Saturday, May 31, 2014

Walking Adventures

To my son Tommy,

One of these days, I need to get an phone app that maps our course. If I had to venture a guess, I'd guess that we walked about three miles today when we decided to take a walk. We started around nine this morning and ended close to eleven. We weren't out to set records, just leisurely stroll. So armed with a water bottle and sense of daring, we headed out.

The first thing we had to hurdle was your idea that the walk had to have a destination. This was an adventure with no set direction, though I had ideas for stops along the way. Ultimately our destination was home, right where we were starting from, which, if you think about it, is really a metaphor for life.

On our walk, we got to the normal corner up the street and decided to take the road less traveled by us. Our walks normally have a destination and when we get to that corner, we are crossing and then going left. This time we went right, which is not the first time but is much less the norm. Your eyes really brightened when we got to the next corner and crossed the street, thus crossing into virgin territory for our walk. From there on out, it was a five minute interval with the question, "Daddy, you sure we aren't lost?" I was mostly sure, even though the neighborhood names were changing, I had a good idea where we were.

We walked up about four or five blocks and down the street. I took some pictures of campaign signs, noting that the only ones I could see were for Keiffer Mitchell in what he self described as day-glo orange. We took a right down a road where one of your classmates live. We had recently been there for a birthday, so I remembered the house. We weren't stopping in but our journey took us down that road because I thought it would be nice to say hi on the off chance they were in their yard. They weren't.

Further down that road, we saw a house for sale with the lawn taller than you. I am usually not one to complain, and when it comes to high grass my definition is more lenient than most, but that was my Baltimore 311 app got some work. We continued on through the neighborhoods.

We stopped at a little yard sale and just browsed a bit. It was mostly fancier stuff that perhaps your mother would have been interested in but were probably too high brow for our tastes. The fun part was saying hi to the people. And that we did, saying hi or stopping to talk to about three dozen people in our travels through the neighborhood. Some we knew, some we didn't. Most it was just a quick hi and hello or even a nod and a wave. It was nice going down a street where one of your schoolmates, a class level lower than you, was out helping her daddy with some home improvements. We got talking for a good bit, and then let them to their work as our adventure continued.

Our adventure had become walking by people's houses that we knew, even though we mostly didn't stop. This of course found us on North Bend which, with a slight detour, leads to the Family Dollar on Edmondson. When we came to that corner, you knew right where you were and there was no denying you a trip into the discount store. You ended up buying a purple bracelet for you to wear and orange bracelet to give to your mom because she wasn't feeling well. You are such a thoughtful person.

While we were there, someone either shoplifted or flat out stole and the cashiers saw them and called the cops. They evidently got the guys picture and his license plate, and another good samaritan customer pointed out the guy was now down at the bus stop trying to sell the stuff he stole. We paid for our goods and avoided that area by turning up the street your great grandmother lives. As we walked up, a cop came down the streets running lights and the occasional siren. I thought it best to keep on and not get caught up be looky-Lous. Hope they got the guy.

Instead, we called your mom to have her call and see if it was okay to stop in and see Nansy. She hasn't been feeling the best, but we got permission for a quick stop in. We stayed long enough for a kiss and a hug and a quick hi and bye. Our adventure wasn't over.

We went up to our church and your school. There was some type of a service there which was probably a funeral or perhaps a wedding. We saw two gentlemen in suit that were meandering outside the church a bit lost. We directed them to the bathroom as we went on our way. We visited the statue of St Agnes and took a couple shots. But our legs were starting to tire and our water was getting low, so we decided it was time to head home.

Since we had the bag from the store, and you decided to wear and/or carry the bracelets, we decided to pick up litter on the way back. We tried stopping by your grandmother's house but they were out. But we just got home with a full bag of litter, an empty water bottle, tired feet, a sense of accomplishment and community, and a hunger for cheese sandwiches and cheetos.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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