Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Virtual Dog Walk

Sometimes when I am gripped by nostalgia and victim of homesickness for the Ozarks, I pretend I am walking with my dog, Princess Dark Star, on our old route on Congress Hill. As we tromp around our neighborhood here, in my mind I am walking out the gate of Terrapin Station and turning right headed down to the end of Dewey Street. Past Donna's trailer (you know her as the grass police) and the Teeny Tiny Rock House where Betty lived until her family forced her to move. On to the next corner where Joy and Emily might be in the yard. Their dog, Baby, used to charge toward us until the electric fence stopped her. A little farther on and we might see Jack and Marie taking the air on their little porch. When we get to the end of the street and turn on Warsaw, old Mrs. Faulkner will come out on her porch to inquire after our health. We sneak up on Violet’s place from the back and she won’t catch us until we are on the way home. Zada might be out in her driveway saying hello or goodbye to one of her many family members who drop by to check on her welfare. I hurry up the pace to get past the Sheldon’s and the sad memories of Lelia’s place where many of the plants in my yard originally came from. Then I’m at the Bray’s saying hello to one or another of their kids and/or dogs. Then Julia’s is next. She always said she knew it was time to start dinner when she saw me go by. No sign of life at Cindy’s place. When I get to Gus & Courtney’s I’m at the bottom of the hill. Time to turn around and start the long climb home. As I reach the top and turn right onto Dewey Street for the last lap, Violet comes out and waves. Not long now until the sight of my little home gladdens my heart, and Princess picks up the pace anxious to get back and have her supper. As I come through the gate, I know either fresh brewed coffee or frosty iced tea will be waiting. As soon as I take care of the animals, I’ll be sitting on my couch or out on the porch working my crossword, reading and watching the day fade into evening. For many years, the Dog Walk has been the segue between the active busy day and the more relaxed evening.


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