Out, but not About

Yesterday I cleaned fallen limbs from the front yard. Last weekend’s windstorm broke dead sections from the treetops; they exploded on impact. It took quite a while to gather all the finger-length pieces (the perfect size for jamming the mower’s belt).

Eight people passed by during that time, including a family on a motley assortment of bikes and foot-operated scooters.

I felt rather sorry for a tow-headed boy who has tons of friends but no siblings. He went up and down the street several times on his push scooter. Ever aware of social distancing, he contented himself with challenging everyone and everything. A slow-moving delivery van, a girl on a bike, a cat: these were all opponents as he raced on the very edge of the blacktop.

A young girl – sophomore, I think – rolled by on a skateboard. Since she was wearing the local track hoodie, I teased her. “Is that the way a track member is supposed to travel?”

She grinned. “I’m not actually on the track team!”

Clearly, grand theft sibling’s clothes took place before my eyes.

My favorite encounter, though, was la Señora Piedra.* She was astride her motorcycle, beaming her 200-watt smile. She kindly lowered her speed to a slow roll past me.

She teaches at a Catholic Young Human Factory in the neighboring town. Whereas my Spring Break is this week, hers coincides with Holy Week.

“I’m teaching online. I hate it!”

She delivered that drive-by complaint with a big smile on her face, because neither shutdowns nor technophobia can dampen her spirits.**

*a pseudonym

**When If I grow up, I want to be like her.

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