It's still the pandemic and I'm still staying at home. Instead of walking at the park or on a walking track or at the mall, I'm walking on the road near our house.
I've changed my route since a cheerful young dog insisted on following me home if I went down Windy Hill to the cul-de-sac and back. Now, I leave home, turn left, turn right at Daniel Drive crossing the road, go past the university president's residence down to the Daniel Drive cul-de-sac, and home. I see some berry bushes before reaching the president's house, and I've been waiting to see if ripe berries show up. But the bushes are about 12 feet from the road, with a section of tall grass between the road and the bushes, and I'm constantly in mind of Dr. Houston Stallworth's admonition, "Take a quick look-see before you step." That bit of wisdom was imparted when my mobile home was being set up on his property in August 1968 before I began my 46+ year career at Fort Valley State, or as some like to say, "The Fort Valley State University." (It was a college then.)
Dr. Stallworth said this when we saw a relatively small rattlesnake on the lot where we were setting up. Those bushes on Daniel Drive today look like a prime location for snakes. In fact, I saw a black snake go into the bushes closer to the president's house just the other day.
Since my Daniel Drive walk is a little short, I thought I'd try turning right out of my driveway, walking down to the next driveway, then turning back and heading to Daniel Drive. And guess what I discovered--blackberries along the road in the grass! Today was my second day bringing a small paper sack and picking the ripe ones. It is hard to step between the little plants, not quite bushes or vines, and not step right on top of some berries. While I was concentrating on where I was planting my feet, a truck driver stopped along side of me and said, "Watch out for rattlesnakes!"
"I am," I said, and I gave the ok sign with my fingers. But I admit that I watched my step even more closely on the rest of my walk.
I'm fascinated by the way different experiences that we have connect. That's why my stream of consciousness is so active (and I leave people behind in my conversations so frequently). Today’s blackberries remind me of the times, only two years ago, when our granddaughter Alana was three, or maybe it was when she was two. My daughter-in-law Andrea, Alana, and I would go to the berry patch in a vacant lot around the corner from their house in Grant Park, in Atlanta. I didn't think anything about snakes there, although, I admit, I did see a snake in the weeds on the edge of their property when they first moved into their house in Grant park.
Maybe I can write a poem about snakes and berries some time. But for now, a stream-of-consciousness blog will have to suffice.
Observations on the subjects of friends, family, country, cultures and nature.