Today is my Saturday. A grande bowl of Frosted Flakes and a whole banana kicks it off right! My dietary choices, the reward for a completed mile under the blaze of a Florida morning sun. Yes, even on days off the body should be conditioned; I’m a proponent of that! My trusty walking buddy, Roberto, happily dons his turquoise harness as he takes the lead. Smart little guy; our first full week living in the suburbs and he knows which direction we’re going to pad our feet along. In the unfiltered glow I notice the brown tufts of fur which give his black hind quarters a cool, conflicting pattern. Six years old now, so white fluffs are starting to burst back there as well.
Under his feet I note the pressure washed sidewalks and driveways, cumulus clouds drawn specifically from property line to rest of property line, beautiful little curlicues screaming, “Don’t tread here!” It’s easy to tell which houses are up on their atmospheric artwork and those whom allow Nature to make her mark.
The next thing I notice is, no one’s out with me. It’s 8am, where are the other daywalkers? At the Treehouse the place buzzes with dog walkers, bus catchers, gym rats, the whole shebangy bang. Here? I can practically hear the flowers sing about cats and rabbits. Just as I actualize my aloneness, a lovely display of fabric hanging from a beige stucco home unfurls. One is a black flag; another a yellow one, baring the well known “Don’t Tread On Me” icon. Ah. Tread lightly, little dog; we’re amongst score settlers!
We get to a point along the walkway where Bob decides to cross the street. How rude am I, wearing Ray Bans while his big brown eyes squint painfully. The sun must hit him like the very first sip of freshly brewed coffee not quite cooled off for safe consumption. Bob leads us under the trees, into the shade, and I marvel at what I miss: trees.
Yes, my special home was once flanked by two oak trees until the property manager decided to cut them down. They’re gone but I can’t stop calling the place the Treehouse. The suburbs have lots of oak, Bobby reminds, as he swings a right, then a left, then a familiar right towards our new home.