Saturday In the Park

Ch-ch-ch-changes … I used to be a warm weather gal. That was before menopause hit. Menopause, for me, has been rather mild. Not the pause that refreshes, mind you, just relatively mild. I’m using my friend Connie as a comparison. She turned into an ogre during her menopausal years. She’s back to her normal self now, but for a year or two, it was touch and go.

Before age 53, when the whole change-of-life thing started, my favorite place to be was on the beach or a boat, baking in the sun. Way back then, if you would have suggested that someday, not only would I choose to take a brisk walk through the park in below freezing weather, but that I would actually enjoy it, I would have questioned your sanity. Yep, that was then, this is now. It was 29 degrees yesterday when I got to the park. I chose to walk anyway, and I enjoyed it immensely.

When I arrived, the park had a desolate look about it. Two vehicles were parked close to the river. There were two men, each walking their respective dog. A family of 4 was fishing. One of the fisherpersons had chest-high waders on.Thy too seemed happy to be out in the frosty air


There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic on the walking trails at this particular park throughout most of the year, so the squirrels are relatively tame. A rather large squirrel meandered close to me. He appeared to be striking various poses. He’s obviously been photographed before … perhaps he’s even a seasoned wildlife runway model, I thought. Haha … kidding … KIDDING!! As I maintained my stride, I nonchalantly reached for my camera phone so as not to startle the little fellow. The camera was in a pouch around my neck. The Velcro closure made a very loud ripping sound, which startled both my subject and me. The squirrel was at the top of the tree in nothing flat. Just like that, the photo op was over.

My walk for that day was over too. I’ll revisit the park next week; I’ll carry my phone in my hand this time. Perhaps I’ll run into the squirrel; he’ll pretend he doesn’t recognize me, I’ll pretend the Velcro incident never happened. I’ll get some candid shots of an incognito, local celebrity, runway model squirrel, and we’ll call it a day.

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Wrong Hands

Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands

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