Walking with a Notebook

I woke early this morning, before the sun, before the dog, and finished my normal morning routine, including breakfast and newspaper. I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Rosie, our rescued Havanese mix, came slowly stretching, one end at a time, around the corner for her morning belly rub. Another creature of habit.
“Time for our walk,” she said.
“Yes, Rosalita. Let me unplug my phone and turn on POTUS and we can go.”
“Speaking of going, Dad, let’s get a move on.”
Now, I don’t know if she really calls me Dad but I don’t think her little brain is big enough to think “Father.” Of course, I am not really her father, or dad, either. She is obviously adopted.
Remembering our assignment for the writer’s group today, I set the phone back down and picked up the steno notepad I bought at the office store the day before. The steno pad is one of those with the wire binding on the top and two columns, which I ignore, stiff brown cardboard cover and light green paper. I like these notebooks because they fold all the way over flat, although I only write on one side of the paper.
Our plan was to go for a walk at dawn and not take the phone, just the notepad, and a pen of course. I like Pilot G-2 blue pens. They don’t smudge and write a bold script; too bad no one but me can read my script, and I have to decipher it within a couple of hours or it is lost forever.  I was to pay attention during our walk and write my thoughts and impressions as we went. It’s too bad the steno pad is too big to fit in a pocket and I will have to either carry it or stuff it into my belt.
“Yes, Rosie,” I said, clipping her pink braided leash to her identical pink braided collar, opening the door and leaving the house.
We walked to the end of our street, sniffing each bush and peeing on every lawn (her, not me.) We continued down the sidewalk to the gate barring the way to the paved walking path that meanders through the community grounds behind our home. Following the steep path down the hill and across the little wooden bridge, we turned left and walked up the equally steep hill to the cement bridge with wrought iron railing. I remembered how beautiful this little glen was, especially during autumn leaf season; tree limbs umbrella the path which divides steep slopes strewn both up and down with multicolored leaves.
“Are there leaf peepers here, like there were in your home in Vermont?” she queried.
Without thinking I replied, “Probably, it’s very pretty here. Wait a minute! How did you know about leaf peepers? You’ve never been to Vermont.”
“Squirrel!” she squealed, changing the subject while jumping to the left, tightening the leash.
“You can’t catch a squirrel. They are too fast for you. Anyway, it’s at lease a hundred yards away. How did you ever see it?”
“I would be faster if I didn’t have to drag you behind me. C’mon Dad, let’s go down the hill to the little stream at the bottom. I bet I could catch him there.”
“No. You are more likely to scare up a deer, or rabbit, or worse, a skunk. Anyway, we need to work on our project, and the stream is wet, and you don’t like wet.”
I untucked the notebook from my belt and reached for the pen I had clipped inside my shirt collar, or rather was supposed to have clipped there.
“Rats! Notebook and no pen. How am I going to remember our walk and this gorgeous little glen?”
“No problem, Dad. Let’s go home and I will describe it to you as you type it into your laptop.”
We retraced our steps, back to our home. The next day, with the labels still on it, I returned the notebook to the office store. Who needs it with a dog with a little, uncomplicated brain and excellent vision?


About Dave Oney

Dave Oney was born mid last century in Middlebury, Vermont. He received his BS in Chemistry and worked as a polymer chemist in Massachusetts and New Jersey. He became a microscopist (someone who studies little bitty things using a microscope) and photomicrographer (someone who photographs little bitty things) before settling into a 35-year career in technical sales of scientific imaging equipment (the science of digitally recording itty bitty things, sending the image to a computer for analysis.) He designed and created a number of products contributing to this field. He is (was) proficient in several computer languages and is currently working on mastering English. After making a few more paradigm shift career changes Dave and his wife, Fran, retired and moved closer to their children and granddaughters and now live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.
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1 Response to Walking with a Notebook

  1. Pingback: Short-short Stories | "What If…" by Dave Oney

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