Many of my neighbors own dogs. I see them especially in the morning during my walk, and in the evening from my bay window or my driveway, for two hours or so before dark. There they are - purebreds and mutts, little guys and behemoths, grizzled elders and manic pups. At the ends of their leashes are their owners, who walk singly or in pairs, with or without kids or strollers. What all the owners have in common is a plastic bag for what we used to call "dog doo" - as in, "Mom, I stepped in dog doo." That was in the days before the plastic bags.
I've mentioned before that my husband Art and I are decluttering and rightsizing our house, garage, underdecks and shed. For the most part, I take pictures of what I'm letting go of and post them on a Facebook page called "Buy Nothing Brier." Usually someone expresses an interest, I give them my address, and they come by to pick up their treasure on our front porch. Art's method is to put the items in our gravel parking area behind a hand-painted "FREE" sign. We've agreed that if something isn't taken in a week, we will dispose of it in another way.
So Art had been storing two scooters in the shed. I don't know how or when he acquired them, and I know they've never been used by anyone in our family. He just now said, "I got them at two different times. Maybe at a garage sale." He put the scooters out in the gravel area almost two weeks ago but neither of us had gotten around to taking them to Goodwill.
This evening I cleaned out the litter box and was taking the bag to the trash can at the curb. A man was walking past the driveway. In his right hand was the handle of his golden retriever's leash. Slung over his left shoulder was the blue scooter.
The man grinned at me. "Okay if I take this scooter?"
"Sure." I said.
"I'm expecting a son next Wednesday and I'd like to fix it up for him."
I congratulated him and asked if this was his first child. He said yes. I asked if he was nervous. He grinned again. "Yes."
I said, "You know, you could take the other scooter too. The wheels on that one are in a little better shape."
"Nah, it's pink. I'll pick up more wheels. I just want the frame of the scooter. You know, I used to ride a scooter just like this when I was a kid."
I waved as they walked on, thinking about the baby boy being born next Wednesday. He has a cool dad.
I'm quite a bit older than the young man walking his dog, so the scooters of my childhood looked different, but I still remember the pleasure of the ride. I'm glad we didn't get around a drive to Goodwill.