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Shannon Brady

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a walk on the suburban wild side


So it snowed about an inch last night. My little VW beetle was perfectly capable of plowing through, but after an invigorating 90 minute yoga practice at home with the BF in our suburban apartment home studio, driving anywhere just felt all wrong this gorgeous day.

We were pining for a long walk, cuppa Joe, and a spin through the local CVS. Big fun in the burbs.

Simple enough. CVS and Starbucks are a mile or two away. We’re fit. Love to walk. Hand in hand. Even bought a ‘walking trails of NJ’ guide a few days ago for future springtime treks.

Sunshine flooding into our studio, Ganesha mural smiling down on us promising to remove any obstacles between here and there, we rose out of svasana, swapped our Prana pants for parkas, and headed outdoors.

Since moving to the burbs (a temporary tolerance until we can work in an urban lifestyle that doesn’t include 2+hours of fanny time behind the wheel for my fiance), we’ve developed an unconscious (until now) reticence toward conquering any errands without fanny time behind the wheel. Walk? Nah, we’ll just drive.

But not today.

The first five minutes were awesome. Glove in glove, sidewalk shoveled, “hey, baby – this was a GREAT idea!”

Things go downhill from there. Literally.

The long drive out of our apartment complex is seriously cambered. Meaning, unless your right leg is a foot shorter than your left, be prepared to stroll at a 30 degree angle. Oh, and the 3-foot high speed bumps need to be navigated around as they encroach into the measly 3-inch wide shoulders. No sidewalks here. We’re in the burbs, remember?

Back on level ground, we approach the highway.

“Hey, babe. Should we walk on this side or that?” A little quibble ensues…

“Into oncoming traffic so they can see us.”

“No babe. The oncoming side curves to the left, so it’s a blind corner and they’ll smack right into us before they knew what hit their car. Was that a human. Or just another deer?”

A truce – we alternate left and right another mile or so.

So much for hand in hand though. No sidewalks still. Which means single-file trekking is our only option.

After conquering the bridge and keeping the motorist dirt/snow sludge spray below waist level, we then have another executive decision to make.

“Um, how do we cross the 7-lane intersection that doesn’t offer the convenience of a pedestrian crosswalk, babe?”

The BF, taking on role as city planner, works out a navigation plan and assures me it’s the safest option. We proceed to high tail it at the first break in traffic and pray to anyone above we make it to other side unscathed.

Joy upon joy we do, and finally settle into a cushy Starbucks banquet with a cuppa Joe.

Next big decision. Walk back or hitch hike?

Happy suburban trails!


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