I have toe cramps right now. TOE CRAMPS. I don't suppose I should be surprised, though, the way this day has been going.
It all started yesterday, while I was loading groceries into the trunk of my car. I saw a few flakes coming down and remembered the pile of leaves in front of my house. I had no choice but to get them up before they froze solid.
So I raked up four and a half bags of it, which is pretty amazing when you consider we don't have any trees. Heck, we hardly even have a lawn. But it's been windy the last few days, and the leaves had been accumulating.
Sure enough, by the time I finished, the snow was coming down. I threw some salt on the sidewalk. From my window, throughout the day, I watched kids grabbing handfuls of snow off my car to throw at each other, since it didn't really accumulate on the ground.
finds a snowball
Still, it was optimistic to believe there would be no problems today. They started early, at 7 a.m., as the alarm was going off to wake The Gryphon for work. Simultaneously, someone rang our front doorbell. Turns out it was our next-door neighbor, who needed to use the phone because she'd been locked out of the house. She'd grabbed the wrong set of keys when she went to walk her behemoth of a dog, who she'd tied out back before coming to our door. She called a locksmith and then went out back to wait.
As The Gryphon ate breakfast, I tried to get some more sleep. I work evenings, so I typically sleep in until just after The Gryphon leaves for work. But within a short period, I heard tires spinning and the annoying beeping noise of a large vehicle backing up. A school bus was stuck at the corner just past our house, having stopped for a stop sign on a patch of black ice.
Our municipality does a terrible job of handling snow. I think their usual policy is to simply wait for the sun to melt it. At most, they'll send a truck through once per storm. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, but they did such a good job of road maintenance that it has forever spoiled me.
When I couldn't take the beeping any longer, I went downstairs to hang out with The Gryphon until it stopped. Once it had, I returned to bed, only to hear a large truck, 10 minutes later, with the same problem.
"Make it stop!" I wailed. I used the technique I use when I'm trying to nap and kids are playing outside the window: I played a CD to block out the noise. In this case, The "Low" Symphony by Philip Glass, based on the album Low by David Bowie. It's experimental orchestral music with lots of sustained notes and no sudden bursts of sound. That did the trick, and I slept until the album ran out.
By then, coincidentally, The Gryphon was ready to go, so he gave me a kiss and headed out. I slept fitfully, my dreams interrupted by spinning tires. I dreamt that I walked downstairs and was looking for an Enya album to put on, but finally, I got up instead.
Just as I was donning some clothes to take Una for a walk, Una's ears perked up and she popped to her feet. The front door unlatched: it was The Gryphon coming back. Since he'd left 45 minutes ago, he'd waited at his bus stop and seen several buses come the other direction. When his bus finally arrived, it was packed to the gills and wouldn't let anyone on. So he took that as a sign he was supposed to stay home. After all, it would have been nearly lunch by the time he got to work.
He told me that he'd be willing to go with me later on if I did any errands, and I told him that, unless the roads clear, I'm not going anywhere.
So I took Una for our walk, taking pictures of the fresh-fallen snow as we walked. Mind you, this is the amount of snow it took to make our road such a hazard.
It was also enough snow to wreak havoc on an inflatable snow globe lawn ornament, which Una and I inspected close-up.
On the way back, I saw a couple young guys in navy wool coats, wearing gold pins emblazoned with their names. Mormons.
"Hi," one of them greeted me cheerily. "We're sharing a wonderful message about Jesus."
"That's nice," I said and kept walking.
"Do you have five minutes to listen to a scriptural passage?"
"No," I said, and kept walking. When I entered the house, I warned The Gryphon: "Don't answer the door for the next half hour. Mormons are coming." Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, they tried the doorbell and then knocked. This despite the fact that they'd watched me enter the house after declining to listen!
I thought the day would turn around then as The Gryphon and I played some Dance Dance Revolution together. This is my daily aerobic exercise, but it had been a long time since we played together. In the middle of a song, the phone rang. It was a number we didn't recognize, and The Gryphon picked up.
It was the business partner of our hair stylist, who just left the hair salon where we'd been going. They started their own salon, and she wanted to know if The Gryphon wanted to keep his appointment tomorrow. When he heard how much further the salon was, he had to decline, especially as he didn't know of any public transportation near there.
So now we've got to find another place for him to get his hair cut. Anyone with suggestions of a good hair salon in Center City, please let me know!
Then, as I was sitting down to do this Musing, I put on a favorite pink polo shirt and noticed a stain near the bottom. As I sat down to type, the toe cramps started.
So let me just say, universe, you win! Uncle! Uncle!
Some days it's just not worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. — Emo Phillips