First things first: what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't give a shout out to arguably my most dedicated reader on her birthday? Hi, Mom! Happy birthday! I love you!
Also, did you catch the Shel Silverstein reference? I hope so because I told Michael what I would probably call this post and I cracked up laughing while he just looked confused. "Get it? Do you get it? Where the Sidewalk Ends? You know, the book?" *Crickets* until I pulled up an image of the book cover online and he said, "Oh! Yeah."
This entire post is neither here nor there, but I took lots of pictures and by golly I'm going to use them to tell a story that may or may not be worth sharing (welcome to the internet).
Last week we ordered an umbrella stroller that arrived on Friday. The weather was gorgeous and I was eager to test it out, so Gabriel and I went on a little stroll around our apartment complex.
Now, I learned early on when we moved here that our apartment complex isn't that great for walking. You see, the sidewalks are kind of a joke. They look normal when you're just coming in from your car, but as soon as you try and actually walk around you'll realize that none of them connect (which will force you to go for a walk in the parking lot if you want to walk more than 50 feet). This seems odd to me because all the other apartments we've lived in have had some semblance of a walking path (especially because many residents have dogs they need to walk).
Not only is this true in our apartment complex, but for some reason it's the norm all around us. Truly, the only places we have seen consistent, walk-able sidewalks have been in the boroughs (which is a fancy way of referring to the townships that govern what *normal people simply refer to as the "downtown" area of each town). When we moved, I was so excited to discover that we'd be across the street from a Catholic Church (hooray! I can walk to daily Mass with my baby!)...until we moved here and discovered that A) there are no sidewalks and B) there are blatant "no pedestrian crossing" signs posted all over the intersection.
So anyway. If I want to go to daily Mass we literally drive across the street which just seems silly - though it's legal and safe that way. But enough about the crossing the street debacle. I still haven't shown you what it's like within our very own apartment complex. Are you ready?
Here's what our walk was like (in pictures):
Oh! Hey, this sidewalk ends in a wall of bricks. I guess it's time to go "off-roading." Or, more accurately, "on-roading"...because we'll be in the line of vehicular traffic....
This isn't so bad. At least everyone who lives here knows there aren't any sidewalks so they tend to drive carefully....
Great! We made it to the leasing office where there is a sidewalk again. Let's enjoy this while we can.
(Looking across the parking lot) How funny - another sidewalk that dead ends. I'm sure glad I'm somehow still walking on a decent length of sidewalk over on my side!
Still going strong. This is nice!
...That was short-lived.
I don't know what to do with this. Am I supposed to roll the stroller down the bumpy hill(s)? Not happening. Better to go in the parking lot, I suppose.
And we're back. Let's start looking for the next sidewalk.
Hmm. Where could it be?
Oh THERE you are, sidewalk!
But...you're really not being helpful. I mean, a big curb connected to a parking space in which a car is parked? Good joke.
So there you have it. We arrived home safely but not before I began to feel like a character in a Shel Silverstein poem (except not really, because we were basically forced to stay in the land of asphalt). The sidewalk situation here is sad, to be sure, but at least it gave me some good chuckles along the way. Plus, there was this sweet moment:
Gabriel was so mesmerized by the tulips that he refused to look at the camera (phone) and probably would have sat there sucking his thumb and s-t-a-r-i-n-g all day long if I let him. Which, in all seriousness, was my very favorite part of the walk - regardless of the fact that we were in the middle of a traffic zone so the precious moment was a little too short-lived for my taste.
All in all, though, I'm grateful for this beautiful weather, good health for our family, and a nice, new stroller that Gabriel enjoys (as do I!).
*read: the good people of the Midwest...and everywhere I've been save for the East Coast
"...Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt ﬂowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends...."
-Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends