We all carve out our routines throughout the day. Once I became acquainted with the Waterboard gym, and committed to get more fit, I began to rearrange my day. With my Papa Daycare client arriving at 7:35 am and wanting to avoid as many people as possible (I'm a people person, ask anyone), I began setting the alarm for first 4:00, then 3:00.
Walking a treadmill for a couple hours is deathly dull stuff, even when the TV is running Rachel and Chris reruns, each equally apoplectic about the world, and probably rightly so. Every once in a while I'll take a look at state-run Fox, but that gives me a pain in my duodenum. CNN puts me to sleep and TCM is usually running Japanese samurai retrospectives. On those days when I can't take it anymore, I will take a nice walk around the block. The block here is roughly 4 miles and is fun in that I have things to hear and see that aren't yelling at me.
My first mile is mostly residential with its dark spots and bucolic quiet. I pass another apartment complex and a Methodist church. I usually see a car plodding along the streets with a blinking light on its top. That is a police volunteer car running the area watching out for anything out of place. I also pass the Shepherd residence.
The second mile places me on East Bay a main artery in the area. It is a six lane east-west street that, even at this hour, is hosting a handful of cars and commercial trucks. I pass a small shopping plaza that contains a car stereo shop, a Christian Science reading room and a pretty cool looking barber shop. It is called Men's Department. Look it up (Men's Department Largo). It is a place to get a haircut, shoot pool, watch a ball game and talk with men about things men talk about. BFE has something similar at the Community Center, sans the haircut, and that's only because I've never asked for one.
It is kind of amazing the number of cycles I see at this early hour. Are they going to work? Or are they taking advantage of the cooler temps and sparse traffic? I don't know, but if my bike was back down here, godforbid, those are the hours I'd ride.
Normal hour things happen in this quiet urban hush, too. People need things, the nearby 7-11 is usually busy, and old Floridians find their ways to leave the state.
My third mile takes me by the Largo High School, home of the Packers, Largo Park, Carib, Motors, and Hampton Inn and Suites. There are some points that I always seem to pick up the pace and maybe jog a bit. That sidewalk on a rise is one of those places. Slow and steady. Slow and Steady, hmmm. Sounds like a good epitaph. Applies to most things.
This is Dunkin Donuts in my 4th and final mile. Even at this hour there is a car parked on the side and some lights are on in the back. You can't really miss that the windows are always clouded by condensation. But you can smell the product. Day after day the permanent smell of good stuff permeates the grounds. Like Pavlov's pooch, my mouth waters.
Not far from DD is a Burger King franchise. This is where Alfred and I made daily visits for our afternoon ice cream snacks. Note that their windows are always clear. I'm no expert but would I be correct in assuming drippy windows means there is some imbalance in the heating/cooling matrix?
A bit down from the high school is a pond. These sounds were bombarding me one morning.
The last stretch is a walk next to Wal-Mart (open) and the bus stops (both sides of street) that are usually homes to the homeless. Over to the right is a large retaining ditch that is usually wet and contains garbage that has flown in - wrappers from nearby fast food joints, boxes and cardboard from people scrambling to open their purchases from Wally, and yet, there is a sprinkler system that is in place to make it nice and green. Odd. Strange. But wouldn't you really expect it from this state of odd and strange?
Once back at Waterboard I will turn the coffee pot on and see if there is anything new happening in the world on TV, and sit down at the computer and write this post for your enjoyment and enlightenment. Again - strange and odd.