Walking: Early Morning

For most of my 50+ years, I have lived in the same town.  As a child I walked to the elementary school (one of 4 in the quadrants of town) and then to the middle school.  (Which by chance was in the "middle" of town.)   By the time I got to high school, for the most part I got rides to and from, although I did occasionally walk home...UP HILL!  I walked to friends’ homes.  I walked to the local convenience store.  I walked to the movies.  (Back in the days when there were multiple theaters in the area.  Now one is an office building and the other part of a strip mall with only one occupant.)

Over the past 5 or so years I've become an avid early morning walker, at least when weather permits. I started out with a "route" but I've found for me that gets boring.  I like walking in the park and around the track at the middle school, but I can't do it every day.  I need to see different things.  Plus some days there are time constraints; getting the kid to school, getting to work.  So some days I walk for less than an hour and some days I walk more...  And I do like to walk a certain distance.  I don't feel like I've done a "good" job unless I've done at least 3 miles and if I can make it to five or more, I'm feeling accomplished.

During the summer months, I'm usually able to walk a little more.  The days are longer and this year I decided to make an effort to try see new things.  For example until recently, I had never been on Meadow Lane, Midwood Avenue or Arnold Way.  (Three smaller streets in town)  Which got me to thinking about all the road that I have covered in the past few years.  Had I covered every street in my 2.78 (give or take) square mile town? I THOUGHT I'd covered just about every one.  But after 50 years of living here I felt that I SHOULD cover it all.  So I started researching and realizing that there were a dozen or so road that I still hadn't trod.  Thus began my obsession. Something I NEEDED to do because I HAVEN'T done it.  If this is MY town, than I should be able to say that I've explored/walked every nook and cranny. And I'm determined to cover it all before the end of the summer.

Seeing how I've done the majority of it already, it shouldn't be too hard.  Of course most of the places I haven’t hit are on the far side of town for me.  It will require a bit of planning on my part.  I don't usually plan when I walk, I just go and see where things take me.  (Which is part of the joy of a good morning walk.)  

Since I made this decision late last week, I've already managed to cover 8 road that I had not previously trod.  (Although I may have driven on them over the year.)  This leave me with about 7 or so streets that I still need to "do."  My thought is that I don't have to cover every inch of the street, but I do have to walk more than half of it so say that it's been done.

It may be a silly challenge, but it's one I'm anxious to do.  I'm excited to see new things even though I've lived in the same place for so long.  I think we are all guilty of passing by the same things day after day and not really looking at them.  Something we all should do.  

As I finish up this "project" I may take a little longer.  Not go quite so fast so that I can take in my surroundings.   Which is something I tried just last week.

I start out early...this photo was taken just after 5 AM last week.  I run often run into "these guys" (or their relatives).  
You probably can't see much other than the sidewalk, but if you look closely you can see at least one of 3 deer.  (Yes, I took all these photos with my cell phone which is why they are NOT high quality. )

Dawn comes slowly to the center of town:

But the moon was still visible:

Heading to the high school it was definitely lighter in the east (even if I could still see a sliver of the moon)

With my walk more than halfway through, daylight had definitely arrived:

Slowing down my walk to take photos let me appreciate how pretty the town square really is:

And if you stop and take the time to observe, you'll see that even "busy" (though not at this hour) streets are full of beauty and plenty of green!

Who knows what else I'll "discover" as I walk along paths new to me. (But not for long!)


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