I never know if I should grab the short leash or the fancy retractable one. The short leash was the first to be found tonight, and I attached it to Elka’s collar and headed down the street for a short walk.
Our neighborhood is a maze of cul-de-sacs surrounded by large trees. Most homes were built in the late 70’s although many have been renovated to look new. Sidewalks will appear for a stretch and then disappear. It’s not uncommon to see children playing soccer in the streets.
Elka and I continued a few more blocks until we come to section marked by an elderly care facility. But it’s not just one large building. It feels like an upscale neighborhood with modern homes and apartments scattered around a lush wooded area. The streets are lined with retro lights, and not a blade of grass is out of place. It’s immaculately maintained.
Elka tugged at the leash when she heard the deep croaking coming from the bullfrogs. We kept moving as to not become an easy target for the mosquitoes.
I decided to loop around the block one more time.
I’m amazed at the care these people put into their homes. We passed one man watering a cart full of flowers he’d placed near the street for passersby to enjoy. Another woman was hanging a new bird feeder just outside her porch.
As we neared the cross street that would take us home, I noticed an elderly woman standing on her lawn. She held her right hand over her eyes to reduce the glare while using her other hand to grasp her walker.
I turned to catch the sky ablaze in color as it was about to disappear for the day. It looked as though the sky was covered in bright orange creamsicles.
“Good evening”, I said to the woman who was now moving towards us. She asked to pet Elka. I told her that was fine. Elka loves the attention. Her stubby tail wiggled back and forth in a fashion that still makes me laugh.
Before we parted ways, we looked towards the sky one last time as the sun dropped below the horizon.
We stood there in silence. The colors disappeared. The clouds began to move in.
“I come out here each evening to watch the sunset. Because you never know when it might be your last”.
With that, she grabbed her walker with both hands and headed towards the porch at a pace that won’t make it easy for even the fleetest of mosquitoes.