JD Allinder

Let it Snow

In Posts on December 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hooray for winter storms (especially in the fall)! Hooray for snow and ice and slush and wind and cold! Today is our first real snow storm of the season, and I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for it. It’s the promise of days like today that keep me going all through the spring and summer. We’re not getting hit like other parts of the Midwest (Southeast Michigan is beyond the lake-effect snow region), though we might still end up with a foot or so.

Jane and I just took a two-hour hike around Ypsi. It’s relatively warm – just below freezing – so the snow is wet. My boots are waterproof, but the rest of me got drenched. Jane was soaked to the skin, too, but she was energetic and curious and “on.” We covered some of our favorite neighborhoods and alleys, and then headed to Frog Island and Riverside Park where Jane ran free and chased (and nearly caught) fat and dazed squirrels and dug for frozen poopcicles.

We saw not  single dog out, which is a shame, because they especially enjoy a good gadabout on the first snowy day. There were three or four sledders on the big, terraced hill in Riverside, but other than that not a creature was stirring save the smokers outside the bars on Cross and Michigan. (Yay for finally getting smoke-free bars and restaurants in Michigan, but boo for allowing smoking on the sidewalks out front where my dog has to breathe in the secondhand smoke.) Jane enjoyed an extensive run on the south side of Michigan Ave. where the disused factories and strip malls have recently been leveled. There are multiple acres now (50? 75?) of cleared land and woods along the Huron and all the way up to the old Ford plant. The disc golf course and compost mountains along the river were engulfed in white, the wetlands frozen, and the giant winter grasses bent over to the ground. Jane was not only in and out and over and under every possible nook and cranny, she was extra attentive to my every directive, hyper aware of our working in unison. I only needed to leash her when we were on the streets. Otherwise, she was with me and aware of me and engaged and working. (Normally, this is where I digress and start talking about how much I love her and start speaking baby talk. I can’t help it. It happens frequently while we’re out on a walk/adventure. She’ll do something that I find particularly significant/exciting/moving – like staying with me on a long stretch without coercion – and I start praising her and I try to kiss her – a completely reflexive act for me – and she pulls away with embarrassment and disgust as if to say, “Not now!”)

Toward the end of our walk, we got pretty cold. There was a desolate field along Michigan Ave. where the wind was screaming so loud Jane couldn’t hear me calling. The sideways snow was sharp and wet and stung my eyes. There was nothing to absorb the fury but Jane and me. But we made it. We turned our heads down and plodded on.

We’re cozy at home now – Jane loves her creature comforts. CBC2 is playing beautiful, early Christian music. The wind is still screaming. I just trudged out in my long johns and dumped a couple pounds of seeds on the ground for the poor sparrows. (I don’t know how they survive.) Jane’s wrapped up and snoring in a fresh-from-the-dryer fleece blanket. The tea kettle’s whistling. All is exactly as it should be.


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