Worcestershire Journal – Sidewalk anthropologist
by Karl - February 18, 2009 2:52pm
It’s a mile-and-a-half from our house to the Holden-Worcester line, all on sidewalks and only one tricky intersection to navigate. Marley (this Marley, not that Marley) and I make the t three or four times a week. He’ll be 13 at the end of this month, but is still able to walk the distance with enthusiasm. There are plenty of interesting sights and smells. The dogs who are left outside for the day give fair warning as we approach their houses; Marley’s respectful of any dog who’s protecting its own turf.
Along with cleaning up after Marley, I try to pick some of the litter along the way. The recent warm-up has cleared away nearly all of the snow and ice on the sidewalks, giving up the winter’s debris. The litter is pretty much what you’d expect: lottery tickets, empty Red Bull cans, cigarette packs, stuff like that. You’re probably not surprised that the kids in Holden smoke name-brand cigarettes, Newports, mostly. The litterers aren’t big liquor drinkers. This week I picked up an empty nip of Jamieson’s, the first sighting of the harder stuff in months.
(In case you’re wondering, yes, I probably do need a real hobby.)
So, even though it’s still mid-February, it’s starting to feel like spring. The birds are singing a bit more, the sun is higher and stronger, and, in places where the ground is warm, we’re starting to see the first tentative sprouts. The hard pack of snow and ice is relaxing its grip on the broken branches from the December storm and folks are working hard to gather up the brush for collection or burning. Tangled among the fallen limbs are lengths of electric, phone, and cable wires, leftovers from the hurried repairs.
On the way home on Monday, I noticed seed packets scattered on one lawn. This is a hopeful sign, I said to myself. Seed packets mean that people are not only thinking about spring, but they’re really getting ready, starting plants early, even though we can have freezing temperatures for three more months.
That’s what I thought until I looked more closely and saw that the 10 or so seed packets were all of one type, morning glory seeds. You’ve got to be a pretty big fan of morning glory to plant 10 packages of seeds and then toss the empty packets on your lawn. Unless. Hmm. Unless, well, let’s just say that everything old is new again.
If your kid develops a sudden, intense interest in seed catalogs, you probably won’t find much help from Paul Rogers nor from your Rite-Aid special on drug testing kits. Nope, you’ve got to talk to your kid. And good luck with that. As my wife says, if there was an easy answer, we’d have found it already.