Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our "Wonderful" Walk

I thought I'd do a bit of a Throwback Thursday post. Several years ago, I was more of a walker than I am now (even though I'm still uber active, I prefer my elliptical and stationary bike).  Every day (weather permitting), I'd stick the three year old in the double stroller and walk the 1.35 miles to the school to pick up the Kindergartner as he got out of class.  This was not a great walk, it was one I wouldn't even LET my older kids do for safety reasons.  I did a post about our "wonderful" walk on my family blog a few years ago, and I thought I'd "walk" down memory lane today ...

Our "Wonderful" Walk

The canal ... I haven't heard of any kids falling into the canal, but this would be a constant stress for me if my kids were walking every day. It's completely open, easy access. In fact, taking the dirt canal road does nip some distance off the walk. But we take the longer, smoother path on the sidewalk through the neighborhood.

After the canal, you get to pass the horses. In addition to the LOVERLY smell, the fence has been broken down like this for a couple of years ... the inner fence is an electric fence ... I can just imagine the kids daring each other to try touching it ...

Then there is this nice stretch of sidewalk. It bumps us silly .... can you say shaken baby syndrome? But I don't know how they will ever repair it, because if they tore it out to replace it, there would be absolutely NO place for pedestrians during construction. This is right before one of the several streets and driveways we must cross going down 7800... there has never been a crossing guard posted anywhere along the way (probably because so few kids end up walking ... like I said, I don't LET my kids walk).

The recent (and seemingly never ending) construction has pushed traffic RIGHT NEXT to the sidewalk. If I reached my arm out, I would touch the cars and trucks passing by. I don't know which is more terrifying, having the cars rush by coming from behind, or seeing them come head on! We get to experience both, on the way to and then from school. Often traffic is so backed up that the cars are pretty much at a standstill, but at other times, when traffic is flowing, the cars rush by so quickly the wind almost knocks us over. The sidewalk is decent size, but when you come across a group of people, or a lady with a double stroller (that would be me) there just isn't enough sidewalk to share, so you often end up stuck or struggling to pass without stepping out into the street.

Right at the big intersection, we are hit by another scent ... sewer ... (suddenly the horse smell doesn't seem so bad). We always try to get by this grate as quickly as possible, holding our noses and our breath.

And then, there's the overpass. Always good to get a little INCLINE in your walk. Up, up, up, up, watch out for the graffiti, litter, broken glass and pigeon poop ... the wind on the walkway can also almost knock you over as well. Then down, down, down the overpass (hanging on to the stroller so we don't go too fast and can't make the turns) and ... we're at the school. Collect the kindergartner and ... back we go ... I can feel the additional 40+ pounds of an extra child as we go up, up, up the incline ...

Now, just so you don't think I'm an utterly negative person, there are some good points as well. Once you are back in the neighborhood, the walk is very pleasant. I LOVE our winding neighborhood. I DO stop and smell the flowers (literally!). The hanging basket (above) makes me smile every time I walk by it.

I also ADORE the spring blossoms on this path ... with the pink petals falling, they look so pretty blanketing the ground. A close up of the blossoms below ... I love when the smell just hits you as you walk by ...
And of course, I have the CUTEST kids! They happily talk and point things out as we walk. "There's a bird, that flower is yellow, I saw a bug" ... they love to see NUMBERS and call them out (and as there are addresses on the houses and mailboxes ... this is pretty easy to do). Of course they have to have their "treat" bag filled with goodies to munch on, and a blanket if it gets cold, and sunglasses if the day is too bright. Another funny thing they do is reach out and run their fingers along the fences. I have to keep them just the right distance, so that they can touch, but so I don't end up smashing them!

Home again home again jiggitty jig ... 
Almost three miles. More steps on the pedometer.

... ah, the walk down memory lane. I don't really miss my "wonderful" walk ...

Back to the Present.
Here's that cute kindergartner and munchkin today. 

I actually switched schools ... while the construction is finally complete (so cars are no longer pushed up directly next to the sidewalk) I still would not be comfortable with my kids making this walk alone. I was dropping off and picking up kids anyway, so I decided to drive 1 minute further to a nearby school on a traditional, rather than a year-round schedule (I really disliked how the off-track time would throw off our routine, and the older boys are on traditional). 

My little ones aren't so little anymore. We've passed the stroller on to my sister-in-law and her two little boys. I rarely walk outside anymore either ... I don't care for the extremes in weather, DOGS, or being far from home. With my home gym, I can exercise any time for any amount of time with no excuses... and no traffic or sewer smells! 


  1. I have to confess that my brothers and I were dingbats enough to dare each other to touch the electric fence near our house. I looked down guiltily when I read that part of your post!


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