Entertaining meanderings while gazing out my window

Gazing out my window is still my favored pastime during the shelter-in-place. It’s amazing that what I see outdoors never fails to entertain me. A lot of times, it beats watching TV. Because what I see provokes meanderings of the mind, some amusing, some puzzling or intriguing and even some, nostalgic.

I notice more bikers pass by than before the shelter-in. After all, the street in front of my house is perfect for biking, especially this time when few cars drive by. Besides, the tree-lined street offers a scenic view that makes it more enjoyable for cyclists and pedestrians.

Strange to see is that the bikers, compared to pedestrians that walk by, show greater enjoyment of their freedom and activity as they whoosh by – almost like an infectious lighthearted abandon. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not judging – just observing and sharing impression, maybe a crazy one at that.

But for this reason, this baby boomer Lola wishes she could bike again. My first attempt to learn to bike was when I was an exchange student in a high school in Pennsylvania. My host American sister coaxed me into riding down the hill on a very lovely Saturday afternoon. My first to ride a bike! And silly as I was when I was young – I took the challenge. I felt like a princess on a spree the first 15 minutes, until the spill. Good thing, there were no cars passing by then. A few bruises, yes. But worse still was my embarrassment. I quickly looked around to check for any audience. A neighbor working on his yard and my American sister. Not bad. With some ouch, I picked myself up and walked the bike the next 20 minutes home.

I tried the bike again when my children were in the primary grades. While my husband pampered his hobby in the company’s community garden, the kids and I went riding in the large parking lot. It was absolute euphoria. I remembered the basics. That time, I felt like a queen shooting the breeze as I circled the parking lot several times – until the spill. The children were concerned, of course. But I picked myself up faster than they could rush to my side, while yelling to their father to come help me. Again, like my first bike spill, a few bruises, but a worse pain, my embarrassment to a couple of company employees walking out to the parking lot.

So today, as I watched the bikers outside my home, I wondered, should this baby boomer Lola try it again? Actually, I’m tempted – and if I do, certainly without that reckless, lighthearted abandon that I so envy of the bikers that whoosh by.

Now, back to looking out my window. I’m waiting for the bulldog and his owner pass by. They do every afternoon. Always, the dog is with a mask; the owner is without one. I just want to see when he will give in to wearing a mask, especially now when the city and the county are starting to modify the stay-at-home orders with strict guidelines one of which is: “must wear a mask when going out of the house”. When I go out, I will be wearing a face mask. Best to adhere to the guidelines – they’re for all our own good.

Talking about going out — I will be using my car to drive. But I’ve been stubborn. Someone advised me to turn my car on occasionally to preserve the battery, or to check the engine. Well, I haven’t, for two months! Never went out except to throw my garbage. Now, I’m thinking of going to the car parked on the street right in front of my house. I’m just afraid, the battery won’t respond. Keeping my fingers crossed. And seriously, will I get used to the driving stress again? Hmmm … maybe I should learn to bike.

On the other side of the street in front of my home is a lush yard with bright yellow daisies crowning the top of the bushes. Gazing at them has always been the highlight of looking out the window. Today, however, the yellow balls of flowers don’t appear as massive or perky as the past days/weeks. The weather has turned warmer. The daisies must be needing more water. Strange, I feel like dashing over to give the daisies a generous douse. Wonder if the owner would mind. All I want is for those flowers to become lush and happy-looking again – that certainly would make me enjoy fixing my gaze on them. Funny, those neighbors didn’t plant the daisies for me, I tell myself.

I made a quasi-scientific survey of the number of cars that drive by in five minutes. More than three weeks ago – three drove by in five minutes. Last week, eight passed in five minutes. Today, 14 passed in five minutes. On any regular normal day (before the shelter-in), more than 30 would have driven by in five minutes in both directions. Very understandable. Life is trying to get back to at least semi-normal, but not just quite yet.

So, as we continue to shelter in, I stick to my favorite pastime – gazing out my window … and letting  my thoughts meander.

Linda P. Jacob