When I am at home I try to walk every day. The route is always the same. There are few roads in our neighborhood which means I don’t have to concentrate on where I am.  This allows me to enjoy the scenery as it changes with the seasons.

Sometimes we go to visit family in southern California and again, I try to walk every day. As I walk, I can’t help but notice some differences.

In Missouri:                                                                In California:

Lantana is a bedding plant                                              Lantana is a shrub

Cars – domestic                                                Cars – foreign and expensive

Yards are grass (sort of)                                          Yards are landscaped

Hot and humid                                                             Overcast and cool

Walkers wear short sleeves or sleeveless                    Walkers are bundled up

Honeysuckle creeps along fence rows                           Jasmine hedges are manicured

Homes are less than $350,000                                         Homes are priced $1,000,000+

Road hazards                                                                Road hazards

slithering snakes

creeping snails

What’s in your walking world?


21 thoughts on “Differences

  1. Janay says:

    Let’s see….I want to comment on this one. My walking world is from the car to work, car to the store, car to Walmart, etc. My floating world from Sunday…I saw members of my family (Sister~Cathy, Brother Hal, Joe, Kristi, Jeremy, Adri, JT, and Kevin), turtles sunning on the logs, rocks in the middle of the river that couldn’t be missed, beautiful scenery, etc. I know you can picture this, Elsie, as you have been there. How will we survive without that time this year?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I love the comparison! I like to walk when I visit my cousins in Arizona and I always find it so refreshing to walk in a totally different place! Maybe sometime I will compare/contrast my Arizona walk with my normal Ohio walks! 🙂

  3. Love it! I too hit the road everyday. I’m in NJ, road hazards here are snakes, bear, and drivers on cell phones. It’s the drivers on cell phones that I am most concerned about. We go to the Jersey shore each summer, where I can walk on the beach. The hazards there are wonderful: waves, shells, little kids.

    Thank you for your Slice of Life piece. It is making me reflect upon my daily outing in a new light.


  4. Tiff says:

    Just this week on a Missouri trail I experienced bunnies, a bobcat, turtles, and snakes…. and lots of dry dust! I can hardly wait to see what is out there each day. Last year I took my students on a listening walk and returned to write a poem of simply the sounds we experienced. It will be fun to get my new group of students out for a nature walk… a seeing walk, a touching walk, a sniffing walk and the listening walk. Sounds funny and I think the kid will love it! Maybe we can do a comparison of the seasons! Watch out for those snakes Elsie….

  5. I loved this post. I have two places I walk frequently here in CO:
    Plains – prairie dogs – suburban grass – migrating pelicans – hot – people on bikes
    Mountains – elk – whatever grows – migrating white-faced ibis – people on hikes

  6. I love that! It’s like a listening walk-writing the things you hear-but a visual walk. Sometimes I love looking at landscaping as I walk and wonder if things would work for our house. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I love the juxtaposition of Missouri and California.

    What’s walking in my world, you ask?

    There’s always a hill of red ants in front of one neighbor’s house down the block from me. It makes me shudder to walk on that part of the sidewalk.

    We have two neighborhood ducks that my neighbor’s daughter named Jack and Jill.

    We have dogs sharing the sidewalks with us.

  8. On my walk the other day a deer ran out in front of me . . . have to admit it was a little startling. Deer are common in my neighborhood but I’d prefer to get knocked over by a bunny 😉

  9. Some of California surprised me–“bundled up and overcast and cool.” I’ll pay more attention the next time I walk. This time of year in Indiana, everything is out and celebrating from insects to plants.

  10. Our son is home right now. He lives in CA. We have been talking about the differences between CA and ME. I love your piece because it connected me to a previous conversation but your Missouri is yet another place to think about. Your piece gives me familiarity and things to ponder at the same time.

  11. I love your idea, & the contrasts you showed us between the two states. I grew up in Missouri, so your words about that state meant a lot to me. I like that your usual walk is wandering-it sounds like a great way to travel.

  12. I love this. It’s amazing how different and varied each state is. I was planning on doing something similar with my students when I return to WA. Each coast has something different to offer…as do your walks.

  13. Phillip says:

    Prefer to walk at night actually, too few routes here to keep it interesting. At night, if you take the northern route, the walk is lighted by all the familiar stars, the Milky Way, falling stars and the odd orbiting bit of space gear. Turn east and you get more night sky and you try to identify Venus or Aldebaran. Go south now. Hey, surprise! at night even this little dump of a town looks rather pretty! And then the final turn to the west and you get the comforting glow the lights of the Metropolis thirty miles away.
    Like old movie stars, some things are best viewed in low light conditions.

  14. Wow, two Bonnie’s leaving comments! I loved the way you created two walking spaces for us. I’m getting my walking shoes on in the next moments with my camera in hand, before the sun begins to bake us.
    Thanks for the inspiration Elsie,
    Bonnie 2

  15. Bonnie says:

    A clever way to hold onto your own experience- something as simple as a daily walk. We enjoy comparison poems all the time and our students love them too. But to look at things in our own lives and write like this for ourselves~clever! Thank you for sharing!

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