Winter Walks

Can You Hear It?

(Author’s Note: This article was written before a recent storm in the Detroit area dumped about 3-5 inches on us.)

Well, it finally happened. Early last week, I was able to engage in one of my favorite winter activities. Taking an evening stroll during a snowfall. It certainly wasn’t like a picture print by Currier & Ives. Probably no more than ½” of the white stuff coated the sidewalk. Here in the Detroit area, we have been having one of the biggest snow droughts I can remember. It has been cold enough for a white blanket of fluff, but so far in January, nothing. December, virtually nothing. However in November, we did get some “Pre-shovelled” snowfalls. They amounted to no more than 2”, and only covered the grass.

This night, the conditions for a winter walk were perfect. The snow was still falling, and the streets and sidewalks had a thin layer of the white stuff. I got home a little late from work, so it was around 10 pm when I headed out for my nightly walk with Skittles, the crazy dog. As I pulled the front door shut, I noticed it immediately. QUIET. Even a little bit of snow so effectively mutes the sounds of the suburbs, it becomes eerily silent outside. I love taking these walks, and I have been looking forward to them all winter. Just when it looked like we were going to skate by without any “Real Snow”, we were predicted to get one to three inches in the next few days.

These quiet journeys take me back to when we first welcomed a rescue dog named Skittles into our home. I resolved to walk her every day, regardless of the weather. And I have, for the most part. However, 17 degrees BELOW ZERO is just too damn cold! When I worked days, I would have to get up at 5 o’clock for our morning constitutional. If there was some snow overnight, these walks would take on that surreal feeling. As we made our way around the hushed neighborhood, it seemed like we were the only creatures on the planet. Eventually, the sounds of traffic would pick up. The snow plows and school buses would start running, and the illusion would be ruined. However, for a brief moment, it seemed like we had the world to ourselves. Sigh. I can’t wait to do it again.

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