Our Friends and Neighbours

Saturday I missed the day. The sky was clear and bright blue, icicles dripped to  the rhythm of the blackbirds’ song and  water ran in the gutters. I was inspired to do some cleaning but by the time I was ready to leave the house the bright intensity of the day  was gone. Mr. Me was working and arrived home early and so I sunk back inside to get on with our day together.

Today was bright and clear again with the temperature above freezing. The  streets were steams of melt water and puddles and the snow banks  were dirty hillocks, over the pristine mountains of the days before.  I slept late and awoke alone-Mr. Me, once again, working over the holiday weekend. Determined to take advantage of this THIRD day of above freezing temperatures. I was out the door within an hour of getting up. What to do? No plan in mind, I just bolted out the door.

The call of friendship lured me across the road. I started up my neighbour’s driveway but manners and good sense made me stop. I called from the driveway and was welcomed into the house while my friend slipped  out of her night wear and off we went, two post middle age women on a spring time adventure. We circled the block  and then, another chatting as fast as we walked. It felt good to be together, to trade stories of our week and to  shake the  stiffness off.

We crossed the major road and did another loop . . .  as we came around the corner there was a puddle of epic proportions. Initially I thought it was just the size of a car but as I got closer I realized it was much larger perhaps the length or 2 or 3 cars and it was deep. Feeling like an intrepid adventurer I skirted the crust along the edge, one foot behind the other  until there was no more edge to travel. Encouraged from behind, and not wanting to back track, I tracked up the snow bank to a ridge. There the pathway ended but a little higher  up were more footprints. Since I was only midway past the puddle  and it was not looking any shallower, up I went. Then I realized the  footprints were no bigger than  those of a second grader, undoubtedly a nimble little mite.

This may not have been the best route for an arthritic  60 something but there I was, on the top of the icy snowbank with a lake of muddy water below. I forged on, muttering to myself and exclaiming to my friend about the mess  I was surely going to encounter.  Remarkably the snow bank did not crumble and send me into the puddle.  I did not sink to the fork of my thighs, nor did I lose a boot. So focused was I on my adventure, I did not notice the line of  dump trucks at the intersecting street in wait for the snow removal operations.

As I began my descent I was within a foot and a half of the roadway and there was still  shallow water ahead. I could of skirted it easily enough, there was no rational for my action, no reason, it was not necessary. I jumped, really more of a bunny hop and landed in the puddle, two feet together with a s-plash! Icy cold water soaked my feet and I grinned  from ear to ear. My friend was beside me, laughing. A dump truck honked and the driver rolled down his window to give me a ‘thumbs up.’I had been oblivious to my audience.

My friend held me up while I dumped muddy water from my boot and off we went, smiling together. I felt the joy of a seven year old on an adventure. Glad of good neighbours and a fine friend.

It’s time for my rubber boots!



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