I grew up in Suburbs. Several of them. Really, for a long time, I didn't know there was any other place to live; my world was just one broad suburb stretching out in every direction. Only people living in the pages of The National Geographic clued me in to other options.
I have fond memories of using the sidewalks. My sister and I walked all over the place. We took "penny walks" (where you flip heads to go left and tails to go right every time you come to an intersection), afternoon rambles, and general explorations into new neighborhoods. Sidewalks went everywhere. We admired other people's yards, we ran through errant sprinklers, we doodled with chalk.
In high school, I started walking home from school barefoot (in fair weather, mind you). As soon as I was outside the school building, I took off my shoes, and carried them home. I felt so wild and Bohemian. Sidewalks enabled this habit/delusion.
Then, one day, my family moved away from Suburbia and took up residence in Small Town, America. If I ever get to talk to Shel Silverstein, I will tell him where the sidewalk ends. It's in small towns.
Some people have sidewalks. Some people have sidewalks in the process of being eaten by their lawns. Some people have eschewed with the sidewalk concept entirely. I tried taking back up my meandering habit, but it was no use. It felt weird to walk on a patchwork of lawns and sidewalks and lonely islands of concrete.
Plus, I was secretly afraid that some cranky person would chase me off their property for walking on their grass.
Now, all these years later, I live in a slightly larger town. I like small towns. I won't ever go back to Suburbia if I can help it (unless I'm visiting friends, I will certainly visit Suburbia, and even Urbia). I do miss the sidewalks, though. It's nice to visit them from time to time, and put them to use. This slightly larger town had more-than-slightly-better sidewalks. Oh, there are still chunks missing, to be sure, but they're the exception rather than the rule.
I love sidewalks
Yep, I love the sidewalks .I just admitted out loud and in public that I love a strip of continuous concrete. I love being able to walk on it.; I enjoy meandering with my husband on a date night. Taking unscheduled strolls with a child is such effective parent/child relationship time. I certainly am happy to be able to walk to the library and back without having to dodge traffic.
I am grateful for sidewalks. I feel they give a sense of connection and community to a place. I don't know about you, but I'm a lot more likely to go for a walk when there is a strip of continuous concrete to use; get some exercise, enjoy some conversation, take in the sights...who knows? Maybe even get to know my neighbors.
What are you blessed with today?