Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Shortcut Through The Woods

There are at least two ways to get home if you are a kid. The grownups' way (down the street, up the sidewalk) or the best way (through the woods, around someone's backyard, across a brook, or whatever way is the shortest). That's why, when parents rang their respective "supper is ready" bells, you never saw any kids going home on the street. Why take the long way?

Guess I'm still a kid. If I'm at one point, coming back to my house, I take the street; if at another, then it's "where did he go and how did he get here" time. Up through a company's parking lot, then cut between some cars, go up a slight hill, across where someone's garage used to be, cut through a small wooded area (well, where it used to be before I cut out some wild-growing foliage), up an embankment and through another parking lot. A lot quicker than going down one street and up another.

People tell me to act my age. I see people acting my age and they are stuck in their ways, starting to act a bit grumpy, awfully worried about how they come across. When you start getting older, you approach the age when you can tell people to * themselves. You've spent years playing the game, dressing according to other people's standards; now you can bloom. As my mother once said, when asked why she didn't dye her hair, "I'm a gray-haired old lady and that's how I like it."

If anyone reading this is around when they carry me out, tell the pallbearers secretly to veer off and take a shortcut through the woods. Yeah, you'll startle a lot of people, but my friends will understand.

2 Comments:

Blogger Reading Reader said...

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
...
The woods are lovely,dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

May 02, 2006 4:24 PM  
Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

Cold Josh here.....I have yet to find a shortcut through the woods. It might be shorter geometrically, but how can we measure distance against pleasure.

When I was a kid we had these woods called ''The Woods''. (At seven years of age, basics reign). Our trail would cut from the corner of California St. and Broadbridge Ave. and we'd pick up along the edge of Tanner's Brook and come out on King St. at the viaduct. It was a boys' woods, but sometimes a girl would come along with us on our way to or from school. How many times have I arrived home with wet feet!

And now, seemingly centuries later I am still taking shortcuts be they in thw woods, on dirt roads (YESSS), or on the road traveling. Funny that while getting off the adults safe and direct thoroughfare to get where they are aiming, I prefer to take the time to ramble. Surprisingly I have never gotten lost although I have discovered a heck of a lot of new places and secrets.

Isn't it fun being a kid and coming home with muddy sneakers, a newfound object in a pocket and the knowledge that only we know about the apple tree in an abandoned field where we saw two deer.

The day after I retired I was out collecting fiddleheads and I glanced at my watch. I thought, no, I a mretired, this watch is an anchor on my lifestyle, so I took it off and threw it away. since then shortcuts are part of my daily life....Try it, you'll like it

May 02, 2006 5:07 PM  

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