Gotta Go Slower

Dearest Rachel –

It’s been about a week and a half since the last time I walked to the office. Most of last week, of course, has been because Kevin has been over, but it isn’t as if I walk every day when I actually cross town, either. Yesterday, I was concerned about the threat of rain (and shouldn’t have been, as it so happened), and was running late regardless, so I hurried on over in the car.

Today, I decided I could take things a little slower. Besides, I had stops to make – which, you’ll forgive me I trust, but I’m going to go over in probably more detail than you’d care to hear about.

My first stop – after dropping a check off in a nearby post box – was the local pharmacy, where I needed to pick up a refill on my prescription for my blood pressure medication. I remember being so dispirited about being put on it, since I knew what (and who) was causing it, and yet that I’d probably be on the stuff for the rest of my life, lest something untoward happen to me too soon. These pills can stave off heart attacks and strokes, but they’re of no help against stress and accidents.

It actually took quite a while to get serviced, as they were a few people ahead of me lined up to get their booster shot for COVID-19. Once I got up there, I couldn’t help but ask when I would be required to take one, since I have no desire to be thrown out of polite society for not doing it. The pharmacist insisted that it wasn’t even available for anyone under 65, but I admit to being less and less confident every day that it won’t become a mandate for all of us soon enough. When she asked me my age, and I told her, she acknowledged that she was over the threshold herself, and she wished that she and I could trade places.

No, ma’am; no, you wouldn’t. I’ve lost you, and I sometimes think I’m losing Daniel. I don’t know that I would wish my situation on anyone.

Further along on Campbell as I left the pharmacy and continued my walk, I came up to the local Baptist Church, where I noticed a large SUV apparently waiting to pull out of the driveway. Well, I’m obviously not going to walk in front of him, so I stood there for a moment, waiting for him to pull out. It’s not like there was a whole lot of traffic in this area, after all. But he just sat there, until I finally approached him, and asked if he needed anything.

“No,” he replied. “I’m just doing radar tracking.” And sure enough, I noticed a laptop open on the passenger side of vehicle. I’ve never seen an undercover speed trap along this route. Guess I’m not the only one who’s going to need to slow down.

This is what he looked like after I’d passed him from behind. He really looks just like he’s going to pull out, hiding in plain sight like that.

Further along, I found myself walking through the downtown area, which is no longer alfresco. Well, that’s not entirely true; there are a handful of tables that are still outside, and the one place that’s open for breakfast did have a few customers out there – along with a few of those outdoor flame things to keep them warm – but the district is now open for traffic. Apparently, that festival that the five of us walked through on Friday was the last gasp for the season before bringing things back to a slower pace as the weather cools off.

You can still see a handful of tables outside, but there aren’t those great roped-off areas like there had been – and there’s a car here. Oh, and yes, the local theatre is advertising for this year’s production of “A Christmas Carol” already.

Once I passed through downtown, I decided to tap to stop in at Marianos to pick up something for lunch (while I do have some soup left from yesterday, it’s less than half the container, and I skipped breakfast this morning in order to have time enough to walk across town). Grocery store sushi is nothing in comparison to the station, but it’s satisfactory for the price.

On the final leg of my journey, proceeding down Kensington, I spot this sign in front of a big fancy house:

And I can’t help but wonder what the connection is. I may be reading too much into it, but I suspect this family may have been touched by something; I guess it’s true that money doesn’t bring enough happiness.

And while I don’t have the number of interactions with people along the way as I would back in the summer, I did have an encounter with a younger Hispanic lady, who crossed the street (! Really? Kensington? That’s a fairly busy road for only having one lane either way) to ask for money. She was walking to Walmart to meet up with some church group whose name escapes me at the moment, to obtain some clothing donations for her family.

I have to admit, while I find myself suspicious of random strangers asking for money, I still wind up being a soft touch for them. I gave her a ten spot and let her go on her way.

She was apparently crossing back when I tried to take this photo surreptitiously; I probably shouldn’t have done it anyway.

All this in the course of slowly walking to ‘work.’ Somehow, I doubt that anything that I deal with today at the ‘office’ is going to be that much more interesting than the journey itself.

Wish I knew what your day was like.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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