With every rose there must always be those darned thorns to endure. I thought of this when I walked outside this morning and noticed the amount of sleet we received in the night. If ever in one day I got a good workout with chiseling ice from sidewalks, this was one of them. Certainly the City workers were getting paid overtime for working on Saturday but it was a necessary call-out due to the dangerous driving conditions. It’s so funny when listening to people chide me for not spreading salt or sand everywhere. First of all, the salt has been damaging the brick pavers on the sidewalks of North Federal. Just this last year I noticed how the pavers in front of my building were still holding up, but looking up and down the sidewalks in front of buildings which I know there’s been salt thrown down, they’re rapidly decomposing in visible areas. I remember one Spring some years ago when a client of mine asked me to go and see what an idiotic tenant who’d recently moved out had done to a nearly new driveway the previous winter. I understood from him that the strapping young tenant was too busy running to the gym every day for a workout but too lazy to shovel his driveway. Instead of shoveling, he thought it easier to continue throwing snow melt on it. I was shocked to see the permanent damage the excess of salt had done to that driveway which was likely only about three years old. All I could say was, “Seeing this is just another confirmation of how we absolutely can’t fix stupidity.” With a glare he said, “Yeah, and here I’m left with a disintegrating concrete driveway and the tenant who did it has moved out of State.” “Well” I said, “I hope it was somewhere in one of the far southern States where they don’t get snow or ice to ensure there won’t be another landlord’s driveway ruined.”
One of my customers wanted to re-visit a country setting early this morning so to get a better understanding of the amount of much needed work there’ll be should he decide to purchase it. Since it’s been some time since I walked ice-covered snow, I pointed out to the buyer some strange designs in the snow under the ice. I smiled and asked, “Do you know what caused these designs?” After a moment of looking at them he said, “No. What is it?” I grinned and said, “They’re field mice trails.” Normally they wouldn’t be so visible under the snow, but the open cavity left under the existing snow caused the sleet to create a darker outline of where they’ve been traveling to gather food. Small rodents in the wild normally don’t travel above the snow in fear of becoming prey of equally hungry predators higher on the food chain. It was too bad I didn’t have my camera with me because it was quite a rare sight. I’m exceptionally glad I spent those two hours out there this morning. It was a nature “fix” of which I was in great need.
A few of my close relatives, my Mother, her Mother, and including myself have always had problems with not being able to get good nights of sleep in and close to the time of the full moon. For me, last night’s Christmas full moon was no exception. It came as no surprise that I long over-slept my normal waking time after knowing how many times I awakened in the night. I understand the last time we had a full moon on Christmas was in 1977 and the next time we’ll have one is in 2034. The millennials will be middle aged and all the rest of us’ll be too old to care. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas full moon.