and gets himself yanked slightly.

Life is full of small disappointments. But then we get home and have breakfast!

The Eastern Cottontail rabbit is pictured here, thanks to Google Images. It really has a cotton-ball-like tail, and in the dark, the tail is a funny thing to watch, hopping away. A hopping beacon, in fact, for eyes attached to carnivorous teeth desiring meat. An odd evolutionary adornment, but not as disastrous as one might think. Because there they were.

Think about this: bunny rabbits. The two words sit together, comically I think, for an adult utterance. I worry that this sounds too close to “yummy,” a word used incessantly by some of my former workmates and beginner-level adult English language learners. A word I detested and continue to detest beyond any kind of rational explanation, and for which I find more accurate and precise synonyms: tasty, flavourful, sweet, spicy, hot, aromatic, tangy, cool, refreshing, gloriously delicious.

Which I hope those two Eastern Cottontails will never be. Long may they live and prosper. Ditto luscious and evocative synonyms. For the interior eye, and the well-oiled, happy humming of the active, engaged, intelligent, aging brain.

The Semi-Retired Person’s Guide to Patience In or Near Monster Machines!!!!!

Just desserts

The plan is this: quick walk around the block between 4 and 5 p.m., then supper for both of us.

Here’s how it went:

1. Nice walk to the elevator. Pressed button. Dog sat beautifully. Door opened.

2. HUGE MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR MONSTER SCOOTER THINGY WITH A BIG OLD GUY IN IT GOT OUT!!  

3. Dog* peed extensively, while trembling visibly, on cold, tiled floor.

(*names have been altered or changed to protect the innocent victims of MONSTER WHEELCHAIR SCOOTER THINGYS!)

4. Walk back to apartment with dog. Collect first available towel and spray bottle of ReSolve.

5. Walk back to elevator with dog. Ask dog to sit nicely. Spray floor. Wipe up spray and pee with fine towel, using right foot for most of the operation.

6. Walk back to apartment. Ask dog to sit nicely. Dump stinky towel and spray bottle in bathroom sink. Leave apartment.

7. Nice walk to the elevator. Press buttton. Utter every prayer an atheist can think of. Enter elevator with dog, even though THERE IS A MAN IN IT.

8. Skitter out of the elevator, through the lobby, out the door, and 

9. JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH! A MEDIUM MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR MONSTER SCOOTER THINGY WITH A BIG OLD GUY IN IT IS COMING OUR WAY!!!

10. Veer.

11. Dog pees. (Nice to know he tried to hold it upstairs.)

12. Pleasant walk around block. Return to outside the front door where the man that was in the elevator is talking to THE FELLOW IN THE MEDIUM MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR MONSTER SCOOTER THINGY.

13. Veer.

14. Wait for elevator, ‘way back away from the doors. Get home after letting the two guys go up without us.

Total time: 37 minutes.

Supper: I haven’t eaten yet. I have to concentrate on being calm, and patient.

I have to be happy he doesn’t have accidents everywhere, every day.

I don’t know what he sees. If it were a 100-kilo spider on wheels, I’d pee, too.

We live in a large building, with many seniors, many of whom have canes, walkers, and MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR MONSTER SCOOTER THINGYS. They’re really nice people.

What’s your dog mortally afraid of?