coming out of our deep freeze

Friday, January 31:  Here in northern Virginia, we are finally emerging from our deep freeze of the last couple of weeks.  Between a couple of snowfalls and temperatures hovering around 8-10 degrees (F), we’ve had only a few days of respite.  I for one am happy to have a break and to get outdoors for my walks again.

Walking in Tamarack Park near the W&OD Bike Path
Walking in Tamarack Park near the W&OD Bike Path

I’ve never been a gym person, preferring to walk outdoors instead, but because of the icy roads, the several-inch-deep snowfalls and the frigid air, I’ve been going to the gym to walk on the treadmill and ride the seated elliptical, a machine I’ve never encountered before now.  My regular nearby gym, Oak Marr Rec Center, has been closed for renovation since I returned to the States, so I’ve had to drive to Falls Church to use Providence Rec Center, a half hour each way.

The partly frozen Difficult Run
The partly frozen Difficult Run

At least I am meeting my goals to walk at least five times a week, despite the long drive to the gym.  Today, I even take two walks, the second through the woods at Tamarack Park, near the W&OD Bike Path and along Difficult Run, which eventually makes its way to the Potomac River.

The deep freeze is finally thawing.
The deep freeze is finally thawing.

It may not be the most beautiful of walks, but I do enjoy the way the stream meanders through the muddy banks in the shadows of brown spindly trees.  Some parts of the stream remain frozen, but some of the water has burst free and rushes past the patches of ice.  Bailey gingerly walks out on the ice, or alternately, runs after sticks. I crunch along on brittle leaves under the shadows of the trees, enjoying fresh air for the first time in weeks.

Click on any of the images below for a full-sized slide show.

As far as my other New Year’s goals, here’s what I’ve done over the last two weeks, since I returned home from California.  I’ve applied for 6 jobs, but, as expected, it feels as if my cover letters and CVs go into some deep black hole, never to be acknowledged.  I’ve revised 7 chapters of my novel, but while reading it, I’ve decided yet another revision will be in order, mainly because my dialog needs work!  And as far as pitching to travel publications, so far I’m 0 for 0.  I have an idea and a publication in mind, but this publication requires a complete manuscript, which means I need to write the entire article rather than just pitching the idea.  A lot of work, but I hope it will pay off in some way.

Trying to keep focused, and to keep moving forward. 🙂  I hope your 2014 is bringing all the things you wished for. 🙂