Friday, February 18, 2011

Urban Adventures

This morning, for the first time in almost a month, I woke up before my alarm, feeling rested and ready to start my day.  Three cheers!

Getting to work and home again has been an adventure the past couple of days.  Yesterday, a sudden warm spell turned packed snow and rough ice into fields of smooth ice slicked over with water.  During my walk to work, there were several patches where I had to shuffle one inch at a time over precarious footing, and even at that I almost went down a couple of times.  I had to do the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man dance to stay vertical.

This morning the ground was less treacherous.  All the ice on the sidewalks had melted - into giant, lake-like puddles.  At one point I danced my way through a puddle that was eight feet long and, at the middle, four inches deep.  Fortunately, I had my rubber-bottomed boots on, so my feet stayed dry.  Unfortunately, I brought my stuff to work in a canvas granny buggy instead of a handbag, because I had plans to go downtown after work and bring back some substantial shopping.  The wheels of the granny buggy did not quite clear the waves in this mega-puddle, and the bottom of the canvas got soaked.  Fortunately, none of the contents of the buggy sustained any water damage.

My adventure downtown was more exciting than I would have liked.  First I went to see my naturopath.  Then I got back on the subway train to go slipper shopping.  I have been inside in my jammies and slippers so much this winter that I've worn out two of my three pairs of slippers.*

*Yes, I do need three pairs.  They all have a purpose.  Slip-ons to keep by the bed at night, so I don't freeze my footsies when I get up; leather moccasins for lounging around in style; and big, puffy booties for when I'm seriously chilly.

When I got off the train at the slipper shop station, the platforms were packed.  This station is a major downtown hub where two track lines cross.  An announcement had come on the P.A. system a few minutes ago stating that one section of track, covering five very popular stations, was closed due to some poor soul sustaining "a personal injury at track level" at the next station to the north.  The station was already crammed to capacity with anxious crowds.  I could barely weasel my way through the crush to get out of there.

I went to The Bay where I scored a pair of $ 28 slippers for $ 9 on super-end-of-season-markdown.  Sweet!  Then I went back downstairs to the station, but I didn't get anywhere near the entrance.  It was still chockablock with crowds.

I wheeled my granny buggy through the underground shopping tunnels on foot to the next subway station.  My plan was to take the other arm of the line north, and then go across by bus.  I got on a train and went to another station where I could switch to a northbound train.  As soon as I arrived and dragged my buggy up two flights of stairs, another announcement declared that the delay was cleared.  Alright then.   I figured I'd just wait a few minutes for the crowds to clear out and then head back in the direction I'd come from.  I went back down the stairs, sat down and read my book for ten minutes, at which point another announcement stated that the delay wasn't clear after all and the track was still closed.  For the love of Pete...

I ended up taking the long, roundabout route home, including a ride on a packed bus in go-nowhere traffic that took around ten years, but I finally made it to my station.  Then my granny buggy and I set out for the 15-minute walk home, which would have been uneventful, but for an absolutely ridiculous wind that had kicked up since I was last outside.

This wind blew in my face so aggressively that, when it was gusting, it stopped me in my tracks.  Walking: it consists of picking up one foot and then falling forward onto it.  The wind was so strong that it stopped me from falling forward.  I ended up kind of marching in place half the time.  Not only that, but my canvas granny buggy became a nice big sail, windsurfing me in the wrong direction.  At one point I started laughing like a maniac because everything in the universe seemed to be conspiring against my goal of getting home.

But I did get home.  And my new slippers are super comfy.


Jameil said...

You need 3 pairs, ey? Whaddya live in Canada or somethin? Sheesh! I can't talk about anyone's shoe collection. Rashan has to keep his shoes in the living room by the door because there's no space in the closet. And that's just my winter and seasonless shoes... LOL @ you walking in place! Great mental picture! Glad you woke up rested and made it home safely!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

You need to run some rope guidelines along your route to/from work so if it gets windy you can just pull yourself along by the ropes.... just be careful they don't come loose and you turn into a kite of some kind.

Lynn said...

I liked the part about your dance through the puddle. I'm glad you feel better!

Anonymous said...

Describe these slippers. Are they gorilla slippers, monkey slippers? Inquiring monkey brains want to know.

G said...

Wow. Reminds me of the journey I made to my job one afternoon (which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago), in that I had to drive completely west in order to get to my office that was just north of where I was completely stuck at.

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Oh my goodness - the shoes I would buy if I had more storage space! My husband has two pairs of shoes. All the rest are mine. I've filled two closets!

Ron: I came very close to travelling Mary Poppins style. When I finally stumbled through the front door, the first thing Ken said was "Thank goodness you're home! I was worried that you would blow away!"

Lynn: Thanks! That puddle dance would have been very amusing to any onlookers. Fortunately I think there was only one other person out walking through the lakes behind me.

wigsf3: At one point I had cutsie "leopard" slippers, with big, plush cat heads over the toes. I found them so awkward to walk in that I deemed them unsafe and put them in the "donate to Goodwill" pile. My new slippers are backless, with a robin's-egg-blue felt upper and fake off-white "wool" lining. They are actually quite stylish, by slipper standards, which tend to either be ridiculously cute or depressingly old-ladyish (shapeless blobs of beige terrycloth).

G: Yup, it was more or less like that. Usually I feel smug about travelling by underground train because it's faster than sitting in traffic at rush hour. However, when there's a train delay, all bets are off. You're lucky if you get home at all.

Jenski said...

Sounds like your adventure was invigorating though if you woke up feeling great this morning. Maybe the wind blew the bad stuff out of you. :-)

DarcKnyt said...

I recently had a similar adventure getting to work and I have to say, I hated it. HATED IT. But it turned out to be something easy to fix, at least for now, and I adapted just like you did.

Hope getting home is never that hard for you again though!

Oh, and I do that maniacal, "this can't really be happening" laughter when things are too much too. How funny to know someone else does it too. :)

Anonymous said...

I like folks that know what they need and for what reason...I love cold weather NOT!!! i know what you mean about having warm weather in the winter..the mid lant is like that right now....Go on with your shopping you deserve to pamper your self...being that you dont great baseball up there lol...zman sends

DarcsFalcon said...

I am picturing your tiny self trying to fight against that wind, and it plays almost like a cartoon in my head, what with the buggy sail too. I'm glad you made it home safe and sound and with cozy slippers to boot! Perfect way to start the weekend!

And I am so, so, so glad you're feeling better!

Sparkling Red said...

Jenski: It was invigorating. I felt pretty good having overcome the challenges of transit muck-ups and blustery weather.

DarcKnyt: Next time I'm laughing wildly to myself in the middle of a windstorm, I will think of you. ;-)

Zman: Thanks! I appreciate the vote of confidence.

DarcsFalcon: It was very slapstick. I bet it would have made a good comedy sequence in an old silent film.

San said...

Super comfy slippers. That counts for something. We have those gusty winds here. They make life harder.