I would suppose that Hobbs and I have been walking for about 4 months straight and we got our first rain-out the other day. When you establish such a habit, you start noticing patterns, comforting things that happen almost daily.
My walk starts out heading southeast. Most mornings, when it’s clear, I look up in the sky and there he is, Orion, The Hunter. I know that during the night I haven’t been whisked away to another planet or another hemisphere of this planet. Then, from my right, here some comes, the young mother with the baby stroller. After walking a block or two, turning right, I see various teenagers coming out of their houses, heading for the bus stop. It is about 6:15 AM. High school starts early around these parts.
Continuing the walk, about 20 minutes later, we pass Ted’s house. Most morning Ted can be found in the yard moving his lawn sprinklers about, trying to get some early morning watering in. Other times we meet Ted and Doodles. Doodles, a Schnoodle (Half Schnauzer, Half Poodle), is Ted’s dog. She’s very peaceful, quiet, and sweet, unlike the greeting committee of one that I have at the end my leash! The half of poodle really calms a Schnauzer!
Moving on, about 20 minutes more, we walk parallel to the couple that I call the HackNCoughs. They sit out on their back patio, hacking, coughing, and enjoying their morning cigarettes each and every morning. Their dog curled between them contentedly. In between these 20 minute gaps, I just walk silently and watch the morning develop. Each has its own personality. Some come in almost yelling: Look at me! Look at me! Others, ease in with barely a whisper and before you know it, it’s light, totally without fanfare.
At the next street, gripping the leash a little tighter in anticipation of her arrival … there she is, the very tall, slender, and athletic woman with the Weimaraner galloping gaily on her right, no on the left, no out in front. Hobbs makes his usual move to attempt to job with her, but I am ready for it. No go!
Passing the elementary school I see the kids disembarking from the buses and cars, getting ready for the day.
The highlight of the walk comes next. It is fully light, the sun is just coming up, but hasn’t broken the horizon. We’ve about 2 streets to go, about 8/10 of a mile. There they are! Two elementary school aged girls. One, best guess, around 9, the other 7. The older one loves to pet Hobbs. I always stop and let her pet him. The younger one likes Hobbs, but has yet to pet them. As we had not seen them in a few days because of rain, they were happy to see us, as we were happy to see them. The older remarked in an excited voice: We missed you guys! Where have you been?!!! What a nice greeting. After letting her pet Hobbs for a minute, we were on our way.
Lastly, we see, most of the time, one of my neighbors. She always speaks, but is usually in a hurry to catch the express bus going downtown.
Now, we’re back, time to get ready for work. It’s a comfortable rhythm.