Stroller Walking

The sidewalks of Houston are a study in extreme disrepair.  They are broken, multi-level, interrupted, sometimes non-existent, often blocked by vehicles, frequently encroached on by rowdy plant matter, and definitely not wheelchair or stroller-friendly.  As a result, I expected to grow extremely annoyed with my neighborhood while walking with the stroller.  The opposite has happened; I have grown more fond of this area as our daily walks have caused me to notice more features which have further endeared it to me.  Also I feel gratitude for the sturdy construction of our stroller.

I discovered, and later visited, a museum of print history.  It is on a side street and in an unassuming building that I almost didn't notice when I initially passed by.  Eventually it turned out to be a pleasant and stroller-friendly activity while my mom was visiting for the weekend.  It was especially excellent that there was a food truck out front and we were pleased with said truck's offerings.

I have also located two parks previously unnoticed.  One is a young family magnet and has amazing wide flat sidewalks, a big grassy area, and a playground which is quite nice.  The other one is a little tiny pocket park with two benches and lots of trees located randomly in-between two homes on a quiet block near my favorite coffee shop.

I have grown even more fond than I previously was of my grocery store.  In the past I avoided the store in the evenings during the very busy post-work-dinner-hour rush, but lately it has served as a nice window into neighborhood socializing.  Aside from it being a pleasant time of year to be out walking and good for both the baby and I to get some fresh air, stroller walks have become my main tool for powering through the witching hour.  As a result, I have stopped trying to cook dinner in the early evening and instead pick up something fresh to eat from the grocery deli.  Seeing all of the people out on the patio, splitting bottles of wine purchased in the store and enjoying their deli dinners in the fresh fall air, makes me happy.  Even though it is a chain grocery store, it has a friendly, neighborly vibe that I appreciate.  Plus who can argue with a grocery store that boasts a wine and beer bar and a gourmet macaroni and cheese station?

Walking with the baby in these evenings has also given me a more personal link to my neighbors.  I've also been able to meet the owner of the magic yard near our house: the yard in which a family was dining outside last Thanksgiving and it looked so inviting and cozy that I wished for us to be invited to join them even though we had never met that family.  It turns out that he is a very sweet guy with three grown children, and he is also the photographer who makes greeting cards with photos of Houston that I have actually purchased before at the aforementioned grocery store.

Every afternoon I look forward to our stroller outing; I'm thankful for the fresh air this time of year and for the new discoveries that brighten my days.  And I'm especially thankful to have my husband home this month to walk with us.