Monday, January 22, 2007

The Sidewalk on Speedway

Once upon a time, or however else this should start, there was a little girl named Wendy that lived at home with her Mother and Father. This past Christmas, she asked Santa for a bright pink scooter and once she opened that sparkling toy on Christmas day, it instantly became her favorite toy and her parents’ worst nightmare. One month now after Christmas, every corner is scuffed and every wall is marked with a black streak left there by the tiny front tire which found an alternative purpose as the front bumper. Wendy’s mother tells her again and again not to ride in the house, but it has been entirely too cold outside to fully enjoy the scooter, and the wood floors give a much more enjoyable smoother surface to glide on. Finally today the weather brightened as Austin enjoyed a more seasonal Texas winter day of the low 70’s, so Wendy’s begged her Father to take her to the park on her new scooter. Wendy bolted out the door, grabbed her scooter from the garage and rode down the driveway into the street. Well as hinted before with the new paint job that Wendy had given to the inside of the house, Wendy is not a very good scooter rider which is reinforced once again when she hits the family mini van parked in the street. Wendy’s Father was not very happy and told her that she should be more careful and never ride in the street, always use the sidewalk because there are no cars and it is safer. But as punishment for denting the mini van, Wendy’s Father made her walk her scooter to the park. So, looking a little sad, Wendy walked to the park with her scooter and Father beside her, on the sidewalk.

New Year’s can bring several things mind including resolutions. Most resolutions are failures, but maybe for January or only half of January, people try to give them a chance. After seeing holiday pictures of herself sent to her by her cousin, Mary decided that maybe she needed to make a resolution. This realization was further cemented once Mary stepped on scale as she instantly regretted eating so many of Aunt Anne’s sugar cookies that come in the mail every holiday season, they’re so delicious. So Mary wanted to make a change and reverse the effects that the cookies had had on her waistline. The next day she started running. A difficult habit to motivate yourself to do, but Mary was serious about her resolution. One month later, Mary is still running, a little farther each day. Her favorite place to run is just around the neighborhood because it is so convenient, and she does not enjoy the crowd on Town Lake with all of the bikers and moms with strollers. Even in the neighborhood she has to watch out other people like Wendy and other walkers, but luckily there isn’t a lot of car traffic so Mary runs in the street, not on the sidewalk.

The Bates’ family loves to do things together. They are one of those families that send out Christmas cards with everyone wearing matching snowman sweaters all sitting by the warm fireplace, and make you a little uneasy at how perfect and white their smiles are. Those Christmas cards are always a little misleading, the Bates family cannot be happy all the time, oh but they are. This joy and happiness can be seen every Sunday as they take their family bike ride around the neighborhood, enjoying the fresh air and exercise together. Because there are six total in the family, there is no way that everyone could fit on the sidewalk while still being able to ride in a group as one happy family, so the Bates ride in the street, not on the sidewalk.

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