|Lynden is known for it's Dutch heritage, tree-lined Main Street, abundance of churches, and meticulously groomed yards.|
So without pictures, save one I took this afternoon, I'll try to paint a word picture of what I saw in 2064 steps.
I head toward the City Park, just a few blocks from my house. Underneath a canopy of old growth firs and maple trees, Fishtrap Creek meanders through the center of the park. A pair of towhead girls of Dutch descent I guess-twins--maybe 3 years old; are wading in the creek with dad. They spot a fish and squeal, reaching in vain with chubby hands to catch the slippery thing. One goes kerplunk on the slippery rocks and then the other...and now daddy has to carry both crying toddlers to the shore. One the other side of the creek a family is eating cake and singing 'Happy Birthday' while the birthday girl opens her Barbie Town House and uncle shows off his new yellow lab puppy. I'd like to stop and pet that dog, but I don't.
Moving on I pass a pair of muscle-bound teenage boys, clad only in running shorts and Nikes. They're having a chin-up contest on the bars. Preening, hoping that some girls will happen by and notice that they are buff. Too bad, it's just me; I'm 55 and though I notice; I'm not too impressed with their pecs.
I'm now in the darkest part of the park, and wonder if it's wise to be walking here alone at dusk. But this is Lynden...where people return lost wallets and stop when you cross the street-where the neighbors help you fix your car; and practically the whole town is related, or a relative of a relative. It's not Mayberry RFD, but it's pretty darn close.
Across the railroad tracks, I walk through the 'industrial section' of town. Industrial, in Lynden means a couple of berry processing plants and the milk plant. Though well-past the dinner hour, things are hoppin'. Hair-netted forklift drivers are scooping up pallets of fragrant berries and whisking them into the plant where more people with hairnets are unloading them.Trucks are coming and going-delivering milk and berries. I think that I live in the 'land of milk and honey!' One of the large cinder block buildings has been tagged with graffiti. "Not here," I think. "Perhaps it's only wannabes. After all, its hard to be too tough in a little one-horse-town that rolls up the sidewalks Sunday and who's police department know almost every soul." Still... I decide to be a bit more cautious about where I walk alone at dusk.
Back toward town I ramble, down past the Senior Center. Adelia's car is there. She's learning to play bridge. Adelia is a good friend. She only weighs 100 pounds, so tiny is she, but her heart is as big as all outdoors. She's a first rate sign language interpreter for deaf children...and she's a first rate friend. We're going out for lunch this week and I think maybe I'll go in and say hello and firm up our lunch date; but decide against it. Adelia's only 60, but many of her Senior Center friends are pretty old. I daren't interrupt the bridge game and cause a stir among the old folks!
Just down the way, the 3rd Christian Reformed Church has a garden I want to see; out by their parking lot. Zucchini, corn, potatoes, leeks, greens of every kind and beans are growing in profusion. The sign says 5 Loaves Farm...after the Bible story of Jesus feeding the multitude with only 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
How very wonderful! I decide to come back another day with my camera and a notepad.
Down the alley a block or so an older man is working on a beat-up car. He looks pretty rough himself-unshaven and too thin. As I pass he stops working to say a polite, "hello." I wonder if 5 Loaves Farm might give him some fresh vegetables...I hope so.
Summer in the Northwest means longer days. It's 69 degrees and close to eight o'clock but still light outside. The sky's a moody greyish-blue and the clouds are tinged with mauve. I'm so intently studying the color of those clouds that I trip on a crack in the sidewalk. I catch myself and look about to see if anybody saw and might be laughing; but no one's watching. I marvel at my own egocentricity...always thinking someone's watching when usually nobody cares. The guy across the street is too busy weeding his geraniums to even look up. He's smarter than me, I think. I usually go out at noon and sweat in the mid-day sun. He waits for the evening shade. Then I notice the Comcast van sitting in the driveway. I've been mad at Comcast for awhile. My computer's running slower since they switched to X-finity. Just thinking about it makes me almost dislike that guy until I think about the fact that he's home working in the yard at 8 o'clock after working all day long and putting up with cranky customers like me who act as though it's his fault that their computers don't load pictures like they used to.
I've reached North Park Street, just a few blocks from home. North Park, not so long ago, was a horse pasture. The pasture was neatly subdivided, sold and built into a neighborhood of fancy homes with stone facades where neatly trimmed emerald greens partition off one postage-stamp yard from another. I myself preferred the quack grass with barbed-wire fences and Welsh ponies. Quite a few of the new homes are for sale; an indication that our little corner of the country has not escaped the recession unscathed. So even though the driveways of these lovely homes are line with Beemers and SUV's, I'm not so sure but what behind those double mahogany doors with beveled-glass windows; there isn't someone sitting in their HGTV designer kitchen with head in hands, wondering how to pay for it all. We know many folks who gambled that the 'bubble' would never burst and lost their businesses, homes and cars. It's been sad to see; but here's hoping that Americans will be the wiser because of it.
Step 2030 finds me in front of my house. Koda is barking wildly at the front window. She doesn't recognize me; she thinks I'm a hotten-tot like that mongrel that passes by twice a day and gets her dander up. I stand on the sidewalk and throw up my hands...
"Really! Your gonna bark at ME?"
"Ruh-ro!" she says with a sheepish look on her face as she greets me at the door. Kelly's watching Feherity on the golf channel and and Posie cat's snoozing on the sofa. I fall into the recliner, give Koda a pat and check my pedometer... 2064 steps.