Thursday, January 8, 2009


"Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,
from the snow five thousand summers old;
On open wold (sic) and hilltop bleak,
it had gathered all the cold...
It carried a shiver everywhere,
from the unleafed boughs and pastures bare... "
---James Russell Lowell, from "Vision of Sir Launfaul"

What carried me back to this favorite passage from Lowell's epic poem? Simply walking out into the stormy, windy cold today, after an hour of sweat-producing work at the Geauga YMCA.

It was a shock to the senses, particularly on my bare face, though the storms of this day were made beautiful by large snowflakes floating down and piling up quickly in this rural setting... I could imagine I was walking through a Victorian-style snow globe. I'm the sort of nut who likes that sort of thing.

On days like this it takes a hardy soul to venture out and drive through the storms for an hour of exercise, but I love this Y, and that's my motivation.

I love that this facility surrounds me with all sorts of people of all ages, from a 90-plus year-old woman to the little children who peer in from the hallway and giggle at the exercise routines of us "vintage" people.

I love too, that my routine here has helped me to walk taller and to move with a spring in my step... and restored some of the balance that allows me to navigate the icy walks without falling on my butt!

From this classic northeast Ohio January day, R.A.T. (Rose Around Town) sends a blizzard of good wishes to all of you.