A New Life! Retirement at its Best. 6

My Adventure

As you know, I always look forward to my Sunday morning walks. They don’t serve breakfast at the Club on Sundays because of the extensive brunch later in the day, so I have some extra time for my walk. So last Sunday, after drinking some coffee from my favorite mug I put on my hiking shoes and took off. It was later than usual because I had slept in until 6:30 a.m., so I would have to cut my walk short.

Oh well, I can walk a little faster and still go all the way to the end of the neighborhood, I thought. But on the way back from the end of the neighborhood I realized I would get home too late to take a shower and catch the bus that would take us to the church on time.

The past few Sundays I had explored many of the side streets in Wimbledon; some short cul-de-sacs, some looping back to the main road. One of the cul-de-sacs had gotten my attention: Agassi Street. At the far end of it I could see to the left, through the dense vegetation, the large yellow trash container of the roofers. That container stands at the end of our street, in front of our house. Only temporarily, thank goodness. If I have not told you about the roofers I will do that soon. Hm, I thought, I can make a trail through the bushes as an escape route for the future. That sounded exciting and worth a try!

On two previous Sundays a man was washing his blue car in the street in front of his house, so I turned around and thought I would try another time to find my shortcut. He always turned his back so we never exchanged a greeting. His loss!

Living in Pasadena, where many an earthquake took place during the time we lived there, I had to know ways to get home in case earthquake damage would block the usual road. In Hilo I found a way to circumvent the mud from flash floods coming down from the mauka slopes across the highway after a big rain storm. And now, in Cary, I thought I’d better check out if there was a shortcut to my house in case of sudden rain or, like last Sunday, if I ran out of time.

There was nobody to be seen that early in the morning. In the bushes on my left I knew there was a little hide-out kids had built out of planks and sticks, with a light on a pole on the outside. That could not be a solar light, because it was dark among the trees. Perhaps it just looked like a light. I never saw any kids there though.

A few feet further it looked like there was a trail. I stepped off the road and onto the trail. Quickly, so nobody would see me. But then, nowhere does it say Do not enter or Private Property, so next time I will just disappear into the bushes at my leisure. The trail was short. At the end of it a pile of branches was stacked up across the path. No problem. I walked around it on the right, bending branches out of the way of my face, ducking underneath heavy branches, and then I looked down, because something scratched my legs and it hurt. Oops, sure enough, long, thorny blackberry branches stopped me dead in my tracks. No bending, no stepping over them, I had to go more to the side. But the damage had been done. I was wearing skorts, so both my legs were covered in bloody scratches. I should have stopped when I felt the first scratch I thought. No blood was dripping down though, so I continued, a few steps down a woodsy slope, across a rocky drain, and up another slope, and I was in our back yard! Fantastic! I did it! I found an escape route!

I touched up the bloody scratches with Mike’s shaving stick-for-cuts, and they are covered by the long skirts and pants I’m wearing. So nobody has seen them, except Mike, who was horrified, they are almost gone after ten days, and they were absolutely worth it!

The Roofers

When we moved here, they had just had a hail storm that damaged part of the roof of the main building. So the roofers came and worked long days in high temperatures to replace all the roofs of the main building. They ripped off the asphalt tiles and replaced them with new ones. What an immense job that was! It took more than three months! The rubbish was collected in a huge wooden bin that was extended to the roof with a blue crane by a man in a blue vehicle on the street. When the bin was full the man slowly drove the bin-on-the-crane all the way to our cul-de-sac and tipped it over, dumping the trash into an enormous yellow trash container, which stands in front of our house next to a portapotty. Each day, many workers are coming to our cul-de-sac, by car or on foot, to dump a variety of things in both receptacles. We were hoping they would soon be done and we would finally be able to enjoy the quiet of our front yard.

Last week the roofers had finished! We thought they would finally take the yellow trash container and the portapotty away. But then we heard that the insurance company had decided that, even though the 12 cottages did not have any hail damage, they would replace those roofs too, while they were at it. Talk about job creation! Except, Trump had nothing to do with these. So yesterday, they started on the cottages. It is noisy and messy, but everybody had to go through it, so we will go through it as well. Noises on our roof today, and it ain’t Santa Claus!

Every cloud has a silver lining, don’t you think? You just have to find it. That’s what my mother always said. Well, the yellow trash container at our front door did have several advantages. In the days after our moving truck arrived and we put all the furniture in their place, we also put our brown area rug in the center of the room, under the coffee table, where it had always been. The rug was a wedding present from Mike’s parents, 56 years ago, and had served us well. The first time our kids came to visit us in our cottage, they looked at each other and decided the rug was a tripping hazard for us: a rug on the carpet! Mike gave them the go-ahead; they lifted the coffee table and put it to the side. They rolled up the rug, and, each on one end, walked out the front door with it and hoisted it into the yellow trash container. Gone it was! Mike had been saying in Prescott already that it was time to do away with it, but I could not part with it. And now the rug is gone!

The yellow container also served as a beacon for me, to find my way home from Wimbledon.

It’s a wonderful life!

Until next time!


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