Circling the Block

I walked around the block several times today. To get the most steps, I walk around the outside edge of the block, which necessarily involves crossing the street several more times than just walking along the inside edge of the block. 

I start the Samsung Fitness app on my smart watch and head out the back door into the 70-degree sunshine and head down the driveway on the side of the house to the front sidewalk. For a city under quarantine, there always seems to be someone out everytime I go. Once it was a lady with her big fluffy white collie. Another time it was a couple of chubby 20-something girls out for a workout together, alternating walking and jogging down the street, with their ponytails flopping as they went. Then there were the parents out for a walk with their elementary-age children who were on their scooters and bikes.

I cross the street in front of my house and walk straight toward the neighbor’s front door, and take a sudden right turn at the sidewalk. I worry that she sees me coming towards her house and that I’m freaking her out. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find a better place to cross the street so she doesn’t think that the scruffy old man from across the street is coming to get her.

From there I walk south toward Harry Truman’s house. Cecil’s big old mutt barks a greeting at me as I go by. Poor Cecil’s front yard looks as forlorn as my back yard. Tufts of wild garlic coming up in patches here and there, but mostly a thin expanse of dead brown grass that reminds me too much of the hair on the top of my head. 

At the corner of Truman Road, the house right across the street from Harry’s is having some remodeling done. The carpenter just leaves his van parked along the curb with the doors open as he shuttles back and forth for tools. I give him a wave every time I go by, but I keep my distance. I don’t want us passing the ‘rona around. 

I make another right turn and step across the broken beer bottle in the middle of the street as I head west down Truman. The quality of the sidewalk decreases markedly. No one has a house facing the street here. It’s just a couple of side yards and a driveway between Delaware and Union. Rollaway dumpster sitting there waiting for the trash man to come. 

I cross the street over the broken curbs at Union and Truman and hang my third right turn. Lots of houses facing the street here, but all the fancy brass plaques embedded in the sidewalk with their historical facts are gone. Hell, the sidewalk itself is mostly gone. It’s not even concrete. Just a patchwork of bricks that is overgrown with weeds in a lot of places. The pedestrians are gone too. I guess they prefer to violate the quarantine on Delaware Street. 

Honestly, I expected a lot more garbage laying around, but there’s only a couple of empty soda bottles and a couple of chunks of broken mirror. 

The houses get nicer again as I get closer to the Waldo Avenue end of the block. Maybe I can thank the Restoration Branch church folks for that since they used to own the school a half-block farther west on Waldo. 

Union jogs ever so slightly west at Waldo, and I’m tempted to cross the intersection diagonally northeast instead of making the ever so slight angle for a regular north crossing. Right turn #4 and I’m heading down Waldo back to Delaware. The houses get real nice here. The real-estate clan, the McClains live in 2 of the houses at the next intersection, and they are fully remodeled and gorgeous pieces of Victorian architecture. Makes me a tad jealous and creates a feeling of inferiority because I haven’t done anything since the new roof and paint job on my joint 2 years ago. 

Right turn #5, and I head three houses down Delaware crossing Farmer at the T-intersection it makes. And then I take right turn #6 and head back up my driveway and back to my back porch, where the dogs greet me like I’ve been gone a lot longer than 9 minutes. 

I hit the “finish workout” button on my watch and go inside. Time to plop my ass back down in front of my laptop and get back to work.