It was the day after the alleged Nor’easter that had everybody scared to death. Turned out to be, just a normal snow mixed with rainstorm, at least in New York City, the Goliath of the Tri-State area.
You have to wonder why the media has to panic us the way they do. So we’re prepared for the worst? Couldn’t they take it down a notch so we wouldn’t be buying canned goods as if it were the Cuban Missile Crisis?
But that’s another essay.
I was happily strolling through the park after running, grateful to be able to, the road being cleared of any ice. There was even a bike race in progress.
As I’m tooling west to east, pretty much alone, there’s a woman walking her Golden Retriever a little ways ahead of me.
“Hi,” I say, as I’m about to pass. She’s middle-aged from what I can see beneath her knitted hat and scarf hiding half her face, with a back ramrod straight. “Isn’t the weather great?”
“Not as great as it could be,” she says, sneering a bit.
Pollyanna says, “Oh come on, we were supposed to be buried if we actually survived, according to the news. Look at us out here?”
She smiles and says,”You’re right, I’m just anxious for spring.”
“What’s your dog’s name?”
“Keeper,” she said. “He’s 13.”
He turns to acknowledge us as off he knows we were talking about him.
“He’s so lean and trim, and spunky for 13.”
“Guess how old I am?”
I never answer that question. Last time I did, the person started to cry.
Luckily she didn’t wait for one. “80. I just turned 80.”
I would have said, 60 thinking I’d insult her. “Wow, I’m stunned. I’m 63.”
“You’re a baby,” she says, pleasing me to no end despite suddenly seeing myself in a crib teething on my up and coming Medicare Card.
What do you attribute your youthfulness to. I mean, I’d never guess you were that.”
“This,” she says, sweeping the air with a flourish. “I walk every morning, me and Keeper, rain, snow or sleet. We end up at The Boat House for coffee.”
“What does Keeper have?”
“A croissant, what else?” She had me there.
“It’s amazing he’s still so fit.”
“Well ya know why, don’t you?”
Again, she answers before I can respond. “This..exercise, moving,..using what the good Lord gave you.”
I decided I really like her, even though she’s having a conversation all by herself.
“Well, I turn here,” I say. “I’m Susannah.”
“Nice to meet you Ginger, and Keeper, and I hope we all meet again.