Welcome to My Street

Discover Prompt #4 – Street

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View from my front door

The street where I live is actually a Circle.  They tell me it’s about one mile all the way around. My furry Baby Girl and I walk half the length a few times a day.  Sometimes, out my front door and past the parking lot, I feel like I’m stepping into a magic forest. 

The Embers is an apartment community in the middle of a large city. I’m told the project was built inside a protected conservation area.  It’s generally quiet and tranquil except for the occasional ambulance in the distance or helicopters flying to the Trauma Center at a nearby hospital. 

The street is lined with all kinds of native trees and plants. The street lamps seem to have been strategically placed, so that during the hours just before nightfall or daylight, shadows can play tricks on your eyes.  The soft light from the moon and stars seems to Moon in the treesmake the street glow, and it’s easy to forget that I’m not really out in the woods.

On our street, the regular small woodland creatures like possum, armadillos, snakes, and squirrels forage for food and make their homes in the thick vegetation.  The trees are filled with all kinds of birds, each one signing a unique melody with the woodpeckers keeping rhythm with their tap, tap, tap. 

There is a large population of cats – blacks, and tuxedo, marmalade, and tigers in grey and black.  It’s hard to tell if they are all feral or just out for the day. Baby Girl loves the kitties, but whenever we come near, they scamper away into the tall grass just beyond the road where she can’t reach them.  Each time she catches a whiff of a kitty, she gets so excited and desperately wants them to play with her.  I can see them watching her from within the bushes.  Sometimes I wonder what they think of all her enthusiasm.

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Scent of a kitty

There are no sidewalks on our street, but boulders where placed near the ends of speed-bumps to keep drivers off the grass. Covered in moss and dirt, on days of dense fog, these boulders appear to be stunted creatures trying to climb out of the ground. I’ve wanted to photograph them, but these crafty creatures turn back to solid rock when they see me take out my phone!

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Baby Girl and the Stone Creator

My imagination ponders about the natural history of this place.  Who were the first dwellers here, and how did they spend their day? 

It’s great that this piece of land has been kept in some kind of land conservation trust. I’m especially glad that with all the social distancing regulation, I have a nice space to walk and let get inspired. 

Welcome to my street. 

Beach after the Storm

Beach and rain
a hint of sunlight in the distance in an otherwise gray and dismal day.

Even though we have had severe weather warnings and plenty of rain, I decided to take the scenic route this afternoon. Rather than go a short ride up the Interstate, I decided to drive along the shore to one of the only beaches in the area where I can go with my Baby Girl. She’s not a fan of the beach or too much sun and heat. It doesn’t matter that she was just groomed and her hair is short. She hates getting her feet wet or walking for too long on the hardened sand that still manages to get in between her toes and stuck to her.

Eliza chillin' in the shade@ Honeymoon Island

I have to excuse her; she is a mixed-breed, and her identified ancestral lineages were designed and destined to be lap dogs for royalty. She likes to play catch and tug-of-war, but she is perfectly content if she is cuddling with a human on the couch or in bed. I don’t usually take her to the beach, but if the weather is right, she doesn’t mind the outdoors and is happy to sit quietly with me to people watch.

We saw the black clouds hanging in the sky at a distance as we crossed the bridge to the island. It’s always a treat to look over the bay and inlets as we drive over. We noticed that water was starting to accumulate on some of the front lawns and gardens. I was wondering if any streets were going to be a problem, although it was probably too soon for any roads to be underwater. I was hoping we were driving just behind the rainstorm so that we could stop in at the beach and sit for a bit. We opened the windows to smell the ocean air and minimize the wet-dog smell.

The beach was gray today. On the far end of the shore, the clouds parted to let the sun peek through, but here the sky and the water, even the sand took on the gray tinge. The wind was steady and strong; it seemed to have rummaged through the depths of the sea to bring up the pungent smells of musty seaweed and briny marine life. My Baby Girl didn’t like that either; she squinted her eyes when the wind picked up around her and sniffed the air. Not far away another dog barked excitedly when he saw her, but she prefers to play with people. She looked up but ignored him and continued on her way examining all the smells along the shoreline as we walked.

Except for the wind and crashing waves of the unusually turbulent surf, the beach was quiet. Snowbird season is over, lawn furniture was put away, and many houses looked vacant. There were people sprinkled about on blankets and a few walkers near the water. There was not the usual laughter, the noisy buzzing of conversations or music playing. A group of young people talked among themselves trying to decide if it was worth it to put up the volleyball net. They seemed to have decided it was. Baby Girl and I sat on a bench for a little bit longer but she was getting restless, and it was getting late. We could hear the traffic start to form on the road, so we packed our things and headed home.

Day Ten: Let the Scene Write Itself   #everydayinspiration
Please remember that I am looking for ideas for my assignment #15. What do you think I should write about and how? Add a comment to this post or go to Contact Me at the top of the page. Thanks, much appreciated.

Home is Where the Heart Is

I was “home” this weekend visiting family.  It’s funny we are all far from our childhood home and our parents have long past on but spending time with my sisters always feels like home no matter where we are.  From the belly laughs to the tears it all feels just right.  I am reposting this story, which is one of my favorites, in honor of spending time with loved ones.  

