Tuesday, January 06, 2009


It’s been a tough winter here in Alexandria. We set a record for snowfall during the month of December—28 inches of it fell during various snow storms and blizzards throughout the month. In the past 10 years, we’ve averaged only about 4.5 inches in December. So this winter, we kind of blew the old records out of the water (or the ice, in this case). It’s treacherous driving and it’s even more treacherous walking outside. At our age, one slip, one fall, and it’s straight to the nursing home—do not pass go, do not collect $200.

That’s why it’s been two months since I’ve had a chance to walk outside, with the exception of the week we spent in Arizona over Christmas. Even the fancy schmancy treadmill that we got in November can’t make the walking any more exciting: one foot after another as the belt goes round and round.

So this winter, Tom and I depend on our Netflix movies to provide the scenery for the 2 to 4 miles a day that we walk.

A few good movies that I’ve walked my way through in November and December were: Mama Mia! (lots of good Abba songs to march along to), Snow Falling on Cedars (interesting perspective of the Japanese internment during WWII), The Road Home (absolutely stunning in the simplicity of the storyline), Danny Deckchair (no, really—Danny Deckchair!), Empire of the Sun (a boy, a war, a story of survival), The Band’s Visit (ha!), The Two of Us (a war, a boy, an old man), and Nanny McPhee (children’s movies are often much better than adults’ movies). I liked Arranged, Atonement, The Red Violin, Juno, The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant, My Left Foot, Ladies in Lavendar, Like Water for Chocolate.

But we’ve watched some really bad ones, too: 12 Monkeys (Bruce Willis—I shoulda known better), Superbad (Tom watched it first—told me not to bother), Mama’s Boy, Live-in Maid, Burn After Reading, The Astronaut Farmer . . . all of them could have been named Superbad.

It looks like all I do is sit around watching movies. The only part of that statement that isn’t true is that I walk on the treadmill watching movies. When I can’t be outside because of the 28 inches of snow on the ground and ice-covered streets, I guess walking on the treadmill watching movies works as a second-rate substitute until spring finally comes and we can hit the trail again.

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