I love a quiet Monday.
Now that I’m retired, Monday isn’t the frantic, back-to-work downer that it is for those still in the rat-race, but I do have a one-hour commitment every Monday morning. This week, it got postponed until Thursday. The obligation is still there, but later. Today suddenly feels free.
George has a run to make for the newspaper and has already left. Lady has a vet appointment at 8:15, but since it’s just for a nail clip, no trauma there. The sky is cloudy, but the rain is holding off. The breeze is the kissing kind that barely ruffles my hair. It’s cool enough that I dig out jeans and a top with three-quarter sleeves.
It seems a shame to waste a free morning like this. When Lady is manicured, we drive two blocks to the bay and park along a little-used, dead-end side street.
“You wanna go for a walk?” Her eyes fly open. Now? Morning potty outside is over. It’s not after lunch yet. Now? Yeah yeah!
No one else is out. Tourists seem to get late starts. Locals are working. Only the ducks and geese are in sight, swimming lazily along the shore, doing tip-ups to pursue breakfast. A white pelican circles slowly overhead, scanning for morsels far below. Day lilies of every variety imaginable nod and dance along the walk, planted by the resort that looms to my right. No one sits on the balconies.
Lady is happy. A pee here, a dump there, sniff sniff everywhere. Toenails clicking on the sidewalk, nose buried in the grass, ferreting out a dried-worm treat. (She’s a beagle. What do you expect?) A young, brown-skinned boy passes us up, a bright orange shopping bag in one hand, a fishing pole in the other. Eyes front, don’t talk to strangers. Brand new shoes and up-to-date clothes. Maybe not all the tourists sleep in late.
Lady turns onto the old railroad bridge, now a groomed trail with benches and bushes. Extra tugs on the leash and an intent forward thrust alert me to some shoreline interest. It’s a cat, feral perhaps, crouched near the water, eying us from the safety of the undergrowth. No, Lady. It’s not a bunny. This cat’s not for you. She turns begrudgingly back to the trail.
Boats bob gently at the marina docks on one side, gulls and waterbirds flock around Dunlap Reef on the other side. A siren from a police car disturbs the quiet, but lack of cars gets him across the steel bridge without hesitation. The sound fades, and it’s just sniffing Lady and the rustling leaves again. The breeze smells faintly of fish.
A U-turn at the end of the trail that juts into the bay, and back the way we came. A jogger meets us, issues a “good morning” without pause. He quickly catches us again after his own U-turn, legs pumping, arms tucked close to his side. He puts my amble to shame, but I’m not feeling guilty at all. We pass the fishing boy, who has his pole out of the water and pliers in his hand. Something didn’t go quite right, I guess. He still tends carefully to business without a glance, so I still don’t speak.
The amble gets us back to the car–after I toss the pink doggy bag into a trash can. Then off to home, where flowers bloom on the deck, and comfy chairs beckon. Lady crashes under my desk while I write this, but I’ll be back to the chairs for Morning Prayers as soon as I post. And if the rain holds off.
I love a quiet Monday.