Every night I walked our dogs, Cordelia and Frankie, around our block. I try to go late so the other dogs in the neighborhood are already cozy in their beds since Cordie and Frank get a bit too excited when they lay eyes on their compadres, barking and jumping and generally pulling my shoulders in directions they (my shoulders) don’t like. Tonight was no exception. It is 11:19 and I just returned from that 20-minute saunter, while the dogs sniffed and squatted and did things that dogs are supposed to do on a walk.
I was thinking of my blog post on the walk. Thinking I could say something like, “Here’s the tree that looks like a man’s face,” and then add a photo to show you, or “Here’s the new lamp post that has finally replaced the one mowed down by a car at least five years ago,” and then add a photo of the lamp post. But, there’s something about stopping so much to pull out my phone that puts me off, plus then there I’d be, doing the same thing with houses around the block. “Here’s the house on a corner lot that an old couple lived in for years before they sold it to a young couple who has fenced and gated it, destroying that wide open feeling it had before.” Or, “Here’s the house where the big German Shepherd with the deep bark lives who I hope and pray doesn’t come out now for his walk because my dogs get agitated and I get a little bit scared.” Or, “Here’s the house where the occupants host Shabbat every Friday night for their family and there are usually at least five cars outside.” Or, “How about this house, which must be occupied by Christians (an oddity here in Beverly Hills) because they actually had a Christmas party two years ago and the house was decorated to the nines with wreaths and lights and all sorts of tasteful holiday decor.” Or, “This house and that one have just recently been occupied after at least two or maybe even three years of renovation even though you’d never know it from the landscaping, which makes both look as if they’ve been lived in and full of life for years.” Or at the corner before I turn back towards home I might say, “Oh, do you hear that bird? I don’t know what it’s called, but it sings almost every night. Sometimes so loudly that I suspect the people living next door to the tree where it lives must be disturbed. But isn’t that birdsong beautiful?”
And then we head back home, pausing here and there for more sniffs and rolls in the grass.
I have lived in this neighborhood since 1994, which is 24 years. I can hardly believe it’s been that long. But I have seen a few changes along the way and gotten to know my neighbors through these late night walks. They may not realize how much I know about them, but you’d be surprised how much you can learn just ambling by every night after 10. I wonder if there are people in the neighborhood who have walked nightly by my house and could tell you a thing or two about me. I suspect that’s possible.
Here’s what the moon looked like tonight when I rounded the corner.