Yesterday was my first day back from a trip to visit friends in Dallas. While in Dallas, I did absolutely nothing of a touristic or cultural nature. Basically, after an early morning walk – the heat’s too fierce to go out walking much after 9 a.m. – we just hung around and talked. I was visiting my college roommate and her husband. Since they dated in college, I’ve known Tom just about as long as I’ve known Joyce. So, 50 year friends. A lot to talk about.
On those early morning walks, we mostly ambled around their neighborhood, a very nice section of Dallas. It’s an older residential area near the outskirts that has the wonderful feature of a lot of mature trees (and meticulous, very attractive landscaping for 99% of the houses). The trees provided much-needed shade for the rare person out walking. Alas, there were no sidewalks, and despite the signs reading “drive as if your children live here”, many of the drivers rampaged around like maniacs. Maybe that’s how they drive around their kids. (There was plenty of evidence of children: swings, play structures, signs cheering on what ever high school their kids went to, but we didn’t see much by way of actual children.) Not a walking neighborhood, with or without kids apparently.
One morning, Joyce and I ventured across the perimeter road (the width and speed of the Mass Pike, and, like the Mass Pike, no traffic lights) to check out a new development – built to your liking – that was going up.
The name of the development is the ultra-classy Da Vinci Estates, and the first house that’s gone up was a pile that appeared to be in the 8-10K square foot range. They grow ‘em big in Texas. There are nine plots in this development, and I think six have been sold and staked. It will be interesting to see on my next swing through Dallas what actually goes in there. Or it would be interesting if this wasn’t destined to be a gated community, so it’s unlikely we’ll get in to rubberneck.
But the thing that struck me was the wording on the sign touting “MODERN PYRAMIDS.” I’m not all that up on ancient Egypt, but weren’t pyramids used as the final resting place of the pharaohs? Wouldn’t this be like advertising MODERN MAUSOLEUM? Then again, given the size of the one home we saw built, MODERN MAUSOLEUM might have been more apt, given that people refer to big old houses as mausoleums. At least where I come from.
Maybe the name pyramid was a warning to anyone attempting to cross that perimeter road on foot…
Me, I wouldn’t care to live in a pyramid, modern or otherwise. As for my post-mortem residence, it will be an ash plot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
Anyway, it was great to be with Joyce and Tommy, whose home is gorgeous: ultra-modern (their architect won an award for it) and, at a relatively modest by Texas standards 4K square feet, neither a pyramid nor a mausoleum. But it was, as it always is, wonderful to get back to Boston.
After five days of 90 degree heat, it was especially great to come home to yesterday’s upper-60’s, sunny, blue sky weather.
The magnolias are mostly past-prime, but there are flowers abounding and, on my walk along the Esplanade, a park running along the Charles River, I was able to stop and smell the lilacs. This after passing some graffiti on the Fiedler bridge that read “Darma’s a bitch.” Only someone had scrawled a “K” over the “D” in the misspelled darma. I don’t think the correction was necessary, as I believe that both dharma and karma can be bitches. Just sayin’.
After my time in Dallas, it was also quite nice to see water, as in the Charles River. There are creeks in Joyce and Tom’s neighborhood, but Dallas is more sun-baked than water-world. (I asked my friends – Rhode Island natives – whether they missed the ocean. They looked at me like I had two heads. Of course they miss the ocean, and they were quick to let me know that the Texas Gulf Coast doesn’t count.)
Quite naturally, where there’s water there are also water fowl.
I didn’t see many ducks on the Esplanade but, alas, I saw plenty of Canada geese, which in the past decade or so have become an urban scourge in these parts. Talk about foul fowl. They may look lovely on Christmas cards when they’re wearing a wreath around their goose-necks, but in real life they seem to do nothing other than waddle around leaving turds that look like cigars all over their paths. Which, by some nasty coincidence, tend to be the paths that humans walk, jog, and bike on
In some years past, “they” – whoever “they” are, I don’t recall – have done things to keep the geese from proliferating. At first they took their eggs, but then the geese would just lay more of them. So they started covering the eggs with oil. This process managed to keep the mother geese happy, but kept goslings from forming. Win-win.
“They” – whoever “they” are – don’t seem to have been doing much of anything this spring, goose ZPG-wise. Every goose I managed to pass along my walk had anywhere from 3-5 goslings with it. They may look all sorts of cute and fuzzy now, but by the end of June there’s no doubt that they’ll join the ranks of the turd-producing waddlers.
Why can’t they be like their far-better behaved duck friends? In a couple of weeks, our ducks will be producing flotillas of ducklings – I’ve seen as many as a dozen trailing behind their mothers – but I don’t believe I’ve ever had a close encounter with a duck turd. I don’t imagine that they’re trained for it, but I’m guessing that our local ducks crap in water. Bless ‘em.
Bottom line: goose alert to anyone walking down by the banks of the River Charles, which is where you’ll find me on many of my daily strolls, avoiding goose turds. Happy to be back. Oh, Boston you’re my home.