The freezing air chilled my face as I walked slowly through the thin layer of snow on the short cul de sac alongside my home. I stop for a moment and notice that the three little pines planted in front of a stand of trees at the end of the road about five years ago are taller now like sentries. Someone has tacked up a sign on one of the hardwood trees with black lettering stating that this is private property. I have walked through those trees in summers past thinking that that the trees could use some care. Today the wind played them and the creaking was ominous. A very tall tree lay diagonally, close to the edge of the growth, which I had not seen down before.
Heading back to the main street to continue my walk I pulled the hood of my down jacket up to warm me against the wind. Once I turned around to go back home a woman in a jeep stopped to ask if I needed a ride, and I thanked her but said I was out for a bit of air and was close to home.
I thought of how often people have stopped to offer me a ride. Once in a torrential rain as I was walking from the bus stop, though I was soaked, I was within a few houses of home and the trouble of getting into and out of a vehicle, never mind how wet I’d have left her car prompted me to thank the lady profusely, but did not take advantage of her generous spirit. Another time two young girls saw me climbing up Rockside Road after having tossed buckeyes along the way and they were concerned about me – I explained that my car was up at the post office and I’d be okay, but they were so kind. Another lady offered me a ride when she saw me walking on Hathaway a few years back. It is a twisting and scenic Road where I’ve never seen anyone else walking, but it was daylight and I was fine.
The new calendar I’ve hung shows that four days have already passed in this New Year. Most of the Christmas lights that brightened the dark December nights have been taken down. Still green but bereft of decorations Christmas trees were left on curbs to be collected with the trash from the day after Christmas, an empty note at the end of a holiday season.