Slip Sliding Away

It snowed yesterday in Denver. The front of my car is covered in icicles. I got home from work tonight and parked outside. When I opened the garage door to go into the apartment, I noticed a trash bag that needed to go to the dumpster. I put the mail and my backpack on a shelf and grabbed the trash.

On the way to the trash, I saw one of my neighbors whom I’ve spoken to before. She recognized me and said hello.

“You’re from Nevada, right?”

“Yep!”

“How are you liking the Winter?”

“I’m loving it actually.”

As I said that I hit a patch of ice and fell straight to the ground. Nothing snapped or popped or hit too hard. Just some bad footing.

My neighbor asked, “Are you OK?”

“Yep I’m fine. Nothing hurt but my pride.”

She didn’t miss a beat: “So how do you like the Winter now?

“Ha! I still like it.”

She said, “I fall all the time. I don’t even bother wearing Winter shoes.”

“I’m a bit disappointed in these boots, to be honest. They have zero ice traction, obviously.”

And with that, I trod the rest of the way to the dumpster to deposit my bag. I also took a slightly different route back, where the driveway had been exposed to sun and there was no ice.

I might be goofy, but I’m not stupid. And I still like the Winter.

Salmon, non-sequiturs and meatballs

We were in Ikea late this morning during what’s turning into a blizzard, looking for a new office chair for me. Long story short: the search for a chair was a bust.

However, one of our Ikea “to do’s” is to eat at the cafe. We had a good view of I-25 and the cars driving in the blowing snow, not to mention a “bobcat” with a plow constantly clearing the driveway while munching on smoked salmon and sauce-covered meatballs, drinking strong black coffee (me) and sparkling pear drink (Sheri).

It was a pleasant, quiet moment in our lives. I usually don’t notice the background music at Ikea, but moth full of meatballs, I recognized the Beastie Boys (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!). That song does not conjure up the image of inexpensive self-assembled furniture. Nor meatballs. Nor smoked salmon.

I couldn’t hear it well enough to determine if it was the original Beastie Boys version or a later, possibly neutered cover by someone else. But I recognized the tune. It didn’t sit well. It was completely out of place among the sterile yet whimsical Scandinavian lamps:

maskros-pendant-lamp__0114725_PE267328_S4

I’m not sure how Ikea picks their music, but I’m pretty sure this lamp doesn’t want to fight for its right to party. It knows that right is inherent to its existence.

Slow Rider

I rode my bike to the train station today for the first time in weeks. Even with the threat of snow this afternoon, I just felt the need to not drive my car and get a little exercise in the process. It was cold, of course, but I got so much more out of it than I do when I drive.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a car I thoroughly enjoy owning, and I enjoy driving as long as traffic stays out of my way. But this morning’s bike ride to the train station showed me a few things that I was starting to forget about.

The ducks in the little pond at the front of our development are one of those things. The pond had about twenty mallards doing their duck things in it. Some were standing on the little ice island on top of the pond and others were in the water and swimming around. If I had driven, I would have only had a second or two to notice, if I had noticed at all. On my bike, I was able to slow down and enjoy the scene. Quack!

About a third of the way into my ride, I noticed something moving off to the side of the road. I would not have noticed if I was driving, since I would be going past at thirty miles per hour. On the bike, at about one-third that speed, I again had a chance to see a cute bunny rabbit hopping about, trying to find a place hide from me. One of my favorite things about the move to Colorado is the number of bunnies I get to see. We have one living in the bushed right outside our front door. There are quite a few others in various places along my route to the train station and even at the station. I smile every time I see one and get a happy feeling inside. Squee!

Even though I had a bit of exercise on the way to the station this morning, I was more relaxed when arriving and enjoyed my ride to work even more. I’m realizing the Amish have it right in many ways: avoid being too fast. Sometimes life needs to be lived at its own speed, rather than the fastest speed possible.

It did snow today in Denver. Not a lot. Just a few light flurries. It was still snowing when I rode home. I enjoyed that ride, too. I usually ride home quickly, but took my time today. I took my time for two reasons. The first reason was safety. There’s no sense wiping out and giving the drivers a show, possibly injuring myself. The second was to intentionally slow down.

An added bonus was that the snow was forming a sort of warp speed visual effect as I rode in it. Prolonging that felt good. I arrived home happy and relaxed. The best part is, the ride home usually takes less time than the drive.

Weather permitting, I’ll ride again tomorrow. Slowly.