Getting out of the house

The energy isn’t going to burn itself off, so I decide to take a walk.

No time like the present, since the forecast said it would be one of those weird days where the high temperature was going to be in the morning before falling off a cliff in the afternoon.

Plus it’s supposed to rain later.


I don’t know you would call the street I live on a cul de sac — I think of those as streets with little circles to turn around in at the end — but it goes uphill and loops around before coming back out as you go down the hill.

As I walk down the hill, a black Honda drives by, then drives back, with a passenger, before I even get off the street.

Under normal circumstances, there isn’t a lot of traffic, but especially after the school buses have gone through and most people have headed to work. You’re just about as likely to see someone walking — the neighborhood dog always looks for our cat Sasha if he sees our front door open — as driving.


The leaves are just starting to turn to the point where you notice, but they’re still mostly blending in with the last of the green at this point.

I’ve never been the leaf-peeper type. The autumn leaves look nice and I can appreciate them, but I’m usually not the type to suggest getting in the car specifically to see them.

Plus those leaves eventually wind up on my lawn. For years, I cursed the thought of raking leaves, since it seemed like the job that never ended, until Suzi convinced me to hire someone to do it.

First World problem? Yes.


The road below mine connects main roads in two parts of town, so there’s always some traffic. At one end is a stop sign, and not a stoplight, so at what I guess you would call rush hour — even though that sounds like a ridiculous concept in a smallish town like ours — it will back up.


Our normal walking route is to take a right-of-way through a couple yards on our street down to the local rail trail, then walk back to the end of the trail and past the train station, but I decide to just go to the station and back.

As I approach, woman hops on her bike and rides away. Meanwhile, a woman standing on the sidewalk at the head of the trail talks on her cellphone and waves. A few seconds later, the person she was talking to emerges from the train station parking lot.

They hug, and take off down the trail.


Since the morning rush had ended, trains are fewer, and while the scrolling message board says to tune in to a radio station for information, it doesn’t say when the next train arrives.

Flyers provide information on a since-ended restaurant week and new parking rates that took effect Aug. 1. On another message board, the parking rates are joined by an announcement of a Masons meeting the previous night.


Phone rings.

I doubt it’s real, but I answer. Sure enough, it’s “Trish, an employment specialist” on what I know now is a robocall. I hang up.

Walking through the elevated walkway to get from one side of the tracks to the other, I run into a woman headed up as I’m headed down.

“How are you?”

“Good … how about you?”

“Good … thanks.”

A real estate ad promotes an open house Saturday 12-1 on a four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home with a finished attic space and a “stunning” price drop of more than $30,000.

Last year, Dec. 1 (in other words, 12-1) was on a Saturday, so at first, I think it’s a 10-month-old ad and hope they managed to get the house sold. Then I see the original listing was Aug. 6 of this year, and the open house was Saturday from noon to 1 p.m.

I’m not sure what it says for the listing that they already cut the price that much in two months.



I hadn’t planned for that, but I’m going to have to deal, since I have to get back home.

Fortunately, it doesn’t last long.


Finally, info on the message board — a train arriving in three minutes.

I’m not going anywhere on the train, but I have nowhere to be, so I wait. It doesn’t look like anyone else is on the platform.


Bells cut through the ambient noise and signal the arrival of the train. A few people get off, and I wave and yell to the ticket-taker that I’m not getting on.

The train leaves. It might have been in the station for 30 seconds.

Time to go home.


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