Bicyclists, ring your bell
I lived in a house on West 127th Street in Cleveland for 31 years. One day a former neighbor drove past and saw me outside doing yardwork. "You're still here?" she shouted. "Laurie," I replied, "they'll probably take me out of here in a pine box."
Well, life has a way of throwing you curve balls. Maybe not as wicked as Shane Bieber's tosses, but life-changing at least. In 2011, my wife and I bought a home in Westlake. We stay in the in-law suite, while my daughter, her husband and five children have the other four bedrooms.
Our little community is quite charming. I meet people mostly while walking my dogs. I've yet to meet a neighbor who is not a fine fellow. Cleveland was nice but I will say Westlake people have better taste in dogs. Our last 10 years or so in Cleveland could be characterized as the Pit Bull Era.
The highlight of our nine years now in Westlake had to be the Fourth of July parade in 2017. My eldest grandson joined the U.S. Navy and the city hung his picture from a lamppost at Dover and Hilliard. It sure made driving past there a pleasure. That summer the City called and asked if we were interested in marching in the July 4th parade. We accepted and with 11 people showing up our family marched. People clapped for us. As an Army vet it was a very moving experience and I must thank Mayor Clough.
But all is not wine and roses in suburbia. I have a bone to pick with my new compatriots. I do a lot of walking to try to stave off the ravages of Father Time. From my house to Huntington Beach is 2.5 miles. Thus a walk there and back is a nice, even 5 miles. As the weather has improved I've had to share the sidewalk with more and more bicycle riders.
Here's my rant: Please equip your bikes with a buzzer, bell, horn, anything to alert me that you are coming up behind me. I try to stay to one side or the other of the sidewalk but I am on Medicare. I may be off into a daydream of when I had hair and not stay completely straight. Then your stealth appearance behind me startles me back to reality.
I've been able to handle those abrupt surprises so far but as I age in this community I'd hate to have to test the emergency response time of the city's paramedics.
in my retirement I'm a nanny to my niece's two boys, ages 17 months and 4.