As you might know, I walk in the morning. Most of the time I go to the YMCA to walk on the second floor track that makes a loop around the pool below on the east side and the gymnasium below on the west side. In the summer, when school lets out, groups of children are involved in YMCA youth programs. This is a good thing for the children, but not so good for a geezer like myself. This morning I stopped to check out the scene. I poked my head in the door just long enough to realize that I didn’t need to enter. One or two screaming kids are tolerable, but not hoards of the little fun lovers. I did an about face, got into the car and drove to Commons Park in North Riverside.
On most summer days Commons Park is the place to be with its two lovely ponds, ducks with hatch-lings, geese and a Blue Heron who fishes in the ponds every year. The air is fresh and it is perfect for walking. Today I looked around and could not see the Blue Heron anywhere. I wondered about that, but went for my first lap, which, according to the FitBit, is about 0.75 miles. On my second lap I spotted the Heron. He was on the railing of the little bridge. What a majestic critter! However, to his left is a playground and it was full of screaming kids. The Bird watched one of the boys chasing ducks around, and I swear, that Blue Heron, just like me at the Y, knew better than to stick around. He took off and flew out of sight. I don’t know if there is a moral to this story, but somewhere around my 4th lap I met up with a guy who I had said hello to a few times last year. But he didn’t have his dog with him. He always walked his dog in the park even though the sign says No Dogs. His dog, a Border Collie, was really well behaved. I asked him. Where’s your dog? He looked at me and gulped, he could hardly get the word out, “gone.” He had a tear in his eye and looked away. I just said, sorry. Maybe I should have kept my trap shut.