Z says you she can always tell when I have nothing to say because I usually start talking about the weather.
She says it’s an old man thing…
I tell her that’s soooooo unfair…and definitely not true….
First of all, I don’t consider myself old…or all that old.
Maybe just a little old.
And second of all, I rarely have nothing to say.
I can always think of something…..
So the last couple of days have been pretty spring like.
There’s a definite scent in the air of dormant earth awaking.
Either that or the breeze is coming from the south and blowing over the compost pile in the park again, which is just as nice, if not as poetic.
The Robins have returned…also a sure sign.
But not as much as the Rennicks and the Myerson’s, from down the block, returning after wintering in Palm Beach since late November.
So all that’s positive.
Well, except for all the fat squirrels who’ve been stuffing their faces for months, expecting the ground to freeze up any day now, only to find out that winters nearly done. The ground is never going to freeze, and that pesky winter weight is there to stay.
I tried telling them to watch it. This was not your typical winter.
But you know squirrels…so opportunistic. See a grub…eat a grub.
But all winter?
Z was excited to discover the first sighting of snowdrop lilies, last week, and then even more delighted when we came upon a bunch of yellow daffodils, in full bloom, at the beach over the weekend. And I was excited that the hot dog guy was there.
So it’s been a nice break from the past couple of frozen Februarys.
Still, we’re not completely out of the woods; not yet. There’s still a bit of a bite in the wind, now and again. Like right now, where it’s whipping itself up to about 25 mph, rendering the 53 degree temp somewhat negligible.
That’s how this past Monday, Presidents Day, was as well. The temp was up but so was the wind, making it feel like a hard 30. So instead of going out for our usual neighborhood walk, Z and I decided to head up to the mall and wheel around there for a couple of circuits and give ourselves a break from the wind chill.
Now, in the past, I’ve discussed summer walking and winter walking, comparing their subtle differences…but mall walking is a whole other sort of experience unto itself.
First of all, we kind of stand out from the rest of the mall crowd.
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t look odd or out of place like we’re members of one of those early morning mall walking groups that resemble the cast from that first sequel to the “Night of the Living Dead”.
We dress much better than Zombies…at least Z does.
No…it’s just that we’re pretty much the only people there actually walking for exercise. Everyone else is pretty much just strolling and shopping, so you have to be adept at weaving and bobbing in and out of traffic.
Sometimes you even have to be willing to sacrifice a body or two in order to make it to Macy’s by your split time.
I know that sounds harsh, but the little old ladies usually bounce right back up and those baby strollers practically right themselves.
Obviously, there’re no hills or any wind or weather of any kind in the mall, so you pretty much just slice along at a nice comfortable pace, usually a lot quicker than your outside walking pace.
This is good since it makes up for the time lost stopping for pretzels and perusing the latest iPad at the Apple store.
Well, that’s just me. Z takes half my pretzel and keeps moving, but I usually catch up by Talbots, which holds a certain allure for Z.
Of course the various sales clerks, in the assorted department stores, throughout the mall, look at us a bit strangely, since we breeze right by them, even before they can get their perfunctory sales greeting out.
We’ve pretty much got it down to, “Hi…welc…” and were gone.
And since we do the route twice we try to avoid an embarrassing repeat interaction by walking the opposite path through the store so it looks like we’re just returning from whence we came…or even thence.
And the beauty of the mall walk is that at the end of your excursion, you end up right at the movie theatre, where you can pick up some popcorn and a package of noisy Twizzlers and catch a matinee.
And if you’re dull and unaware like us, you don’t even need to know the name of any specific movie. Just say “We’re here to see the new Denzel…” and you’re good to go.
You can’t go wrong with Denzel…and there’s always a new Denzel.
Just open the Twizzlers before you sit down.
Hey…don’t blame me. It’s February….