They're what we look forward to as we sit in morning traffic. 

I count down the minutes to our evening stroll the moment I board the elevator to leave the office at 5:30 (or 6:00, or 6:30). 

And when we skip up the seven steps to our apartment after each ramble, we're never ready for them to end. 

Golden hour in our neighborhood is a special thing. It means letting go - of the day's mistakes, tasks, spills, responsibilities. It means quenching my desire for space. Walks give us a sense of community, as we wave at the same young couple with the Goldendoodle, get snubbed by the same 60-something-year-old lady walking her Yorkie, and see the same dad & daughter throwing a softball in their backyard. 

Don't we all crave community? I didn't realize how much I needed it until I left my tight-knit hometown for college. And then, again, when I left the "Bethel Bubble" for this city. But tonight, as I ordered take-out at a cash-only restaurant with only a plastic debit card in my hand, and the guy said, "Don't worry about it! You can pay the next time you come in. Go eat dinner!" I nearly sobbed and hugged that flannel-wearing, bearded man behind the counter.


"Family walk!" Kyle exclaims each night, as he grabs Charlie's seventh leash (he ate the previous six) before we head out. 

For 30 minutes, we roam about our neighborhood, aching for the day we adopt an old, fixer-upper house to make our home. We channel our inner HGTV host, describing what we'd do if given the keys to the homes we pass. 

"I'd paint that door and give it a pop of color."

"Those bushes need a face-lift."

And there's always my classic line, "That place needs an American flag."

But by golly, I love where we are.

Here. Right now. 

I love that Indy has teal fire hydrants. I'm a fan of painting eyesores pretty colors.

(Probably should take some coral-colored paint to the countless potholes, and some lilac-colored paint to the sidewalk cigarette butts. I'll suggest that at the next City Council meeting.)

I thought it was some law of the land that fire hydrants be red.

P.S. Charlie doesn't have patience for pictures when we're out and about.

He's too busy sniffing gutters, not heeling, and ...

... doing this. ^^^

Turns out, the law of the land is that dogs pee on fire hydrants, no matter the color. 

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^^^This part of our walk is what we call The Shire. It's about as shire-y as this city gets.

One year and one week ago, I moved to this place on Saturday, graduated on Sunday, and started my first post-college job on Monday. I couldn't tell you where we'll be one year and one week from today. Part of me sure wishes I could. But even if it's still right here, right where we are now, that'll be a year and a week well-spent. 

- Maggie (the journaler)