Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Shoebox

Today was the first day of 2013 on which I was able to take out the scooter while wearing short sleeves and short pants!  There's a kind of liberation in that which is difficult to put into words.

I didn't go far.  I usually don't.  I just scootered along some of the usual evening routes that I take when I want to get out but don't have anywhere in particular to go.  And I ended up at Uncle Slim's for a beer as is customary on Thursday evenings when porch sitting weather hits.  (Uncle Slim's isn't a bar.  It's my uncle's place.)  Although it hadn't been my destination when I left the house, I'm glad I remembered that it was Thursday and that the porch would be open for the season.

Uncle Slim calls this neighborhood the "shoebox" for its small and comfortable familiarity.  His place is only two blocks away from my house, as is my Mom's house, a number of my aunts' and uncles' homes, and those of various cousins a few times removed.  A number of my schoolmates live within these same blocks, as do some of the kids I taught through the years and their families.

I like it here.  Although the homes that had once belonged mostly to the folks who went to the same church as I have fallen into the hands of absentee landlords and the neighborhoods have taken on a little bit of the "other side of the tracks" feel, it's not so bad a place to be, the old shoebox, as long as there are people right around the corner who love me, and plenty of others who wave with a smile when they see me go by on the scooter.

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