Friday, November 26, 2010

Broken Tradition

Though it had been a tradition only a few years old, yesterday the old Thanksgiving ride to the cemetery was cancelled because of the lousy weather here. I still visited the family graves, but in the car, and while I was paying my respects I saw and felt the first snowflakes of the season.

As the day went on the snow got worse, eventually accumulating on the cars and soft surfaces. Though the roads and sidewalks still held sufficient warmth to stave off the build up of the falling flakes I was glad that I remained prudent and didn't take the scooter out. I might have been safe enough, but I'd have been riding scared and wouldn't have enjoyed the ride at all if I'd taken it. The forecast for today, Black Friday, fared better, so all in all I'm glad I waited to ride till this afternoon when the skies cleared and the sun reacquainted itself with Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Well, the sun's light that is; its warmth was a different story. A bit of wind made the mid 40's feel a bit nippier but still pleasant for a much needed escape. I'm glad the TSA guys who feel folks up at the airports don't do random checkpoints on streets and highways or I'd have been a sure candidate for the full body search looking like this.

Not wanting to venture far from the house lest a turkey induced nap suddenly demand my attention, I visited a few of my usual summer haunts. First was the park where I occasionally blogged with the laptop a couple of summers ago. As I walked around looking for a decent picture angle, the BV reminded me of a little kid wistfully longing for admittance to the locked playground when viewed from this vantage point. It wasn't alone in that feeling as I contemplated the cold, dark, relative solitude of the many winter nights to come between now and when we'd be on the other side of the diminishing daylight and the current school year would start winding down.

It was nearly one of those perfect moments when I paused to snap the next shot. I watched the wind induced ripples rush toward and around me as the small stream bent past the spot where I stood and for a few seconds the illusion of apparent motion overtook me so that it seemed as if the water were standing still and I was flying over it. The voice of the one I love kept me warm as we chatted through the headset to which my phone was tethered and I held on to the feeling of flight for as long as I could. It lasted for only a few seconds, but the feeling was exhilarating and made me even more glad that I'd ventured out for the ride in spite of the chill.

Back at the house it was time to peel off the layers. With the hair atop my head clipped short enough for "helmet head" not to be much of a concern, the beard makes up for it. While I was riding I could tell that the beard was being bent at all angles under the face mask part of the hat and I was glad that I didn't need to stop anywhere where I might terrify little children with the resulting grizzled mountain man look.

If I'm lucky and the forecast for the weekend holds up through Tuesday when I have to head back to work I'll manage to get in a few more glorious rides in the golden sunshine. For now, though, here comes that nap...

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