A few days ago, I felt like taking a walk. It was late in the afternoon and I needed some fresh air.
I live across the street from the high school. There is always something going on there and I attend a lot of field hockey, softball, and lacrosse games, as well as going to swim meets in the winter. This day, though, it was quiet – late enough that everyone had gone home. So I decided to walk all the way around the building.
The school is like many others – it started off in one coherent plan and then, through additions and renovations, took on a rambling personality. Lots of areas to wander. I traveled around the playing fields by the road, crossed the parking lot, and ended up about a quarter-mile away at the back of the school.
I was in a contemplative mood and just felt like poking around. Here are a few things I saw, nothing important, but then again, pretty interesting to me. I’ve lived in this town for more than two decades and my son went to school here. I use the track for exercise. I’ve taken classes in the building myself. So I have memories for every part of this site.
They’ve been doing construction in a section behind the football field. It’s cleared up now but the signs of it remain. I walked through the parking lot toward the area. I thought this poor grate has really had enough to handle, with the wood scraps and the thickened holes from dropped concrete.
While I was here, I picked up three tennis balls – escaped from the nearby courts. It seemed wrong to let them wander around aimlessly until a car ran them over, so I threw them back on the courts. You might be able to see a couple of them in this picture.
They recently added numbers to the teachers’ parking lot. There is something really attractive to me about numbers painted on a parking lot surface. I find the look appealing and I don’t know why.
The sidewalks around the school are 60 years old – the school was built in 1956. Naturally they are showing some age. This scene reminded me of the sidewalks in front of my house, which was built in 1957. It’s each homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalks in front of the residence – when the township decides it’s time for repairs, they come around and spray white dots on the blocks needing replacement. Our street has recently been notified and the white dots have appeared. I think that if this block had been on the street – well, you know what it would have been wearing.
A little further on, I noticed this stray bedraggled mitten lying next to the curb. Lost during the winter and it probably spent some time under a plowed-up mound of snow, given its location. I have lived here long enough to know that this is just the spot where the plows build up a good solid hill of icy snow. If you are a mitten lying on the ground, well, you’re trapped for quite a while, long enough to be forgotten. I’m feeling sorry for this mitten because pretty soon, it will get swept up and taken to the dump.
On my way back toward home, I passed the softball field. I saw the two pencils lying on the ground next to the trash bin. Never mind computers, kids still need pencils in school. I like to think about that.
OK, all done. I went on down the road and crossed to my house, feeling quite satisfied with the state of things in my neighborhood.