Baby Girl woke up startled she didn’t recognize the loud voices in her home that morning. Strange things had been happening for days. Stuff was disappearing from all the rooms; like the picture frames on the mantel and the books her sisters liked to read to her at night. There now were big boxes all over the house. New ones appeared each time something else went missing. Nothing seemed to be where it should be, and the whole family was too busy to play with her.

Suddenly Baby Girl realized she was alone in the room and she was scared. She could feel the hair on the back of her neck stand stiff against her collar, but she had to go to the bathroom, and she was hungry, so she quietly ventured out into the hallway. Baby Girl peered out from behind the long wall. She did not see Lovey or Annie. Where had they gone without her so early in the morning? She called out to them as two big men crossed in front of her with the boxes. They smiled at her but went on their way carrying boxes out the open door. She glared at them. Where was Mama or Dad? Baby Girl called out again. No one answered.

Since the front door was open and the big men were not around, she decided to let herself out and go to the bathroom. She knew Mama and her sisters did not like her to go out by herself, but she was just going to the backyard. She had done it many times with the girls. She started creeping along the side of the house, the gate was closed, and she couldn’t open it. She continued slowly and carefully, close to the fence until she found a spot. Business was done but still no sign of her family. She couldn’t even hear them. She went back to the front of the house to check. Did those men have anything to do with her family’s disappearance? She sniffed the air – nothing. Should she worry?

Sometimes Mama and Dad went for a walk in the woods behind the house early in the morning before everyone else was up. Maybe Lovey and Annie went with them this morning. Baby Girl knew how to get to the woods. She would walk along the long white fence until the end and then walk into the woods no further than the Big Pointy Rock. Her sisters always promised their parents that they would go no further than the Big Pointy Rock so that Mama could still see them from the kitchen window. Baby Girl was getting hungrier; she wanted to find everyone so that she could get some breakfast. Off she went into the woods.

Lovey and Annie had gone with Mama up the street with a box of baby toys and books for the new neighbors. Dad went to take a few things to the dumpster. Lovey and Annie agreed to give those things to their babies because they were big girls now and would be getting Big Girl things in the new house. As they were walking back, Lovey and Annie noticed that the movers had left the front door wide open. They ran the rest of the way calling out to Baby Girl. The movers said they had just seen her near one of the bedrooms, but she was not in the house! She had not eaten her breakfast. The girls went outside and called again. They shouted her name all around the house and at the end of the fence.

In the woods, Baby Girl had followed a big green lizard past the Big Pointy Rock until it ran up a tall tree. She couldn’t reach it but as she was looking up, she spotted a big beautiful dragonfly and followed it as it danced in the air through the woods. She did not hear her family calling, but she did hear a splash from the gurgling of a brook nearby. Fish were jumping out of the water! She wanted to catch one of those, it smelled like food, and she remembered she was hungry.

Back at the house, the girls were upset, and Mama and Dad were worried. They had to leave soon, and they could not find Baby Girl anywhere. They put the last boxes in the car. As she hugged them goodbye, the neighbor next door, Mrs. Levy, promised to keep an eye out for Baby Girl and would call them right away. “I’m sure she’s just having an adventure. She’ll be back.” She reassured them.

In the woods, Baby Girl paced back and forth along the edge of the water, she wanted to catch the fish but hated getting her feet wet. She heard rustling in the bushes and looked up to see two baby deer. The deer are back Baby Girl thought with excitement. She forgot about the fish and ran after the deer. She ran and ran but couldn’t catch the deer. The baby ran straight to Mama and Dad Deer who stomped their feet at Baby Girl. She stopped in her tracks and realized she was standing in front of the Big Pointy Rock. She remembered she was hungry and headed toward the house. She hoped Mama and Dad and Lovey and Annie were back.

To her surprise Baby Girl found the gate to the yard open; and so was the screen door to the back porch. She discovered her bowls were on the back porch. How strange she thought, but things had already been odd for days. She was glad because she was sooo hungry. After she ate, she wanted to go inside and lay in her bed; she was tired. She called at the door for Mama or Dad or Lovey and Annie, but no one came.

Just as she was going to check to see if the front door was still open, she saw Mrs. Levy coming toward her. She liked Mrs. Levy; she smelled like food and always had a special treat for her. “Baby Girl, where have you been? You had us all worried! I heard you barking and called your family. Lucky for you they were not too far yet. They are on their way back to come for you. Let’s go to my house to clean you up before they get here.” Mrs. Levy picked her up and took her home. When she was clean, she lay on the rug by the door and waited for her family.

When they arrived, there were hugs and kisses everywhere. They were all glad to see each other. In the car, Lovey and Annie took turns holding her tight. They told her they were afraid she was lost and they didn’t want to go to their new home without her. Baby Girl didn’t understand all the fuss. She was home. She was where she wanted to be all along, snuggled in between Lovey and Annie as they all took a nap in the backseat of the car.                          

 #everydayinspiration 

Homeward bound