One of the many things I’ve learned is a truly good wandering companion cannot be bought. I have tried, and none have worked out. On he other hand, there have been three …
I met Dutch at a friend’s house on Adak, an island about halfway out the Aleutian Islands chain. One day, Dutch – a Yellow Lab and Irish Setter mix – wanted to go home with me. It turned out my friend was leaving the island, and Dutch could not accompany him.
The situation repeated two years later, when it was my turn to depart, but in those 24 months, Dutch and I were nearly inseparable. We wandered the tundra, and when I would go to the store he waited outside – allowing passers-by to stop and pet him, but never leaving his place by the door.
I, and my faithful companion Grady the Golden, wander along our favorite stream, among the vestiges of the Spring Transition.
Water gurgles and splashes over stones and boulders into a pool where a pair of Mallards paddle lazily. In a few weeks, they will be leading a brood of youngsters.[pullquote]… an owl hoo-hoo-hoooos. I flatter myself to think he’s laughing at me …[/pullquote]
Around another curve, a sextet of Canada geese hurry away. They are shy, sort of, like a group of prima donnas that want to be seen, but not looked at – and certainly not photographed.
As regular readers know, I am a strong proponent of wandering. A friend and I moseyed down to the nation’s capital Sunday, for the purpose of wandering around the National Cathedral. I love to people-watch, and am especially mindful of the contrasts among our fellow inhabitants.
[pullquote]“… a 40-month-old is entitled; a 40-year-old, not so much.”[/pullquote]Walking toward the church, we passed a sidewalk café. All the tables were full; one particularly close to the surrounding fence featured a couple adult women and several youngsters. On the ground near one kid’s seat but shoved under the fence separating pedestrians from diners, was a kids toy.
When I was a lad, my bicycle was my best friend. On it, I traveled all over the county, and probably into parts of a couple others. There were, indeed, some hills to climb on the old one-speed Western Flyer bicycle, but coasting down them – especially the mile-long 400-foot drop into town – was absolutely exhilarating.
[pullquote]“(Today’s) children probably won’t live as long as our generation.” – Tom Jolin[/pullquote]A Saturday ride might be a 50-mile loop to Kingfield and Eustis, along the Carrabassett River and other places that, in retrospect, sound almost exotic. In my ’tween-hood, they were simply along the way, sure to include a stop at Mr. Richards’ Shell station for a Mars bar, or Proberts’ store for a tube of Necco candy wafers and a Nehi soda, respectively, the latter pulled from the depths of a red Coke cooler filled with water and melting ice.