The Propeller

Tonight, getting a walk was a bonus.  I was at my daughters softball tournament most of the day.  I left them with a 3 hour break between their last win and their final game for the championship.  (Please don’t judge me as a parent for not staying for the whole day.  I am an addict and had to get my walk on.)

As with most walks, this one was almost entirely unmemorable…..until the home stretch.  As I went into the last half of the final mile, I saw a couple of familiar bodies coming toward me.  (This is not the only time we have crossed paths.  The crossings have been almost as frequent on the front end of my first mile as the back end of the last mile.)  They admitted once the “crossing” occurred they thought it was my stride coming at them.  Once I was convinced it was them, I put my arms out in a symbolic hug combo shoulder shrug.  Translated:  “It’s you?!”

I have seen these folks in a variety of different modes.  They have passed me in their car as I walked thru their neighborhood.  They have been seen pushing their granddaughters while walking their well-behaved leashless dog.  On a nice Sunday following a big rain, the husband was seen pulling uncut grass from “our” side of the fence and feeding them to the grateful longhorns on the other side of the barbed barrier.  I have seen them walking their dog with two others rescued dogs.  They were paid to walk the two rescued dogs by one of their neighbors.  They tried to tolerate the dog-hating, blue-eyed, wolf-like dog, but his owners decided they really only felt obligated to rescue one dog.  Now, they only walk their dog and NO rescue dogs.

What greeted me tonight was not new to the trail, but it certainly was new to my friends.  The male of this duo has been known to have a bad back and a bad knee.  To keep his wife company and to minimize the pain, he was sited straddling his bicycle.  While he may have got some “normal” riding in, his primary mode was propeller-mode.  With his legs extended, he was doing a pushing off move with his legs while balancing on the bike.  It allowed him to roughly maintain the same pace as his wife with the option to race ahead to catch any purse snatchers who may have wandered into our otherwise low crime park.

We did talk for a few minutes before parting.  We talked about the network (also Amazon and Netflix) shows we were proud and not so proud to be fans of.  They encouraged me as I parent my kids (Their kids are older….note the granddaughter comment above), and they let me know I am probably not the first parent to make a mistake or twelve on their kids.  Lastly, we just gave each other a little encouragement from someone we don’t share a home with  (Admittingly, they are much better encouragers than I am.  The wife is such a nice person.  She quickly flips every flaw into a reason to be optimistic.)

As the time came to move along, we said our goodbyes.  The husband propelled himself as he stayed near his wife.  And, I smiled broadly thanking God for the people he sneaks into my life.


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