The moment the babies and I came home from the hospital I started taking a walk everyday. In 446 days, I’m convinced I haven’t missed more than 20 walks. It’s my favorite daily activity. It beats brushing my teeth, showering, and drinking coffee.
A unique feature of walking in my current locale, Wyomissing, is all of its alleys. Quite frankly, the town is bilateral. One side is boulevards, big shady trees, lumpy sidewalks, gorgeous old homes, and manicured lawns. The other side is winding alleys with driveways, garages, backyards, cars, vegetable gardens, basketball nets, and piles of junk. Of course there is also an abundance of patio tables, swing sets, and pools.
The alleys can be so overgrown and cluttered. Neighbors let their ivy go wild. They also let their DIY supplies pile up. You can hear conversations, music, and laughter. It’s inviting. You feel a sense of home.
There’s no bustle on these obscure local roads. The only vehicles consistently using this lane are the trash and recycle trucks. They aren’t a neighborhood highway. It’s a great path to trace with the babes.
As I walk the alleys and peek into my neighbors’ backyards I think of Europe. There are many visual details in the scape that remind me of the time I spent living in Germany…Narrow drives…Old trees… Half timbered houses…Fabulous flowers… Cats… Tiny garages.
As a matter of fact, Wyomissing was designed by Germans in the early 20th Century. It was previously inhabited by the Lenape indians until they were bought out by William Penn. Many years later, Wyomissing Industries, manufacturer of textile machinery, was established by the firm of Thun & Janssen along the Reading Railroad. It was in 1904-1905, that Thun and Janssen began designing the borough.
It’s quite interesting and beautiful here. No two houses are the same. Size or shape. No two streets are the same. No two lawns are the same. It’s amazing how old, and traditional, and settled a small town like this looks. With many of its structures still dating back to the early 1900’s, it is in stark contrast to the neighborhoods of El Paso from wence I most recently came.
And only the wind knows where my little family and I will end up next. But for the time as it currently be… we delight in our days one step at a time.
As my walking in El Paso inspired my #interestingtrash project on Instagram, my walking in Wyomissing has inspired a new project. In my perfect world where I have all the time in the world I will continue snapping detail shots (such as the above) and turn them into enormous, gorgeous, bright paintings. Once I have 10-15 large paintings I will display them in a gallery show titled Your Neighbor’s Yard. After which it will also be turned into a coffee table book. This will be my second published book, after the #interestingtrash coffee table book. Then, both of those books will be turned into coloring books. And by the time all of that is complete I will be old and gray.
Speaking of time… Finding the time to write these articles, on this here blog, has become a real challenge. I still enjoy it. Obviously. Even in its infrequency. So I thank you. From the bottom of my heart. For reading.
If I’m old and gray, but still alive I will make a documentary about my life. It will be called Thanks for Reading.