Jan. 5

I had a spring in my step on my walk this morning. Not sure why. It definitely wasn’t the warmth, even though it was 26 degrees with no wind. It felt cold in spite of my three layers on top. Felt like all the evaporated snow from yesterday’s mild temp was hanging above the trail and I was walking through a mist I couldn’t see.

Picture this scene I get every morning: I’m on the trail by the river, and I look south through the trees to the frozen river, to a row of small trees on the far bank, and a flat corn field, and the silhouettes of three silos and a barn against the orange sky. Nice place to live, especially when you’re out at dawn.

As it grew lighter, I noticed frost on the branches and realized I was right about that moisture seeping through my outergarments. Today it’s going to hit 40. Another crazy winter in the climate change era. (Of course we can’t see this year’s or today’s weather as “evidence” of climate change, right? Just like we can’t see one hundred-degree day next summer as evidence against, right? It’s the big picture, right? Well, the last 10 years have been one unprecedented warm spell after another. Not sure if that’s a big enough picture, but it seems it should give one pause.)

Moving on. Maybe the spring in my step was due to the nice birthday dinner Diane made for me last night, or all the Facebook birthday wishes. (Nod to Rob, too, who took me out for a birthday lunch at the Country Corner.) Another good thing about social networking: You get way more birthday greetings. Another good thing: When you go to the holiday party with your old college friends, you don’t have to spend the whole time catching up, because you’ve been following them on Facebook.

Anyway, Diane made pulled pork sandwiches and hashbrowns and a delicious chocolate cake. My mom came for the festivities. Had a glass of three buck Chuck and went to bed with a copy of Runner’s World. (I’m only running once a week, but Runner’s World keeps me looking ahead to the warm season when I’ll get back on track. There was a good letter by an old guy who took offense to an article that referred to running 15-20 miles per week as “newbie” training. What? I’ve been running for 20 years, and that’s a lot of running for me.)

A bad thing about social networking: Unfollowing your daughter on Twitter. It was sad to click “unfollow,” but it seemed like the right thing to do. Kids need their privacy. Still, it’s kinda like watching her drive away in the pickup for the first time or head off to college.

Still no column for next week, but I might go to the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions column. And no, I won’t do the usual critique of resolutions. I happen to like them, and I have a pretty long list this year (like blogging every day). Some of them I won’t share publicly. Some are personal; some have to do with work.

I was thinking on my walk that my tendency to make resolutions goes way back to my youth. Always trying to make myself better. I was an old man at seven years old, and during the years since it seems like I’ve been trying to get younger. More on that some other day.

Today I have a spring in my step.

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