We've had a rainy few days here and I noticed something on Monday on my way down Locust Street.  Locust St. is an old street as are most of the streets in Center City Philadelphia (not European old which is measured in centuries but American old.  I mean Dublin is really OLD), and the sidewalks are not very wide and they are brick instead of cement.  I think this is supposed to enhance the feeling of oldness but in reality it makes walking an adventure as the bricks have a tendency to shift and the walking surface can be uneven and twisted ankles are common.

Anyway, I was walking along with my one person umbrella to keep my head and most of my body dry and am confronted by several people carrying umbrellas that are big enough to cover entire small countries.  They almost spanned the width of the sidewalk.  I think they were originally golf umbrellas (they have no metal pieces to keep them from being lightning rods on a flat golf course) but I've noticed more and more people are carrying them out in public.  They're huge and the rest of us have to try to work our way around them on the sidewalk.  Of course as you walk past them (moving your umbrella out of their way) you end up with water dripping on you from the edge of their enormous umbrellas.

I ranted about this to Pk on the way home.  We decided it's probably one of two things.  One, people are just not concerned with how their actions effect others.  They want to be dry and so what if it inconveniences you or anyone else.(I hate to think that. I like to think people are considerate)  Two, they just don't think about the consequences and just want to be dry.  I like to be dry as much as the next person.  Spring rain can be cold and bone chilling.  But, I try to be sensitive to the people around me.  I'd just like to outlaw these big umbrellas. 

I noticed something about my body last night.  Underneath the layer of adipose tissue (I think that sounds way better than Fat) that has resided upon my torso for a number of years, there are muscles struggling to see the light of day.  Actual muscles.  I know they're there because I can feel them.  And I can just start to see the hint of some of them.  We have been doing sit ups with weights (up to 25 pounds which I can hardly lift but I've managed to do 10 situps with the weight) and it's making a difference.  I've worked up to just over 20 minutes on the elliptical machine and can do over a mile and a quarter in that time.  Not a fast time but better than I was doing 3 months ago.  These are small steps.  Baby steps.  But steps, nonetheless.  I will admit, I still don't like it.  I wish I could get excited about the gym like some people but it's not there.  I don't dread it but I don't look forward to it.  I am pleased to see some progress.  I can walk up the stairs at the train station without bending over and gasping for breath.  When I'm at the bottom of the stairs (there are three flights of 16 stairs each), I feel like Frodo at the bottom of Mt. Doom.  I put my head down and slog upward.  Pk says I'm exaggerating but I figure whatever gets me to the top.

I  do look forward to knit night which is tonight.  I have some bags of shavings from the cedar tree that Pk helped his friend cut up.  They smell so good and I'm going to take some with me and see if anyone wants to put some in with their stash. 

And that's all there is here in sunny South Jersey.  It's a bit cool for this time of year but there are no complaints from me.  All too soon, it will be hot and humid and I'll be wondering why we don't live on the North Pole.

Comments

Rose Red said…
I will sign your "ban golf umbrellas on city streets" petition! I dislike them intensely too!
Roxie said…
I think people just don't realize what a nuisance those umbrellas are for other pedestrians. It rained here all day yesterday, and I never saw a single umbrella. The college kids all go with hooded raincoats/parkas. Probably left their umbrellas on the bus.
Roxie said…
And hooray for the muscles! Good on you! Whoop, whoop!!
Bezzie said…
I'll be honest, I don't like umbrellas on sidewalks no matter what the size. I've had the same problem you describe with normal size umbrellas.

You should come to my office where getting stuck in the elevator is a common occurance. It's helped foster a big elevator phobia in me now and I take the 20 stairs X 6 Floors every day now twice a day. I'd rather be out of breath than out of breath hyperventilating in a stuck elevator!
amy said…
Yay for muscles! Good for you.

I don't have an extra hand for an umbrella. I've just gotten wet for years now. Thank goodness for hoods.
Alwen said…
One of the things I like about the bank cleaning work I'm doing is all the physical activity.

I didn't realize how much good it was doing me until I mowed the grass, and the only thing that was sore the next day was the palms of my hands!
Louiz said…
I know what you mean about the umbrellas. I also get annoyed by the huge strollers we get around here. Try and get past a gaggle of mums with large triangular strollers, a few toddlers on scooters, especially if it is raining and they all pull out huge umbrellas too!

Yay for muscles too:)
bellsknits.com said…
gosh I feel bad that I've never thought about the giant umbrella issue. I've been known to take one out when I'm without a little one (I break or lose little ones all the time). I shall promise to think about it from now on!
KnitTech said…
We all have our Mount Doom. Hurray for climbing it!
drkknits said…
umbrellas are such a waste of space really...they never work anyway, and what a little water?! stairs like that really are mt doom, but i suspect youre going to find them easier than frodo did eventually!

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