Youngsters!

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Winter was coming, but now it’s going.

Almost, but not quite.

It’s still not quite warm enough for me to go back to my pre-dawn walks, but it has at least gotten to the point that I can venture out in the somewhat early morning.

I first started about 9:30 am and each day has been slowly advancing earlier. Today I was able to tolerate going out at 8 am.

One of the big benefits derived from the too-chilly sunless walks is that I am reminded what a joy it is to walk under a speckle-free sky with a face full of warming rays.

I think I must be solar-powered. The more sunshine I absorb the more upbeat and positive I am about life. I believe that means that if I were shot into the sun that, I would be pretty chipper as I went from well-done to extra crispy.

But I’m okay with leaving that as an unproven theory.

So. beyond my hibernation-white skin getting some color for the first time in months, what is the other big benefit from walking without the need of street lights?

Youngsters!

Because of my changed time, I have altered my path to the western route. “Winter’s” impact on lowering bug population aids me in that I have to walk pretty much right up against the Everglades breeding ground.

But if there are less bugs, there are certainly more youngsters.

My route winds past the middle school a block from my house and about two miles later runs adjacent to another middle school and, shortly afterwards, a high school.

The youngster travel goes from crossing guards, buses and bikes to kids old enough (maybe) to drive their own cars to school.

I say hi to every one of them I pass on the sidewalk (and the crossing guards, too, of course). Interestingly, almost all the littler kids say hi back and a lower percentage of high school age respond. Seems like a statement on the human condition, no?

Today, I was on my stretch run to end my walk (just a 5-miler) and was waiting at the crossing light with two (dismounted) bikers. I ribbed them about their excitement (well hidden) and told them they only had 12 more years left. The crossing guard found it funnier than the kids.

I think soon I will be able to return to the darkness, but it’s actually been fun the last few days to be out in the sun and walking past all these youngsters.

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