Seven cars … Suzi counted them.
Normally, the parking lot at the train station near our house is full by 8 a.m., but there was just us, the seven cars and a woman pushing a stroller.
I didn’t say anything, but she realized I noticed her passenger.
”Elderly dog,” she said.
We took the long walk, both because it was nice and because walks are among the few things left that are OK to do outside the house in a world that’s somewhere between suspended animation and seemingly about to fall to pieces.
And that’s for the people like us who are able to stay home.
We went down the hill and along the bike path, turned left to go past the couple condemned houses, the old silver travel trailer — maybe an Airstream — that I’m always curious about and the house with the Elizabeth Warren campaign sign on the lawn.
Down the road is a Bernie Sanders supporter, with a couple yard signs.
The right turn at the end of the street took us over the train tracks. On the fence is a sign for the Samaritans, with a number to call for help if people need it.
I saw another one at the train station later, but had never noticed them before.
A man sat outside his house wearing only shorts — it’s nice, but not that nice — while on another porch, young girls entertained themselves while a woman (maybe their mother) talked on the phone.
Another right turn as we started to turn back toward home, and Suzi noted that for everything that’s going on right now, at least we’re not snowed in on top of it, like we were in 2005.
We saw a bunch of other people walking along the trail, and there was one guy who both ran very slowly and didn’t lift his feet very much, creating a rhythmic “thwap, thwap, thwap” noise behind us from rubber hitting pavement.
When he didn’t speed up enough to go by us, we stopped at the bridge on the trail so we didn’t have to hear the noise anymore.
Back on the main road, a woman on a bicycle blew past us, a baguette sticking out of the top of her backpack.
There was a decent number of cars, including a convertible with the top down. Where could they have all been going?
Suzi keeps seeing robins — on our front lawn, on lawns down the street — and the magnolia tree looking ready to pop any day now.
I’ve been noticing the green sprouting through the flowerbed in front of the house, but mostly the red buds on the tree branches outside the upstairs bathroom window.
I guess you could take it as a sign, that spring is coming and birds are coming back and things are starting to bloom and that life will go on and will resume eventually as long as we’re safe and stay patient.
Back in our kitchen, Suzi said she was going downstairs to grab one of our stadium chairs.
”Grab two,” I yelled.
Assuming there won’t be much more snow (even though I’m predicting our easy winter means we’ll get a blizzard on my birthday at the end of May), we moved the garbage and recycling bins from the deck to the bottom of the driveway, unfolded the chairs and sat outside for a spell.
We didn’t do much of anything, but just wanted to enjoy the sun for a little while longer before we retreated from the outside world again.