Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walk on the Mild Side

I like to walk every day and I like to go outside and strut around the neighborhood more than, say, getting on a treadmill or being a Mallwalker.  It's best to go during the hours of sunlight, though, the way people drive at night around here.  It's not part of my plan to wind up as the hood ornament on some soccer van or hopped-up Honda, driven by a surly teen with a sneer and very poor posture.

I pop the iPod into my ears as I parade along.  It's funny how the 1,847 songs on there all mean something different to me, and I can remember when I heard them first and where I was when I heard them, usually on a scratchy AM car radio.  That's the musical accompaniment, but the visual is placed in my vision as a gift from God, and whoever the yahoos are who toss beer bottles, 5-Hour Energy cans and used prophylactics onto the street.

Come to think of it, those three items probably came out of the same car at more or less the same time.

But it lets me think about the nicer things I see.  Pine trees are all around my neighborhood, and if there is a more perfect tree, it would be a tree that sprouts 20-dollar bills every morning.  Pine trees, being evergreen, are always the same.  If you plant them to block your view of the street, and to stop passersby from seeing you walk around your living room in your boxer shorts, pine trees will always give you the same cover.  They are hardy.  They are the most efficient trees you could have!  They provide their own mulch, for the love of Pete.  Each summer, red needles drop to provide a protective ground cover.  There are no leaves to rake.  And they even provide the kids raw materials for making presents at the holidays!  Take a pine cone, drizzle it with Elmer's Glue, and sprinkle it with glitter, and there's a decoration.  Spread peanut butter on it, hang it outside, and there's a nice treat for the birds.

I like pine trees; you can tell.

Two other things stick out in my mind as I amble along.  If you don't happen to like the community newsletters and "shopper" newspapers that get tossed in the driveway, how's about just picking them up and disposing of them?  So many people just leave the papers out there, and as they survive a couple of rainy nights, they start to look like a papier-mâché version of a old log...which is where paper came from to begin with.  

And, there is an elderly couple down the way.  They've lived in their house since Peggy and I moved here in '87, and chances are they had been here for a long long time before that.  Now, there is no car outside their house, so I assume they no longer drive.  And I wonder, did they stop driving on their own volition or did some family members have to cajole them to give up the keys?  Either way, I have to hope that someone is taking care of their needs and their transportation.  We met them once at a wedding, and they were very nice.  I really hope all is well in their home.  

I guess I can't knock on the door and ask.  Can I? 

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