There is nothing pretty to look at. Our world is drained of color.
In the mornings, Boscoe wants to go down to the lake. During the week, I usually say no--it takes so long, he is so slow, it wears him out and makes me late for work. I fear the day we get down there and he can't get back, but I tend to fear a lot of things that never come to pass and it may be that I'm still channeling Toby's decline (of a mere 10 years ago).
But today is Sunday, and it was too gloomy and cold at just 15 degrees for there to be many people around. We had nowhere we needed to be until 10, and it was only 8:30. OK, I said. Down to the lake we go.
At frozen water's edge, we poked around, slipped on the icy path, sniffed some yellow spots, stood for long minutes and stared out at the gray hard lake, imagining, perhaps, the noisy geese and dabbling ducks who should be here, oh, any month now.
And then we started the long slow walk to the path back home--maybe a quarter of the way around the lake. A woman walked briskly toward us. She wore a big green button on her jacket, and a green hat, and she said, "In another minute or two there are going to be 300 people running right at you." I looked down the path, and sure enough, at the curve of the lake by the pavilion, I could see a long stream of people headed in our direction.
Boscoe and I had chosen the morning of the St. Patrick's Day Fun Run to take our meandering stroll along the lake.
As the footsteps thundered toward us, I managed to pull Boscoe off the path onto a flat spot of snow. I held him there with a treat in front of his nose while the runners pounded by. There really were hundreds of them, most dressed outlandishly for the holiday--tall green, white and orange Dr. Seuss hats, or grass-green shorts worn over sweatpants, or clip-on shamrocks that bobbled as they ran. Just like real Irish people!
After about 50 or 75 or 100 people had gone past, the excitement became too much for Boscoe. He turned around and began trotting along with the runners, back the way we had come. Runners thundered up behind us, parted to pass us, closed back together in front of us. Though I tried to pull Boscoe off to one side, he was trotting along gamely, the closest thing to a run that he can manage, and he was not to be stopped or diverted.
We made it back to our original path, and with the help of a fragment of a milk bone I was able to lure Boscoe back across the street and up the trail toward our house. He seemed done in from his sprint and ready to go home.
At the top--oh, fortunate timing--we encountered Doug and Riley, back from a brisk walk of their own. Riley raced toward us, and Boscoe dropped into the play bow. They wrestled in the snow for a few happy minutes before we picked up their leashes and walked on.
And now the ice is melting. The sun is not yet out, but the air is warming up above freezing, and this might be the last cold morning for a long, long time.
(Google photos. Didn't have a camera with me.)