It’s Tuesday. Time to head over to Two Writing Teachers. Write and share your slice here.
I opened my eyes as I heard my oldest daughter creeping down the stairs. I slid out of bed, grabbing my t-shirt, shorts and shoes, then followed her to to the kitchen. It was early, and the dogs and cats were still sleeping, as were my mother and younger daughter. The morning air coming in from the back porch hinted of heat and humidity, a change from yesterday’s cool wind.
When the pot finished brewing, Frances and I each poured a cup of coffee and whispered about her schedule for the day, our plan to exercise together later, and the fun dinner we had shared with some of the girls’ friends last night. She gathered her things, opened the back door slowly, careful not to let it bang and wake the house.
Once she was gone, I threw on my walking clothes and settled down at the computer for a few minutes to catch up on email. The battle to tame the inbox was part of my morning routine.
At 7:30 I headed out the door to meet my friend. We were starting our 5 mile walk early, in an effort to beat the heat. As I walked across the grass, I saw houses coming to life. A toddler sat on the porch next door, eating her cereal and doing her best to use an early morning voice. Across the road, one neighbor watered her flowers, waving the hose back and forth over a riot of yellow and pink blooms, as another walked, in robe and slippers, to gather her newspapers. A few houses up, the front door opened just enough for a big yellow Lab to squeeze through and bound into the yard. I heard the crunch of tires on gravel as a car backed out of a driveway down toward the beach.
I joined my friend, and we headed down the road, slowly at first, then picking up our pace as we rounded the corner and our joints began to loosen. A car trailing a small sailboat eased past us. A man, already in his swimsuit and flip flops, a paddle board balanced on his shoulder, crossed in front of us and turned left toward the sand.
The sun had risen over the tree tops, and it was already hot. My back felt warm and damp. We chatted about our children, our jobs and summer news, as we checked our watches, trying to keep a pace that would allow us to finish in under an hour and ten minutes. Turning right at the stop sign, we headed for the Point, walking briskly along the grassy marsh where the osprey and egrets were searching for breakfast at low tide. A red winged blackbird flew just in front of us and landed on a telephone wire above our heads.
Bikers whizzed by, and cars heading the other direction, to town and offices and appointments, passed us on the right. Perfectly pruned privet hedges, the steady caw of gulls, the salty smell of the air, rose bushes heavy with pink blooms, draped over white fences, a rabbit peeking out from an enormous hosta, bikes strewn on recently mown lawns. I noticed it all on my morning walk at the beach.