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On a blue sky Sunday morning I ran out to brush the snow off our car while Raj made banana pancakes and ground two of our favorite coffee beans into one smooth weekend blend. I waited five days to deal with the snow on our car because I could – alternate side parking was suspended. Also I had high hopes for a second shot at a real blizzard. Leaving the snow was like keeping the welcome mat rolled out. Then I remembered what the windshield guy said this past December.

On Christmas morning at my sister’s in Jersey, I stepped outside to find the back windshield of our car smashed. The shattered glass was still in place until a slight vibration, from some innocent angel closing one of the doors, triggered a festive shower of broken green glass into our back seat. Ours was one of several windows smashed on Christmas Eve. It took days to get it replaced and when the man finally came he gave us this big lecture on clearing snow from the glass otherwise risk the wrath of opposing temperatures when the sun hits it like a laser. His point didn’t apply to our situation (temperatures were nowhere near freezing and there was no snow). He didn’t have much to say about the guys who hang out at night in the woods behind her complex. Pretty sure they’re not roasting marshmallows. Anyway, I’ve been better about clearing our car when it snows just in case.

Okay, I’m not that much better. And the snow I intended to quickly shoo from our glass was actually sealed by a thick crust of ice. Our little scraper was no match. The funnest part was cracking the crust up like crème brûlée. Only instead of tapping deliciousness with dainty silver I punched through, feeling like one of the toughs who order their chocolate peanut butter recovery drinks with vanilla soy milk.

After pancakes we roamed. Weekend mornings are my favorite time for roaming. Sometimes there’s a fellow carrying two cups of coffee and a paper bag full of somethings you know are going to be good. He’s bringing those treats and coffee back to someone he loves or likes enough. Parents look less harried pushing strollers or watching a little one on a wooden bike with no pedals ride off on scurrying feet Flintstone style.

We roam in bright synthetics because it doesn’t feel like Sunday without going for a run. Sidewalks are my least favorite running surface, in case you’re wondering. Soon we reach the park and opt to run on the slushy trails. I’m happy for the breathing room and no piles of trash to hurdle over. Races are aplenty in the park starting around yesterday and continuing through November. They flood the park with Woo-ers and plastic cups. The best part is when runners stand around blocking the paths after they’re done.

Runners are my peeps and races are a huge source of encouragement for many. That’s great. I’m just not a fan of the ones in the local park every single weekend because they’re all so loud and messy. Oh, well. I recently discovered a new-to-me running route for most weekends. It’s much longer, race-free and spans a number of waterfront stretches.

On this final day of winter, Raj and I race each other on the home stretch. We’re nearly to the end when I hear the first bagpipes. They might be for the St. Paddy’s Day parade in our neighborhood. They might be Woo-ing me to the finish line seconds ahead. He says it’s hard to say who won. I say it’s easy: I won. I WON.