I don't drive. I can drive, and fairly well, but on a daily basis, I do not. I walk. I use public transportation. As last resorts, I bum rides. It's been this way for years. My entire life actually is full of memories of me walking places, by myself usually, but sometimes not. I remember taking epic treks across the city of Albuquerque with my step-dad, and slipping on ice along the way (yes, it snows and ices in Albuquerque). Always he would ask as I sat on my butt in the wet cold, "Did it hurt?," and when I answered yes, he would respond, "Don't do it again."
Because I don't drive, my timing is quite often off, and as I believe in punctuality (if at all possible), this means I'm usually early for something and waiting. I do a lot of waiting in my life, which I don't feel at all angsty about. My life is full of intermissions and interludes, best accompanied by cigarettes in the days I smoked cigarettes, I must admit. I wished I was still carrying that emergency pack this morning, but I threw that out years ago. I got dropped off early this morning, before my cafe was even open, and chose to go on a walk in my cowboy boots which are still stunningly loud, but need badly to be re-soled. I'd considered walking to the graveyard but decided against it, not because it'd be too much of a sad cliche, but because I was just there on a Saturday walk. Instead, I walked to a little park, one with plastic play structures for small children (the wood and metal play structures for larger, but still small, children have all but disappeared from the face of America; we expect kids to grow up so fast these days). I'm keen on this particular park because it has a grill, and though I haven't used one yet, I always wax poetic about bringing a pan and a couple eggs and frying myself up some breakfast in the winter in a park. Perhaps I like the image of this because it reminds me of the story of my Grandma grilling a turkey on the grill in the snow one winter, and Grandpa discovering her when he pulled into the drive way after work, utterly incredulous.
But, like the cigarettes I didn't have, I also wasn't carrying any camp gear, or perishables. But, I do have enough bad sense to sit on the swing set on a 36 degree morning and swing, my finger-less gloves protecting my palms from the cold of the chain, but not my fingers from the biting of the wind. Red, chapped fingers are of little concern, though, when one has a swing which one can lean back on and stare at the sky and yellow and red leaved trees, one's stomach doing twists and turns that can only be combatted with giggling.
I am a little crazy (it's hereditary), but this morning, and all mornings like it, I am thankful for the cold, I am thankful for the loneliness, I am thankful for a sturdy swing set to hold my grown lady weight, I am grateful for a grey sky threatening rain (or snow!), and I am grateful even that I don't have a pack of emergency cigarettes, because that's really a nasty habit.