Monday, January 4, 2010

The ice was here, the ice was there...

Finally, I was able to walk Tula downtown to see if Lake Ontario was frozen. Friends and neighbors, it is more than frozen: It is frozen, and there is snow on top of it! And on top of the ice and snow was a MAN, cutting a hole with a saw. He is fishing out there in the middle of the lake. I wish I could have walked out on the lake too, but I know fishermen. I know they don't like noise disturbing their fish. I am a little noisy, and Tula barks at most strangers these days. But next time I go to the lake, I'm going to walk on it. I'm not walking out to the middle, even though people do that. I'll just walk out a little way, where if the ice did happen to break, I'd only be up to my knees in freezing cold water.

I learned something important on this walk: Don't dress too warmly or you'll be miserable. I had on my Gulf Shores Beach Bum t-shirt, SUNY Jefferson sweatshirt, red fleece, scarf, down-filled coat, Razorback knit cap, gloves, longjohns, jeans, two pairs of socks and fur-lined snow boots. By the end of my block, I was sweating. I guess that's better than freezing, but not by much! Next time, I'll layer with more breathable fabrics and see how that goes. It's noon; I think I was dressed for morning or night.

Tula had on the new leopard-print coat with fringes that my sisters-in-law made for her. She was very stylish, and apparently warm. She ran ahead of me on the leash, burying her head in snow every few steps. I carried her across the roads because the road salt isn't good for her paws. On one trip, I dropped my hat (I'd taken it off; I'm sure my hair was pretty after that). When I got to the other side of the road, a woman was there. She admired Tula and offered to hold her while I went back across the road for my hat. Tula, thankfully, was well-behaved and sweet.

It was fun to meet other people walking around in the snow. People were out going to the library (the woman who held Tula had a bag of new library books), walking to the grocery store, gleefully using their snowblowers. Nobody seems sad about this snow like they did about the last one. Maybe because it is so deep and beautiful and didn't come with raging winds.

The men here seem to love their snowblowers. I don't blame them. I can hardly wait to try ours out. The men get out there with the blowers and clear the whole village, not just the sections in front of their houses. They wave at each other, make jokes, have driveways that look like parking lots. All the elderly people also have nice, clear driveways and walkways to their mailboxes because the men come by and do that for them.

This is a very nice place. Summer here is very beautiful and full of flowers, and winter is a marshmallow world of sparkling eaves and men who walk on water.

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