Monday, February 27, 2012

Summer Weather in February

The warm days we are enjoying here in Southern Illinois are creating lots of photos on Facebook of daffodils in bloom. Jake and I walked down to the mailbox with a birthday card for our grandson Trent, who will be 19 on Friday. I’d made a deal with myself that if the mail carrier had not yet delivered the mail (so I could leave the card rather than carry it back to the house) I would walk around the lake. Gerald had told me at lunch that a friend of ours was told to walk two miles a day following his second back surgery after an unsuccessful one by an earlier doctor. He was doing it. I was inspired to think he could walk two miles so soon after surgery. I left the card.

It has been a long long time since I’ve walked around the lake. Usually at this time of year, it is too cold. Last summer it was much too hot most of the time. More than the heat, however, I am afraid of the ticks that one picks up walking around the lake despite the nice path that Gerald tries to make with the lawn mower. Although I hate the idea of ticks feeding on my blood, what I am afraid of are the two diseases that one might catch from the creatures—Rocky Mountain tick fever and now in recent years Lyme disease. I know the odds are against our ticks carrying the diseases, but there is no guarantee, and I get freaked out when I find them on me after a walk.

I was assuming these little pests were not out yet this season, and as for as I know, I came home alone. Except for Jake who stuck with me the entire walk although he would run ahead and chase some birds or dig in the ground before he came back to be patted on the head. He again would walk beside me until my slow speed bored him. Then he’d be off, but he never forgot or deserted me.

There was only one small white duck swimming on the lake although last week we had a small flock of geese stop by going north. We were hoping one pair that were by themselves and swimming together obviously in love would stay. I guess they didb't. I watched a turtle on the bank warming in the sun until I got too close and he hopped in the lake. All I could see was the widening concentric circles of water until finally his head appeared in the middle of the narrow end of the lake where we were.

My sweater was a little too warm when the sun hit me, but then a breeze would come and make me a mite chilly for a few minutes. On the final climb up the hill to the house, however, I had to take the sweater off as I puffed up the slope.

Jake and I stopped by Gerald’s shop to admire the new attic-type storage area he had been building with a beautiful set of steps going up. After a snack and quick check of the news, I went to read for awhile on the living room couch, where I very quickly took a nap until Gerald came in for supper. Before I fell asleep, I kept hearing cracking on the deck door in the living room. I wondered if the storm door there was not closed tight and perhaps being moved by the wind. I got up and went over to check it, and everything seemed secure, but as I stood there with the sun beating down, I heard a few more crackles. I reached up and touched the inside of the inner door, and it was extremely hot to my touch. We are all somewhat puzzled by this unseasonable weather and are wondering if March is going to bring blizzards or if we will go all winter with mild and even hot weather.

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