By Lori Pankonin
A friend’s motivation to take walking breaks in her work day makes sense. It’s amazing what a little escape can do to set a new frame of mind and stir up energy. The break pays for itself.
Determined to make that a priority, I did indeed head out the door to walk around a couple blocks. My oh my oh my. Did that little venture ever stir up childhood memories.
It started with the turn around the corner from the theater. Visions flashed of when a junior high boyfriend walked me home from the movie. My heart fluttered, remembering the excitement of young innocent romance.
And how could I forget that tree on the corner? Mom would send us to the end of the block to wait for Dad to come home for lunch. Today, the sidewalk shows growing pains as it bulges from the tree roots.
Thinking back, you could see Dad coming a block away but we weren’t to enter the street. So we waited, then ran as fast as we could to keep up with him on the one-block venture home. Sometimes we all skipped together.
“Skip skip skip to my lou. Skip to my lou my darlin’.” I don’t know how we could have had enough breath to sing and keep up with Dad’s brisk pace.
He always acted so excited to see us and vice versa.
He worked a lot of hours, but he took time for us. What a priceless gift. I recall having to be somewhat quiet while he watched the news in the evening, but he’d play London Bridges and Ring Around the Rosie before heading back to the office after supper.
As I think of it now, that was big of Mom to have scheduled meals prepared every day. And that was big of Dad to share his break time.
Continuing on my journey, memories of neighbors returned . . . the tree house across the street, babysitting, all the widow ladies. I had never met Dennis, who lives in the house where I grew up. He was outside tackling a project and it was great to chat.
Oh yes, there was still the slant in the sidewalk which provided a little rush when on a bicycle.
And then came Mrs. Mart’s house. Oh the distress she suffered if someone got on her lawn. Poor lady. Unfortunately, her reaction made kids coax her to yell out the door. How sad that she couldn’t just enjoy our energy.
And then came the Shopp house. Pictures record the day on that driveway when Charlie and I headed off to our first day of kindergarten. Other pictures show more Shopp kids in our back yard, involving swings, a sand box and kick ball games.
Around the next corner and down the block, I think of the old house and the scraggly weeping willow tree that I passed on my way to school. They’re long gone. Rather, a very familiar house sits there today, one that my folks had built 32 years ago. It was home to me for one summer before my wedding.
Turning the next corner brought me back to childhood days with the waffle sidewalk. The sidewalk on that one side of the block has little holes throughout each slab, resembling a waffle. Oh how that rougher surface made our legs vibrate when on roller skates. That sensation came back so vividly.
Also on that block was the most gorgeous apple blossom tree that flaunted big pink blossoms in the right season. When Granddad visited from Colorado during its prime, we walked around the block so he could take pictures as he raved about its beauty. It’s gone now.
The refreshing venture on a beautiful day didn’t take long but it covered decades of memories. It did clear my mind, got my heart pumping harder and added healthy steps to my day.
It’s a habit I’d like to adopt. Now for the follow through!