Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Would you like to take a walk?

Just join me for half an hour tour of my neighborhood.  As a result of having lived in this area for about thirty-five years I feel qualified to act as a guide, relating tales of former and current residents.

As we leave my home I’ll mention the house across the street.  There are two very tall palm trees in the front yard.  Somehow I feel they are lacking a tropical setting.  The pleasant couple living there “manicure” their lawn so the rest of us feel obligated to be in step.

My neighbor on the south raised a family of three daughters and a son.  like many families they had ups and downs.  Both parents were employed though they had arrived with so little that discarded vegetables from the market were gratefully added to their menu.  For several years they had much joy from digging clams.

Across a short street we pass a house inherited from a nice lady whose husband lost his life in a drunken brawl somewhere in the Deep South.  She was unable to adjust to the single life so appeared to “give up”.

Moving along we pass well-kept yards and several homes with changes in their appearances.  Garages may now be family rooms, plain windows have become bay windows, and front porches have ben enlarged or are beautified by grill work.

When we reach the corner we go west to the playground of Adam School.  On Saturday we are likely to see a game of soccer in progress.  In fact there maybe three games in all as Adam Park is just beyond.  I really enjoy watching the young players who are dressed in shorts and knee socks.  They are trying so hard to be the best.  Families sit on the grass eating and talking.

Across the street we see Minami Center.  It’s a popular spot and is used by adults and school children.  There is a baseball diamond, basketball courts, and best of all several tennis courts.  I’ll never understand why my own children neglected to learn tennis.  Yet it isn't any easier to inspire one’s children to be athletic than to force them to develop their musical abilities.  Where is the enthusiasm?

Walking allows us to view the low hills to the west and notice a low-lying fog bank.  One morning when I heard a crop-dusting plane just beyond the park I hurriedly gathered four small grand children to go with me to watch the activity.  The youngest child became frustrated when both feet tried to go into the same pant-leg.  But we were able to see several dustings delivered by the plane.  Children need to experience unusual happenings.

We hurry along till we are past the park and find ourselves opposite the Co. Fairgrounds.  Quite often there are special events taking place there.  Usually we see numerous RV’s, possibly some horse trailers, and a stream of exhibitors.  One group is the Mineral Society and another the Strawberry Show.

We invited a granddaughter and her friend to go to the Circus there.  Each girl had about $1.00 to use for treats but both were shy about asking the “hawkers.”  Finally I asked by husband to get them some cotton candy which solved their problem as well as saving their money.  Probably I would have carried along some food for my own youngsters.

Without stopping we walk along under some eucalyptus trees – the messiest, most unattractive trees imaginable.  They constantly shed bark and there is no one to clean it up.

Back into our own neighborhood we see familiar faces and are greeted.  One neighbor is busy in his garage, sawing, shaping, and finishing a variety of attractive cupboards and entertainment centers.  Another publishes a newssheet for the Lifetime Learning Institute.  I am pleased to live in an area where many are busy just living.

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