Saturday, while I was driving from Normalville, Pennsylvania to Ohiopyle, I began to have nudges of sentimentality that edged on nostalgia. It all began as I neared the old metal truss bridge that spanned Indian Creek. It was no longer there. The new span is simply a two lane road with the bridge hidden beneath the roadway. There is no longer the feeling of crossing the stream on a bridge. It is nice, but the feeling of nostalgia began to ooze into my brain. There was a feeling of loss of something familiar; some memory of my childhood had passed.
No longer would there be difficulties with two large trucks passing on it. There would be less of a chance that the metal overhead structure would be struck by a truck bed that was accidentally raised or by a too tall vehicle or one with a high load. The superstructure was now gone and carted away.
I have driven this road many times, but that day everything seemed more intense and impending. I could almost feel each tree pressing close on both sides of the winding road. Oak, beech, maple, and then pines and hemlock sped past my car windows, peering in at me. The hardwood trees were mostly bare, their dark limbs were a stark reminder that winter is hovering near, just over the horizon. The evergreens darkened and deepened the mood.
Winter has never been a season that I enjoyed. Part of it was the having to clear my drive to go to work and then be on the road with people who have no idea how to slow down and maneuver on an icy or snow covered surface. The cold was another factor. I don’t believe I was created to live in frigid weather with winds whipping around me and through my clothing.
Last year, I tried to embrace my least favorite season and purchased a set of cross country skis, poles, and boots. I made several circuits of my yard over several days before the ice in my drive put an end to all of that. I guess it was winter’s retaliation. I slipped and fell, hitting my head. I have no recollection of the fall or most of the following five hours. My visit to the emergency room, all of the tests, scans, and x-rays are buried somewhere in my brain. What they did reveal was that I had two bleeds in my brain, a subdural and a subarachnoid. That put a stop on my skiing.
This winter, I may venture out and try to cross country ski again, bundled and warm for sure. I do tend to be a couch potato in the cold months and could use the fresh air and exercise.