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Ramble with Storm: A birthday party with rambling meaning

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Mulling things on my morning ramble.with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

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Rather late by my standards this morning getting to the ramble with the meathead.

For good reason. Our second boy had his 16th birthday party last night. The youths were rocking and rolling late until late in the basement.

That has meaning and a connection to my morning rambles.

Because it was already dawn when Storm and I set out, I wasn't surprised to see a pair of gray squirrels already working the ground around an elm.

Balmy morning by winter standards.

I started doing morning rambles shortly after his birth for a complicated set of reasons. The New Year's Eve before he was born, I quit smoking so he would never see me with a cigarette in my mouth or hand.

Well, that was fine and dandy, but I added 50 pounds in the space of about three months. I figured that might be even more unhealthy than smoking.

So I began doing rambles with the late and much missed Flash. The mixed collie came as part of the deal when my wife and I married. I gradually stretched out the morning walks down the alleys of West Rodgers Park toward a mile.

Now, my extended rambles around the town pond can reach two miles each morning.

The Canada geese, who have successfully kept a big hole swam open all winter on the lake to the west, were raising enough ruckus that I thought they might be taking flight.

But they didn't.

Something must have just went down the foxhole on the west side of the north old clay pit. Storm snorted and snuffed hard at it.

Just before the bridge over the neckdown between the two old pits, a lone dove picked at grit, then flew a few trees away.

I have never completely lost the 50 pounds, but I also have found that the routine of the morning rambles also has a psychological value, too. One that in terms of health may be just as important as fighting weight.

And I have grown to value the daily morning connection to what is happening outside, something that is probably important in my line of work.

An ice fisherman had drilled a few holes on Thursday. But I don't think they will be again until next week.

I didn't even bother checking the ice this morning. The shorelines were already giving way and it was completely open under the bridge.

Back in town, I counted three gray squirrels at various maples and elms as early morning sun shed much more light than I normally expect at the end of a ramble.


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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 19, 2013 8:21 AM.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Mid-winter form was the previous entry in this blog.

In memory: Russ Schaller is the next entry in this blog.

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