A Change in the Weather

As Professor Henry Higgins’s mother was wont to point out, during contentious times, it’s sometimes best to stick to inoffensive topics like the weather and your health. So today I’ll do both.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that people who live in the Pacific Northwest are, generally speaking, what you might call weather wimps. We’re not good in really hot weather. (This summer on the hottest day of the year, our AC went on the blink, and boy did we whine about that!) And now that it’s fixed, we don’t need it. So what else is new?

People who live in the Seattle area are definitely not up to par when it comes to dealing with snow. As soon as there’s any white stuff at all on the ground, highways and byways in the entire metropolitan area turn into a never-ending version of Crash Car Derby. In fact, back when I lived in downtown Seattle, our snow-day entertainment was sitting in the window seat and watching the vehicular mayhem as inexperienced winter drivers tried to navigate the snowy steep grade on Broad between First Avenue and Elliott. Jack-knifed busses were always especially memorable.

Yesterday it was hot (for us) when I was out getting my pool deck steps. Today it’s winter—rainy, windy, and cold. I think it’s a pretty good bet that whatever steps I get today will be inside steps. After a weekend of rain, the smoke had pretty well cleared, so Monday and Tuesday were my first outside step days in over a week. What I noticed more than anything is that all the little birds on the back deck have gone to ground. We have suet blocks hanging in the two Japanese maples. One brave little nuthatch doesn’t take off in a blind panic when I walk by, but everybody else does. That always puzzles me because, if I’m the one putting out food for them, why do they regard me as a mortal enemy? But then again, maybe there’s a reason the term birdbrain is part of our vocabulary. Yesterday, however, and the day before, when I was out walking, I missed my little friends and all their wing-flapping antics.

For the first two days of this week, my Pedometer++ registered 12,000 steps each with a long green hashmark there to prove it. Some of you may remember how we always used to talk about things going into our permanent record, and now I’ve got one for sure. Those short and very accusatory red marks from the previous eight days of not getting my ten are still sitting there on the screen of my cell phone, glaringly telling anybody and everybody that for that period of time, I was what you might call a lazy bum. This morning I totaled up those eight days of steps, and altogether they amounted to 23,891. In other words, without walking what I call my “purposeful ten” each day, my real step activity is somewhere around 3,000 or less—which makes me, in my natural state, what you might call a sedentary slug.

When I finish writing this blog, I’m going to get off my butt and walk inside. My circulatory system couldn’t care less if I’m walking inside or out. When the smoke was bad enough, even inside walking wasn’t recommended, but since the smoke around here has cleared up, I no longer have any excuses.

As for what’s happening in the book? I’m definitely on the banana peel now.