Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Spring Signals and Walking Wounded

With Monday temperatures around New York hovering near 70 degrees, it’s natural thoughts turned to spring. The balmy climate, however, has been replaced by more normal thirties and forties degrees, with lower wind chills, but a question lingers, “What’s your signal spring is about to be sprung?”

Is it, the first robin you see bobbing across your not yet green lawn?

Crocuses popping through the ground, stretching their way into the sun?

Silverfish and ants invading your home? Wasps and bees circling your airspace?

When McDonald’s rolls out its Shamrock green mint flavored milkshakes?

Is the start of outdoor pickleball up north the definitive harbinger of spring?

Or is it when pitchers and catchers report for spring training?


My telltale sign is the generally early morning appearance of twigs and garden debris in the recesses of our patio awning frame where sparrows valiantly try to construct a home.

Their nesting instincts bring them back each year despite my determined efforts to thwart their homesteading intentions. Even faced with sharp metal spikes they are trying to invoke squatter rights in the corner of the frame directly over the door from the patio to and from our kitchen. 

For the last five years I’ve chronicled my annual bouts with the birds. For those interested in a sample of our combat, here’s a link:

Just know, the battle has been joined. 

Walking Wounded: My devotion to a newfound pleasure—Pickleball—has been sidelined. I’m part of the walking wounded, having strained my left achilles tendon. 

It’s my fault for not sufficiently limbering up before playing, or for that matter, hardly ever exercising. 

Doc says it will be weeks before I can play again. Meanwhile, he fitted me with a walking boot.  

I’ve got nice legs. Long, thin, shapely without being muscular. Legs most any woman would die for. On a man, however, they have been a constant source of debasement and amusement at my expense.

“Chicken legs” would be a mild description of what extends from my torso.

All the years I played on my temple softball team I wore shorts while the rest of the gang were decked out in baseball pants. Oh, I had received pants like everyone else, but as the team pitcher I just couldn’t wear them in the heat of competition.

On cool spring or early fall mornings I’d wear shorts under my pants during warmups. Once a game started, off came the pants.

The boot is not uncomfortable to wear but it leaves me imbalanced because it raises my left side by several inches over my right side. Back or hip pain is possible if I am not careful. Considering not being careful is what got me into this walking wounded predicament in the first place I am not too optimistic. Will I ever learn from my mistakes?


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