Sorry for the blurry picture but I took it with my cell phone.
I've taken to walking every day for an hour. You know, after the whole weight debacle. I'm fairly certain my loved ones are thoroughly tired of hearing me go on and on and on about it.
Andrea: Can you EVEN imagine....
Everyone else: Yeah yeah. Get over it already. Fatty.
So I've been eating excrutiatingly spartan like and have been walking a brisk pace every day. When I'm down in the bay area the walk I've been taking takes me right through my childhood. I leave the house I grew up and head down the street. I pass by the highschool I attended although it's used as an auxillary campus for a Jr. College now and no longer a highschool.
I head on through the park where the picture above was snapped. On the right is the park and on the left is the Jr. High School I went to. It's weird but as soon as I step on the path it smells exactly like it did when I was in Jr. High. The mown grass and the cedar trees. The grassy area on the left is where Linda F., Mary H. and I sat every day and ate lunch and where I laughed so hard I snorted Welch's grape juice out of my nose. I'm here to tell you there isn't much on earth that stings as much as Welch's in your nasal passages.
The sounds coming from the school sound exactly the same, with coaches blowing whistles, the band practicing and students shouting back and forth. The only sound that's missing is that folorn noise that the tether ball chain used to make clanging against the pole. I think that is a sound that anyone that grew up during the 60's and 70's could identify with their eyes closed.
On the right is the park that for a short while in my youth my Mother would tell me to hop into the Malibu station wagon so we could go round up one of my sisters who was hanging out with a less than desirable crowd. I think everyone in that group turned out to be respectable adults but it's hard to call when you just have a bunch of loitering 14 year olds, smoking and practicing their swear words, to go by.
I head out of the park and onto the neighborhood just beyond where I pass by houses of forgotten schoolmates. Some of the houses have been remodelled to within an inch of their lives and others look exactly the same. Like time has stood still for them.
I wonder if the parents of my old friends still live in them, like my father does, or have they moved on too. I know that Linda F.'s parents are still in their old house. I still see Mr. F. out tinkering in his garage just like he did 35 years ago. He had a workbench with a pegboard above it and that pegboard had the outline of each one of his tools. If we took one down and didn't put it back exactly where it belonged we were in for it.
Mr. F took Linda and me to McDonald's when I was 12 years old because I had never been and he thought it was time I had the culinary experience of the golden arches. I had a cheeseburger, french fries and a chocolate milkshake.
Hmmm. Maybe he started me out on this lifelong path to plumpness. Oh I see all of you rolling your eyes and mouthing "here we go again..."