Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In The Neighborhood

It was an unusual evening in our little town. Even on a warm summer day, anytime after six is usually jacket weather - but not tonight. The night was so pleasant that I grabbed the leash and Big Hairy Dog and I headed out after dinner. Rather than my usual sweatshirt, a warm breeze wrapped around my bare arms as we strolled down the street. I love this time of night in the 'hood. Our part of town is made up of old houses (ours was built in 1916 - the "new" ones were built in the 40s), each with its own mood and style. Lots of Mediterraneans, next to Craftsmen Bungalows, next to Storybook Tudors with the odd Cape Cod thrown in for good measure. On many blocks, tall trees grow on either side of the street and meet in the middle to form a natural outdoor canopy.

I get a little thrill walking past houses and experiencing two-second snippets of people's lives. Tonight, windows and screen doors were thrown open and the sounds of the end of many ordinary days could be heard out on the sidewalk. Silverware clinked against glasses as dishes were done in the sink, the nuns were laughing and toasting someone at the table in the big Tudor in the cul-de-sac and amber light shone in the lamps of the darkened Bungalow next door, giving a cozy fall air to the warm summer night. Someone down the block was being so generous with their garlic that it was all I could do not to knock on the door and invite myself in for dinner. On my corner, the smell of a backyard firepit jerked me instantly back to our camping trips by the reservoir and I found myself longing for a slightly burnt marshmallow.

It was such a lovely walk that I found it hard to stop and by the time we got home, the sun had set and the Big Hairy Dog was in need of a very long drink of water. I managed to keep the walk about right now and enjoy the sensations that each house left on me, if only for that one moment.

What did you do tonight?

On this date: In 1939, the first Major League Baseball game was televised.

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