Someone asked the other day if I was feeling OK. The answer, as of today, is: Hail, yes. Yesterday the temperature topped 70, and I took the bike out for what I hope is months and months of heart-pumping daily exercise in the great outdoors, which is, lately, the only kind I can handle. (Gyms — threat, menace or just boring as hell?)
And everybody was feeling good. I rode out past the G.P. Hunt Club, where a cute gray gelding had just been turned out. He rolled on his back, scratching the last of the winter coat off, before clambering to his feet and running off, bucking and farting. There’s a springtime sight to lift your heart. I kept riding east, turning north when I dead-ended, until finally I came around a corner between two McMansions in the Shores, looked out and — cue hallelujahs — there it was. The lake. All my life I’ve been waiting to live next to something that isn’t muddy and running toward something else muddy. Lake St. Clair may be polluted, but it’s blue and it’s close.
It’s also shallow. Alan went out and bought one of those U.S. Geological Survey maps of the lake, and the depth markers were the biggest surprise — it’s only about a dozen feet deep, except for the shipping channel, which is dredged to about twice that. I guess that fits, since at the north end it’s basically a river delta. But it’s packed with sailors and kayakers, and so it suits our purposes. And after a long winter, it’s a welcome sight.
Which seems as good a time as any to introduce you guys to my new fave website, Boatnerd, which covers Great Lakes shipping traffic the way only a boat nerd can — with love. And lots and lots of pages.
Note to self: Since I missed the March memorial service for Great Lakes shipping at the Maritime Church of Detroit, mark calendar for the November Edmund Fitzgerald service. Yes, this is the church Gordon Lightfoot sang about. It’s also where Patti Smith married Fred “Sonic” Smith.
Not much other bloggage to report today, other than how depressing it is to see Prince Rainier, ruler of an inconsequential country the size of a golf course, is getting better play for his obit than Saul Bellow is for his.
Also, since the WSJ doesn’t allow for casual linkage, I can’t direct you to yesterday’s outrage — a story about how pregnant women, increasingly denied maternity benefits by health plans — are reduced to haggling with doctors over what they’ll pay to give birth. One midwife was quoted as saying at least half her clients come to her not for the crunchy-granola experience of giving birth at home while surrounded by one’s family, aromatherapy candles and Miles Davis on the CD player, but because it’s cheap.
But remember: The health-care crisis du jour is whether a husband should be able to make medical decisions for his brain-damaged wife. I ask you.
Did you know the Pope is lying out there on his bier…unembalmed? Ewwww. I knew it would pay to read Amy this week.
Finally, whenever I hear these Italian priests on TV this week, I’m reminded anew of how much I miss Father Guido Sarducci.
Me, I’m off on another bike ride. Today: south. Full report later.