MissCleo’s bark alerts me to movement, not within our house, or even on our property, but on the sidewalk across the street. The sounds of another dog yipping, a man hushing it, a babyish giggle, waft through my open door, and I move from the kitchen to peer out the dining room window.
We live in a walking neighborhood. Tree-lined safe streets, where kids play basketball or street hockey in their driveways, and enthusiasm for holiday decorating are two of the things that struck me as positive when we were looking for our house. At any given daylight or twilight moment, someone is out walking.
Early mornings, the parade of dogs on leashes comes down the street, each one happy for their fifteen or twenty minutes of time outside the ubiquitous six-foot-tall wooden privacy fences that shield our back yards. Midmorning, the older women. Not OLD old, just older-than-me (less so every year) in their bermuda shorts and white sneakers, waling in pairs, and often sporting tennis visors or straw hats adorned with flowers.
Afternoons, and sometimes weekend mornings like today, bring the young parents. Mothers pushing strollers are common during the week, while today MissCleo has me noticing the guy across the street, dragged by his dog, carrying his child in one of those hands-free baby slings, enjoying the day despite the overcast sky.
No doubt his wife is enjoying a few minutes of time free of both child and football.