If you are one of my fab nine, you prob’ly know that I walk a three-mile loop through my neighborhood *every* morning that I am down here on The Planet Ann Arbor. Except when there is lightning or a dangerous layer of ice over everything. I also bag it when the temperature gets above about 95 or below minus five or 10. Or I am sick. But I am rarely sick. I *return* to The Landfill about about seven AM so, if you know anything about geography, you might guess that it is still pitch black by the time I get home from my walk at this time of year.
I end my walk by taking the loops through the
Deep Dark Scary Teensy Tinesy Wee Little Woods. At this time of year, I use my iPhone flashlight to navigate the woods. Now that the Nice People with the Biting Dog are walking in the woods hours after I take my walk, 99% of the time, the woods are not scary. Well, that is, if I don’t think about the Bludgeoner. The guy who “terrorized” west-side A-squared back in the mid-1990s. His first victim was a 50-something woman taking what I am gonna guess was her regular morning walk through Eberwhite Woods. Not sure if his modus operandi was to kill, exactly. He bludgeoned “middle-aged” women and ran off. Some of them lived, some of them died. Were we scared? Yes. I was more often walking during the late morning or even afternoon in those days (beach urchins to get to school, no paid career). Once, a neighbor asked me if I was afraid to walk knowing this *sshole was at large. Well, yes, but I was more angry! I told her that I thought that the women of Ann Arbor should unite, get gun training and station themselves at the entrance to every woods in town. Was that a rational idea? No, it most certainly was not and I still do not know how to shoot a gun. Eventually this piece of sh*t person was caught. We were at Houghton Lake for New Year’s Eve when TV 9 & 10 (no less) reported it and, yes, there was rejoicing.
So every neighborhood is safe until somebody like that shows up and you don’t ever know when that is. But for the most part, the scariest thing that happens in “my woods” is when I flush a rabbit or trip over a root or a fallen branch. Or encounter a Biting Dog, one that has Nice Owners. Most days I just galumph on into the woods without giving it a second thought. Once in a Blue Moon, I just walk by. Not sure why. I guess The Bludgeoner is haunting me on those days. Then there are eerily beautiful days like today. I don’t think the fog lifted until about noon. The woods were spooky but in a fun Halloweeny kind of way. Once I was startled by a VOICE!!!! It turned out to be a dog barking maybe 30 yards away on the other side of the fence. And then
it’s its owner tried to shush it. Mostly it was just dark and foggy and eerie and I loved it!
Note that, when I walk, I am always hyper-aware of whatever is going on around me (with the exception of bicyclists sneaking up silently behind me). If I see someone that sets off my spidey-sense, I go a different direction. There are many other people who have been walking or running or dog-walking in my neighborhood *forever*. We recognize each other even though we don’t always talk to each other.
Let’s switch the subject! Quick! Apparently, Froooggy and Green Guy have been getting into my Netflix account because they now have these loverly snowflake headdresses and I guess they are trying to cross-dress as Elsa and Anna. Do I have those names right? Because I have *never* watched Frozen. I’ve read about it up the wazoo but I am not a Disney kind of gal, not to mention that my beach urchins are long past that stage, if they ever even got there. One of them did memorize the words and songs of the little mermaid but not too many years later The Bard and a bunch of other playwrights bludgeoned all the Disney stuff to the ground.
But aren’t these guys kind of twee? I love them! They also look like they’ve been into the laundry detergent again, maybe with a chaser of Listerine…