Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Stoop to Conquer

I enjoy walking around Norwich be it after dinner or on weekend afternoons, more so as the weather improves and have convinced myself I see a different side of us when I'm a pedestrian than when I'm driving from one place to another.

Sometimes I bite off nearly more than I can hike. There was a Sunday last fall when I, with our daughter, Michelle, along for company (and as it turned out because she had correctly guessed her dad's sense of distance was in need of a tune-up), walked from our house on Lincoln Avenue to Poppy and Rye, that delicious destination and great bakery in Taftville and back again.

I'll admit now I was a little surprised at how much longer that journey was on my legs than I had mapped it in my head. On our way home, we encountered two candidates for City Council who were investing their shoe leather and going door to doors to get elected (and it paid off for both of them, as they proved they had sole).

Easter Sunday was a tune-up for the walking seasons ahead, I hope, as I set off from Lincoln Avenue up Washington Street (though I always say 'down') to the Norwichtown Commons to make and buy a salad from the grocery store to take to work on Monday.

It was a March morning with grey skies and temperatures near forty; considering the previous Sunday we were bracing for winter's return on the first day of spring, it was decent enough for walking. With all the snow, I hope, now gone, I had the unhappy experience of realising just how much discarded fast food wrappers, hot drink and cold soda cups and assorted other detritus we have lining our streets. I had forgotten to take along a small empty bag to help keep Norwich clean. Too bad really because it was a target-rich environment.

Where Washington intersects with Lafayette, across from Backus, where a new sidewalk desperately needed was installed last fall, the short bushes that parallel the sidewalk are choking on every kind of crap tossed, I suspect, by uncaring and careless cretins from the cars and trucks speeding by on both streets.

I've never understood how gravity works, I guess. A person can hold a full coffee container or soda cup perhaps for hours, but when it's empty it is suddenly so heavy, it somehow flies right out the window of a moving vehicle and ends up on the side of the road. Seriously?

There's no shortage of junk on the grass strip between the fence at Backus and the sidewalk as Washington makes its way to the intersection of  2 and 32 on the left and Harland Road on the right.

And maybe I've lost a step as I've (aged) improved, but even moving briskly I am barely halfway through the crosswalk at both Lafayette and Washington and the next intersection near the Leffingwell House Museum before the 'don't walk' light starts to flash (so I guess I should run?).

Speaking of the Leffingwell, their new Walk Norwich sign looks terrific out in front of the house and you can check it out for yourself when they open for the season this Saturday morning at 11. You can sample Leffingwell Chocolate and listen to the Nutmeg Junior Volunteer Ancient Fife and Drum Corps.

So lace up your walking shoes and come on out. And while we're all out walking in the coming weeks (and months) please consider bringing along a trash bag and helping out along the way by picking up some of the roadside unattractiveness.

Every litter bit hurts but both the walking and the cleanup will do each of us a world of good.
-bill kenny    

No comments: