I know, it seems that the whole US is getting hit this winter especially Chicago. But I left Chicago to get away from cold and snow and it followed me. I can’t remember the last time I had snow boots . . . and I had to buy them this year. Well worth the purchase because I’ve used them a lot. (I didn’t even have them in Chicago because they clear the sidewalks.) Seattle typically has a mild winter with maybe a day or two of snow, max. They had a couple of weeks worth of snow which basically shut down the town. If vehicles were out on the road, they had chains on their tires because of the ice.

Back about a week before Christmas, they got hit with the stuff that stuck around. This wasn’t going to stop Larissa and I from going out to meet men. One of Larissa’s friends invited her to a Christmas party at a bar with a bunch of guys that she sailed with in the summer. Seattle had snow-packed and ice roads so Larissa didn’t feel safe driving, even in her all-wheel drive vehicle. Michelle was meeting us there and she was the brave one because she drove her front-wheel drive car. She also had lived in Chicago and didn’t let snow scare her off the roads. The roads were fairly flat from her house to the bar but from Larissa’s there were some big hills (typical for Seattle).

We walked down to the bus stop, hesitated and then walked down the street with our eyes on the bus. In the 2 1/2 miles to the bar, we did see one bus pass but we happened to be between bus stops. There were no cars out – no cabs, for sure! Everything was blanketed white, people were moving slowly and we were bundled up for the walk. We’d catch the bus for sure on the way home.

One of the guys that we chatted with that night turned out to be very into sports and nature. He said that he enjoyed rock climbing and on the way up the mountain, slept in his tent on the ledge in snow. Yikes! Not one part of that sounded enjoyable to me. He also loved mountain biking – I prefer paved paths (or packed gravel). This guy lived on his boat and rode his bike everywhere, up and down those big hills.

When I visited my mom in Farmington, NM a few years ago, I drove up to Durango, CO to rent a bike. I was in biking shape because I rode my bike (7 miles each way) to and from work, on the streets of Chicago and paved path by Lake Michigan. At the bike shop, I told them that I wanted an easy trail so they showed me where to ride. Even as I was beginning on the slow up hill loose gravel, I was slipping and sliding. It got more challenging as I road up and down over dirt moguls through tall wild flowers and prairie grasses. The sun was beating down on me as I heaved and hoed over the terrain with sweat dripping down the back of my pants. This was supposed to be enjoyable? I made it but knew that the next time, I’d need to be more specific. Where’s the level paved bike path through the trees, with the chirping birds, spotted sun, lazy breeze and the latte/juice stands? I really enjoy spending time in the forest, swimming in lakes and hiking small mountains, it refreshes me. I used to think that I was such a nature girl, but I’m finding out that I’d prefer to wake up in a bed with a down comforter in a heated cabin.

After a night of nice sailors, but no love interests we walked up the street to the bus stop with Larissa’s friend who invited us to the bar. She was headed in the same direction. No bus. We kept walking until we stumbled upon a man at the corner laying on the ground. He had a nice orange North Face coat on along with green cargo pants. Definitely not homeless. We peered down at him and asked him if he was okay. He was so drunk he could barely speak but we found that his destination was only a couple of blocks away. Larissa and her friend picked him up and I held onto the sleeping bag that her friend had been carrying. This friend was actually going to stay with a bootie call (not sure why she had a sleeping bag). The man couldn’t walk on his own and he slurred when he spoke. He had been at a bar since two in the afternoon (it was around 11pm). In the silent, motionless night, a fire truck came barreling down the street to the corner where we picked up the guy. They drove up to us to see if everything was okay – we told them all was super duper, just on duty as good samaritans. I looked behind and noticed that a guy in a house had opened the window. He asked if we needed help but I nodded no. Everyone was watching. At least I know that the guy would have bee fine.

We got him to his apartment but then he said we had to back away from the door – it was his girlfriend’s home and she probably wouldn’t have been keen on seeing him drunk with three girls. We waited to make sure he got in safely – it was freezing. Once in, we left and had to walk the whole way home again! No cars, buses or cabs – crazy.

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