The only product that has ever given me any relief is Tylenol Arthritis, but I had none in the house. I popped some of the pain relief tablets my wife keeps for headaches a couple time during the day, but it had no effect.
Now you may think me crazy, going walking when every step felt as if I placed my foot upon a knife blade. Well, yes, I am crazy. I realized I was when it dawned on me I had chosen the park with the stone gravel trail today. Well, it has been said an artist must suffer for his art, thus a walker must suffer for his walk.
Speaking of walks, remember the cat I encountered twice in Bellevue State Park? [ "On the Down Low: The Last Plateau" and "Cauffiel"] My concern was at first whether the cat would follow me. After the day I ran into this feline a second time my concern became whether it had a home. As a result of my posting about this, I am happy to have heard from someone named Andy who says the cat is just fine. It will be a regular resident in the park because it has been adopted by the park supervisor. Its name is Hemingway, one of my favorite authors.
It is amazing who all reads your Blogs and what information they can impart to you on occasion.
Speaking of posts about parks, I mentioned a few times how different the paths became from summer to winter. In the summer they seem so far from civilization, so private and primitive, but with the striping of the trees by Jack Frost you discover how close are homes and highways. One object I talked of being well hidden to the point of invisibility as you walked by on the main trails surrounding it was the high-point gazebo at Rockwood. ["Where Civilization Crumbles"]
The other week I went about the turn in the parking lot drive and realized the gazebo was now even visible from the lot.
The steepness of the steeper path also comes clearer. Remember I usually walk up what I call the gradual hill trail, which starts to the far side of the mansion and circles the back of the property along side a community of homes.
If you look closely at the photo to the right you can see the white lampposts that line the upward slope of what I call the steep path. You have to look closely because they can be easily mistaken for trees.
I have gone up this path in the heat of summer and arrived sweaty and panting at the top.
These mark the beginning of the steep trail up the hill. I think you can see how sharp the slope becomes here.
It stays pretty much at this angle of accent until parallel to the gazebo and there it levels before joining the main path at the hill top.
"Conversations With Dogs"]
This picture with the trees bare and shrubs gone lets you see it.
You can see the gazebo in the very center of the scene and then all along the front it is cliff.
They decorate the mansion quite well for this event. Here is a sleight on the ground before the Conservatory.
It was strange to be guided to a spot on the parking lot and see the lots filling. Usually when I am here I am among a handful of cars if any at all, but then I do go for my walks at sunrise.
All the walkways were edged in bands of white light.
The hills are alive with the music of color.
I apologize for the poor quality of these pictures. I shot them in the dark without a flash so as not to disturb the many people around me. I use to shoot all the time with my old 35 SRL using fast film and no flash and most my night photos were fairly clear. When you snap in dim or dark, the aperture lingers longer to catch what light it may, allowing time for movement to disturb the steadiness needed for fine lines. My hands shake anyway and the cold didn't help. At least the lights look pretty.
There was some sort of podium-like thing facing some rows of folding chairs, where we had first sat for my wife to catch her breath. I guessed this was where the tree lighting would be. There was a very large evergreen behind the podium-like stand.
There was a children's choir forming up, which performed some Christmas songs once the music director and assistants stopped fiddling about with things. They had lovely voices.
Ah, this is why there were so few chairs. As the wife and I took a place standing behind the rows of chairs an old guy standing next to me said, "I'm not elderly."
"Yeah," I laughed, "none of us will admit to it."
The honor of throwing the switch went to the fill-in County Executive. Our duly elected County Executive is now a duly elected U. S. Senator and already seated. It was a special election to fill the seat of somebody named Biden. I don't know, this Biden got some other job or something and had to leave the Senate a couple years back.
Of course being a politician, he had to make a speech. After thanking all the committees and volunteers who made the event possible, as they certainly deserved to be thanked, and bragging about how much cost it is to the County to maintain this fine place, he threw the switch and the large tree behind him lit.
Everyone let out the expected communal gasp.
The photo is the entrance to the Butler's Pantry, not the main hall of the house. Santa was holding forth on Christmas wishes from the tots in here.
Inside the front hall of the mansion I handed over the clothing donation I brought and we toured the rooms.
I had awoken early as usual and while the rest slept, I put up our old tree and strung the lights. I leave the rest of the decorating to The Little Woman who does a better job of ornament hanging than I. I did stick the angel on top.
The tree had its annual falling over late that evening, but the kids did a good job of propping it back up and securing it hopefully through New Years. For once it wasn't the cats fault it fell. It just lost it balance. It is a senior citizen, too.
That is Mark sitting on the table next to it.
This is Hobo Joe's and Kerouac's first Christmas Tree with us. Hobo seemed unimpressed, but The Little Woman has had to fish Kerouac out of the branches a few times.
No one in my family likes their picture taken, so I am always sneaking up and rushing shots when I think they won't notice. This results in very poor and shaky images. I am surprised I managed to get both a halfway clear and a face forward photo of my middle child without her making a face or bolting from the room.
The cat next to her is Moochie.
My son, my youngest, was sacked out playing with some Rubik game he bought while watching a football game on TV.
Meanwhile in the kitchen my oldest daughter was baking cookies.
Invasion of the Basketball Snatchers and how someone had complained about seven homes with seven nets for seven kids or more. The State had ordered the nets be removed within two weeks or the State Basketball Destruction Squad would come and remove the offenders. One home actually moved their net from the grass patch to the safety of the area at the end of their drive, but all the rest stood defiant and the nets were left standing.
This is now mid-December and those nets remain as they were well past the dreaded deadline of destruction. In other words, despite the orders and threats nothing has changed. Oh wait, something did change. One more net went up on those streets. Calcare non sagena mea. Free libertatem sortem!