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February in New England can be one of two things: frigid or freezing- depending on ones personal preference of words. Occasionally I am dressed appropriately and the air temperature doesn’t really affect me. Although this was not the case early one Saturday morning in February. I left the house in a rush to get to the gym so I could zip through my workout and be back home to tackle the days events. No warming up the car…c’mon it was above zero after all. My drive to the gym takes exactly 13 minutes on bare, lonely roads. Today at this hour I thought, I’d make it there in 10.

About 3 miles into my trip I hear a loud rambling fer-lop, fer-lop noise coming from under the rear of the car. Fearing a blown tire I do not brake, instead I coast to the right and glide into a parking lot and park my car. As I remove myself from the car I wonder how much time this will add to my drive. To my surprise I find the rear drivers side tire is flat and barely hanging on to the rim. Hmmm, three miles from home, early-early Saturday morning, under mount spare, doesn’t look like I am gonna make it to the gym….so it looks like an unintended walk. After scratching a quick not to the owner of the now blocked parking lot I hunt through my car for anything that I can use for head and hand warming. With a little luck I find a pair of the kids stretch knit gloves. You know the kind the sell at the dollar store, at first site they look like glove for a baby yet they stretch to fit an adult hand. Well I can say with confidence that when they stretch the gloves become useful only as a fashion statement because they provided no warmth. No such luck in finding a hat. Oh, well I say, the thermometer in the car said 12 degrees and it doesn’t seem to be too windy. Off I go in my nylon gym pants, t-shirt and North Face liner jacket, boots, red knit stretch gloves and thick blonde hair that reaches just past my shoulders - which is a pretty good substitute for a hat.
          Being an optimistic, spiritual person I wonder why this detour was given to me. Was I supposed to change the flat and go to the gym? No, I was walking towards home. My mind was racing to figure out the reason. Then I looked around me. What a beautiful, crisp day. There were hardly any cars passing by, a handful at most. Each car carrying a driver and  some with passengers who looked puzzling in my direction. After all I was wearing work out clothes, so why wouldn’t I be out walking so early on such a beautiful morning. Realizing that if I had been in a skirt and fancy shoes someone probably would have offered me a ride. As I am briskly walking I try not to think of how bitterly cold it feels for being 12 degrees (and not having much wind). During this 45 minute walk I think about many things. Such things that I would not have thought about if I had been at the gym. Last winter I had tried ski joring with my dog and I had cross country skied a number of times before February. Why hadn’t I jored or skied this winter? My life is much slower paced this winter. I left my job in July and I am a full time home schooling Mom. If anything I have a lot more time to ski and jor now. What are some things I do alone and for my own personal enjoyment? Other than the gym? Well…not really anything else………The conversation between me, myself and I continued for the remainder of my walk. The dialogue was helpful to me in more ways than I can count. The conversation was long overdue. Only when I approached the electronic bank sign 300 yards from my home did I realize two things ; 1) it was only 7 degrees !!! and 2) the true “reason” for my detour.  I am planning detours monthly now...I'll let you know how it goes.

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Summer on the back porch

Summer on the back porch