Monday, October 20, 2008

Take the Long Way Home

On Friday the twins and I walked to C's school to deliver the bag of wreath-making materials he insisted he couldn't take on the bus. I was interested in knowing how long it would take to walk there. It took 50 minutes. I could have sped up bit and I had to stop to fuss with the iPod, which fit down my shirt a lot better when I was exclusively nursing. I'm sure I could shave five minutes off my time. Forty-five minutes sounds much shorter than 50.
On the way I picked up a few returnable cans that were by the side of the road. Normally I would be embarrassed to have people see me collecting cans, but wearing headphones gives the illusion of anonymity. It also seems more acceptable to collect cans while pushing a double baby stroller - I'm not a scrounge, I'm just frugal, I'm saving for college. At one point a guy walking on the other side of the street even picked up a can and brought it over.
Of course when you're me, even picking up cans is fraught with moral dilemmas such as: a) Shouldn't I be picking up all those empty water bottles as well? Do I care about the environment or just about the nickel? b) What about all those plastic bags? c) How far down the embankment should I go to retrieve a beer can? d) Is that poison ivy?
Has anyone noticed the high amount of road kill lately? On the way to school, which I estimate to be a three-mile walk, I passed two dead squirrels, one skunk, one snake, and something so decomposed as to be rendered unidentifiable. I was surprised by this because it's off season now and there must be fewer cars on the road. Over the weekend we also passed a dead rabbit, other unfortunate squirrels, and a very unlucky black cat on Route 151. I'm glad my kids were arguing (both times) when we drove by the cat and didn't it. At least the crows and the turkey vultures are eating well.
Whenever I see road kill I'm always reminded of Neal Larsson who said once that he used to tell his daughter that animals in the road were "just sleeping." C never would have fallen for that.
On the way back I stopped the stroller at Old Silver Beach and we all had a snack. Someone had left a television in the parking lot. They were litter bugs but litter bugs with a bit of a conscience. They wanted that television to be seen and removed. Real litter bugs would have dumped it in the wetlands between the back parking lot and Quaker Road. Not only that, they were thorough too. They left the cable box right next to it.

song: Take the Long Way Home • artist: Supertramp

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