Every morning around seven o'clock, I walk with Tula. We usually walk downtown, but sometimes we walk to the breakwall or, if Dog Friend is out, we visit her (I'll tell you more about her another time; she's a dog Tula likes but whose name we don't know). Every morning I wish I could leave my nightgown on, read one more chapter, eat a little more breakfast...but every morning, there is Tula, pitiful and furry, with her long, lonely day ahead of her. So we go walking.
Sackets Harbor is especially cozy in the morning. In the summer, I used to meet the guy who comes to water the flowers in hanging baskets along main street. Sometimes I still meet the trashman, but a terrible thing has happened: One by one, our trashcans are being removed! I'm not sure if they are gone for good or if they take some of them away once the summer people have gone. All I know is that I used to be able to dispose of Tula's bag of...morning routine...at my end of town, but now I have to carry it halfway down Main Street before I can get rid of it.
Anyway, back to the beauty: We have nice streetlights here. In the morning, their orange glow in the mist makes me feel like I might wander into Narnia at any moment. The Fairy Store has fairy houses -- dollhouse-sized cottages and castles -- with windows lit up the same color in its storefront. Their courtyard has a little village of them, and we visit it every day.
The flowers are dying here, but they held on longer than I expected. Now, the leaves are almost all on the ground, but most of them are still yellow, red, orange, red with bright green splotches, yellow with red edges, all over the sidewalks, the grass and the flower beds. It keeps raining, so they aren't drying up. They stick to everything like Color-forms.
Although I'd love a morning all to myself, to eat and eat and eat and read the book of the moment, I'm glad I have to take Tula out. I like being so familiar with the weather and seeing the lake so soon after I wake up. I like checking the headlines of the newspapers when I walk by the newstands at the post office and seeing the same people drinking coffee in Chrissy Bean's. (I wish I could join them, but I always have a dog!)
There is nothing special in what I enjoy about walking in the morning. Anyone who does it must feel the same. Some people would be sorry for me that my morning walk has people in it, but I like that. I like feeling safe, and saying "Good morning," and admiring other people's scarves and dogs. I like walking in a town, looking at the historic houses, the beautiful stained glass windows of the Presbyterian Church, and our little white library. I like that it's my town, even at 7 a.m. I don't have to drive to get to it: It's just up the block. Every day.