The weather has turned very cold with blustery winds as we get our first taste of winter coming on. Almost right on schedule with the winter solstice starting on Tuesday, December 21. I don’t like winter or cold weather having lived in upper New York State for 10 years when I first came over from England before moving to Texas. I had more than my fill of freezing cold weather and 2 foot snow falls although I did have a snowmobile and enjoyed skiing. No, what I didn’t like were cars not starting in the morning unless plugged in to an engine block warmer and having to put on snow tires every year and of course that outside construction in general was closed down for three months. I also didn’t like driving on icy roads and not always having control over the vehicle. It didn’t help that the first frosts would come as early as late September and I remember that we landed from the Queen Mary on March 13, 1967 to wake up to 13 inches of overnight snow in the little town of Fort Plain, NY. My Mother had sent me pictures of one winter when the snow drifted up to the roof of her two story house. When I looked at it, I commented to my then wife on on how pretty it looked not thinking for one minute of the consequences that snow like that brings. Welcome to America indeed
With the exception of the February storms of this year, 2021 here in Texas which were the worst in all of the 44 years I have been in this great State, we normally only have a couple of overnite frosts, enough to kill the plants. These are gone by mid day and any snowfalls are generally just a dusting and lasting not more than a day or two. Most of any winter weather is finished by February. Maybe global warming is affecting Texas weather just as it is in many other parts of the World.
We went out for our first walk of the day and this time I was prepared with my jacket and hat on.The dogs don’t really care about the change in temperature as they bounded along with endless energy and curiosity of all of the smells. I imagine that as we are walking the park and outside roads that are traversed by many other dogs taking their humans, out walking, that the smells must be boundless and exciting to any dog. Sandy knows only one way to walk, nose down and full speed ahead dragging Mikey and I along behind her. I sometimes wonder if she wishes we weren’t there as we slow her down. That is until another dog comes along and then she is very happy for us to stand up with her.
All 5 of the temporary slots in front of us are filled for the weekend or maybe longer. By temporary I mean used for overnight or short term campers, all pull through, all blacktopped and all easy to set up. I imagine with Christmas not far away some of them may be visiting relatives and friends in the immediate neighborhood. Maybe not…
We stayed indoors writing and working on pictures for most ot the day. I had given some serious thought to trying to get a hair appointment with Great Clips and then logic stepped in and trying to do that on a weekend when working people would be doing the same thing, didn’t make a lot of sense so I abandoned that idea for another day.
I played around with my new Olympus camera attaching the hardware to it that enables me to use my belt carrier leaving my hands free. When I’m on the trails by myself my hands have the walking poles. When the dogs are with me, I usually have just one pole so I can control the dogs leash with the other, We use a split leash that has them both hooked up separately leading to a single handle to control them. I tried to carry the camera by the use of the neck strap that is attached to it but I still need one hand on it as I walk to stop it from swinging about. The waist harness is the most secure and the clip attached to the camera allows me to quickly get it up and/or put it away. So far, I have not put the camera to serious use but I want to start to carry it with me on our walks even just around the park. That was the whole purpose of buying a lightweight camera and trading in my two Nikons and all of my lenses anyway as they were getting real heavy to carry around. That is another thing growing old can do and that is finding a different way to manage ongrowing weaknesses both in strength and balance. For me, it is a lighter camera and a walking pole and both poles when I hike alone which I don’t do much of nowadays.
One of the tenants in the temporary section right in front of me had some work done on his unit by a travelling RV mechanic. I watched as the man climbed under the RV and was pounding on a part of it with a hammer for some time besides doing other stuff. The problem was either in one of the slideout’s or with the trailer axle area. He eventually left after several hours work and I don’t know if he fixed whatever the problem was.
We got up early as I had an appointment with my Dermatologist as a result of the biopsies from the previous visit. We went out for a short and uneventful walk before returning to Miss Daisy where I gave the dogs their breakfast and after consulting the clock, decided that I didn’t have time to eat at home and would stop at Starbucks on the way into Austin. I was busy thinking these thoughts and noticed that the grey tank needed to be emptied and went outside to perform this small task. With my mind elsewhere, I forgot to duck under the bedroom slide out to where the tank valves are located resulting in quite a bang on my forehead. The thing is, this is the second time in about the same number of days that I have done this and both in the exact same spot on my forehead. I cussed and swore a lot and stemmed the bleeding before continuing with my chores totally frustrated at my own stupidity. It seems that I knock myself a lot more as I grow older as my hands and legs are covered in places that I have made contact with something or another. Some of that has to do with the cramped space inside Miss Daisy. I guess when you are younger, the skin is much more flexible and gives a little instead of tearing as it seems to nowadays. At least, my balance is still good and if I do happen to stumble I can react accordingly. I even have a rope burn on my leg where we all got tangled up with the dog leash.
I was going to stop in the Starbucks in Dripping Springs but the line was almost out onto the road so I kept driving and hit the one at Oak Hill without too much trouble and continued on to the Dermatologist office n Austin only to be told when I walked in the door that I was a full hour early. Somehow, I had gotten the times mixed up even though they were on my phone resulting in me sitting in my car for an hour. At least I was able eat my breakfast sandwich and drink my coffee in peace before, an hour later, making my way back into the Doctor’s Office for what I knew would be the very last time. She went to work and removed the skin cancer in her usual methodical and I must say, comparatively painless way and after saying my goodbyes, I walked out of her office for the very last time after 16 years of her treatment. The drive home was uneventful and I toyed with the idea of trying to find a hairdresser but gave up on account of the recent treatment and drove back to Henly. As a reward, I treated myself to the second Latte of the day, pretty much an unheard of event.
The rest of the day was spent in the usual fashion with a much longer walk around the park and the outside roads followed by working on the blog.
Written 12/21/2021 – Read my other blog at https://pondblog2011.com