Sunday, March 06, 2005

Walking and smelling the . . .

Well, nothing to smell yet. I was struck by a horrible headache right after preparing a couple of meals and eating lunch. So I took Tylenol and a warm bath and I almost didn't go out, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining for the first time in a very long time. Geeky Girl went with me, which slowed me down, but that turned out to be a good thing. I could feel the twinge of pain in my left leg and foot, letting me know that yes, indeed, something is definitely wrong. I ignored it.

Geeky girl commented on all the houses along the way, discussing how the wider houses had more stuff in them. I like looking at the houses. Though many of them are similar, Dutch colonials built in the late 1920s, they've been around for so long that they have all morphed into houses that look different enough. One of my favorites is a twin that's been painted several shades of yellow. It reminds me of a sunflower. The people who live there walk all around the neighborhood with their kid and say hello to everyone they see. Their house certainly reflects their attitude. Other houses are white with blue trim. Others have red trim. Some have porches in the front with doors on either side of a chimney. Some have no porch and the door is on the side with a small gable roof to protect entrants from the rain.

When we reached the busy street that leads to the town's center, Geeky girl watched the cars lining up at the stop light. She said she liked watching all these cars; they were funny. And I thought, yes, they are, and isn't it a shame there's so many of them bustling about on such a beautiful day. I was thinking I should walk to places more often. Our town center is nice, with little shops up and down the street. Today, many of them are closed. Only the five and dime is open, its wares spilling out onto the sidewalk--Easter decorations, shovels, lawn chairs. I think, life would be nicer here if more people walked or took trains and buses. I promised myself I'd see about taking a bus to school one day.

At our destination, a little convenience store just beyond the center of town, we bought a bottle of juice, a bottle of water and a dozen eggs: 3.19. We took a different route home, walking past an elementary school that's going to become an administration building. It is old, but Geeky girl thinks the playground looks neat. She asks what an administration building is. I tell her it's where there are lots of offices. She wonders what they will do with the playground. We work our way up to a street with the same kinds of houses we saw on the way. Geeky girl begins to tire, but knows we're not far from home. We pass people walking their dogs, a little girl about Geeky boy's age skipping back home, and a young-ish couple in workout clothes and nice sneakers walking together.

As we turned down our street, Geeky girl began naming the people who lived in the houses. One of the neighbor girls, a fifth-grader, was sitting on her steps. We stopped and talked to her, told her she did well in the talent show and asked her if she stayed until the end. We continued on our way and when we got home, Geeky Girl wanted to go back down to neighbor girl's house and so she did, running, her purple coat flying behind her. I took a deep breath and a swallow of water. How nice it must be to run like that without a care.