Usually when I’m talking about my sneakers, it’s because I’m throwing them at teenagers–ones I know. I used to be a Track & Field coach for a local high school and, since I didn’t want to be just another adult that goes “blah blah blah, listen to me, blah blah blah”, this somehow translated to throwing my sneakers around when I needed to snap kids out of stupid (100% satisfactory effectiveness rate). Long story short: throwing my footwear got teenagers to ask questions, which is one of the most beautiful things you can hear. Questions beget learning. Learning begets smarter individuals. Smarter individuals begets a richer, happier society, and so on. The other part of this is that teenagers recognized that I wanted to stand out from the other adults, that I wanted to understand and listen to them, yet have them listen to and understand me. My approach worked. Never even lost a shoe.
Anyway, I have commenced morning walks since I’m not cleaning 6-10 hours a day anymore. My waistline needs work, and I think my teenage metabolism bid me adieu a few years ago. Either that or I finally lost all my muscle mass from fourteen years of soccer and such. One of the perks of leaving the student life for the work force. Oh well. I also started the walks just to explore my neighborhood. I’ve discovered I live within half a mile of at least six churches, four schools, a library, and one delightful bakery that I will probably become a weekly patron of. It’s this tiny place that makes everything right inside, so yeah, if you want to spontaneously develop an appetite that causes you to buy one item per shelf, go there. All of it tastes as good as it smells. The place is called Cottage Bakery, and it’s only one street and a few blocks down. *rubs hands together*
I haven’t taken any pictures of the neighborhood since I’d feel silly for photographing random strangers’ houses, then posting them onto my blog but, just to let you know, this neighborhood’s aesthetic ranges from stunning to fugly. Yes, fugly. Said latter ones look like dumping grounds for skeletal cars, parts, furniture, plywood, and broken kid toys. It’s rather common for people to have couches and lay-z-boys in front of their houses, along with three dogs per yard, horses, chickens, the occasional cat, and colorful gardens. Some homes look like the tenants went a little overboard at Home Depot and came home with way too many lawn ornaments. Others are tastefully spectacular, yet complete with a dry water fountain.
The houses themselves are made out of stone, brick, clay (I think), and cinderblocks. It all looks like a blend of Arizona, Mexico, and Florida. Two-story homes are rare as rain. There are ant highways all over the sidewalks, roadrunners, falcons, turkey vultures, pigeons, mourning (morning?) doves, gophers, ravens, humming birds, and many others I have yet to identify. Green lawns are more common than anticipated; however, yellow lawns are common, as well as gravel or stone. Our front yard is half green, half dust. We’ll be able to throw some grass seed down in the fall, I think, when the sun won’t bake the seeds into a ballpark snack fit for birds.
Landscape aside, I’m finally reunited with both my cats. One of my cousins kindly flew down with Sweetpea last Saturday, and after about 24 hours, Sweetpea settled right in. At first I was worried because she was hissing at Tilly, whom she’s known and cuddled and groomed and wrestled with for three years. Poor Tilly wanted to jump right back to being friends but received hisses and a few swats in response. I used treats, catnip, toys, and soothing tones of my voice to coax them into getting along again. And now all is well. On top of that, I’m not the only one getting groomed regularly by a certain white fluff ball.
The only thing left to complete my material life is to go back for my car and maybe 20 boxes of my belongings (mostly books and clothes), and make the 38-hour trek back to Arizona. Looks like the opportune time will be at the end of August, since we’ll finally be going to Kansas at the beginning of that month.
In the meantime, I’m attempting to get into shape again not only for my health, but also so I can hike Mt. Graham regularly. There’s a manmade lake near the top that’s stocked with fish, along with an observatory. I can take a car up the 36-mile road, but that takes so much fun out of it. But still… that’s 36 stinkin’ miles one way. My goal is to restore the girlish figure I didn’t even know I had back in high school. I was too busy hiding it under hoodies, sports bras, and baggy t-shirts. Right I look like someone who eats well yet doesn’t exercise.
And right before I finished writing this blog, Simon mysteriously returned home from work wicked early. He just found out that an uncle from California died last night. To be continued…