The View On The Other Side.

Here’s Jasper,  still posing. Older than he was in the previous post. Checking out the neighborhood on the other side of the fence. Looking kind of regal, which is something that Great Danes do without any effort at all.

Because he they can.

Looking more adult and less puppy.

My neighbors like to walk by my house and call his name so that he’ll pop up over the fence to check them out as they walk by.  Which Jasper does if he’s outside.

He’s not a barking dog. Unless he feels like he has to Make A Statement. Which doesn’t happen often. Looking regal seems to work better for him than barking.

Yesterday, Jasper enjoyed his first afternoon snooze in the back yard – a clear sign that spring is coming.  I went out and sat with him for a while.

With Josephine – my camera shy, almost 15 year old whippet.  It was warm enough for her to lay in the grass next to me instead of on the step below the door to the garage.  Which is where she likes to soak up the sun.

There wasn’t anywhere else that I needed to be or anything else that I needed to be doing.

On the other side of my wooden fence, parents were pushing baby strollers down the sidewalk while keeping their eyes on their first born children now old enough to scamper ahead of the family. Who are young enough that they need to be strongly reminded to wait when they get to the end of the sidewalk.

Because crossing the street is a huge, scary Big Deal when you’re only 3 or 4 years old. Holding hands is how you get across that enormous, black-topped space.

I know these things because there were a few times when I wandered over to my wood fence and, just like Jasper likes to do, I looked over the top.  Except that I wasn’t quite as regal looking as Jasper.

It’s hard to look regal when your head is covered up with a hoodie.

There are lots of toddlers and babies in my neighborhood now.  Young families just beginning the rituals of nursery school, kindergarten and first grade. That time in your life when your day revolves around loading your child onto the morning school bus and stuffing all of the important things that you need to get done that day into the hours between 8AM – 2:45PM.  So, that you can be there at 3:00PM when the afternoon school bus pulls up to the corner, delivering your son or your daughter back to you.

Seems like just yesterday when that was my life.

When my family was one of the young families just starting out. My son was three years old when we bought my grandparent’s house and moved to this small village where the Erie Canal splits the commercial area into two spaces.

Where the library, the bank, a small grocery store, my favorite consignment shop, the village pharmacy, restaurants and coffee shops, and at least three ice cream parlors, two yoga studios, enough churches for almost all faiths, several gas stations and car repair shops are all within easy walking distance of my house.

I can walk to Mount Pleasant Cemetery where my in-laws are buried. They’d have liked the spot I chose for them. It looks and feels like Maine which was their Paradise on Earth.

Collectively, almost all of the village, especially the neighborhoods,  looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.

I half expect actors from It’s a Wonderful Life or The Sound of Music  to bust out of the turn-of-the-century houses I walk past on my way into the village.

Not that THAT ever happens.  But, just imagine if it could.

I like to think that life in a small town is like living almost anywhere. Part of it is wonderful. Yet, a part of you me chafes against the every-day sameness of it, chasing what-if dreams down the sidewalks on the days when you want I need to escape.

And, then there are  days like yesterday was for me. When you know that for the moment, you’re where you’re meant to be. Because, sometimes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.  [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]


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