Wednesday, April 25, 2007

...when I'm 64?

We've discovered that, at 37 and almost-37, we are finally, certifiably old people.

On Sunday, we drove out to get a bite to eat in Santa Maria, the town where I grew up and where Pat went to school (he actually lived in smaller and even less glamorous Los Alamos, just to the south). We didn't find the restaurant we were looking for, so we went to an old-fashioned, small-scale burger joint (yeah, yeah, I know, but I'm mostly vegetarian.) On the way, we drove through new housing/PUD/condo tracts and marvelled at how dense housing has gotten.

"I hate to be this person, but all of this used to be strawberry fields," Pat commented.

I laughed. I'd been thinking the same thing.

We looked at our high school's sports field and reminisced. "Our bushes and hedges are still there," we told each other, and looked at each other with knowing eyes.

We bought burgers and sides. The sides were expensive: we found out why when they gave them to us. "They ought to warn you that these are so big," I scolded. "Nobody wants these many onion rings." And we drove to the park to watch the ducks while we ate.

There, we honked at kids who were more than usually cruelly chasing ducks. (It's molting season and the poor little bastards can't fly.) Pat wagged his finger; I shouted, "please quit it!" The kids put on their helmets and skated away on those shoes with skates in them, the ones they didn't have when we were kids.

"I see why your mom hates those," Pat said.

We went home and laid around, enjoying the coolth of the spring afternoon while we napped over the covers in our robin's egg blue bedroom, listening to birdsong. I felt guilty for not cleaning out the fridge, or at least doing some laundry. I heard, faintly, from outside, a cry of "ready... aim... fire!"

I nudged Pat. "Go see if there are any parents involved; that sounds like trouble."

He went out and looked for the trouble. Three kids were kicking down the retaining wall around K-Mart, across the duck pond, sending big stone blocks skidding down the hill. He looked closer with binoculars. Yup. Older kid showing off for younger ones. He went out on the porch.

"Hey," he yelled. The eldest kid -- teen -- flipped him off. The tweens giggled.

"Cut it out or I'm going to call the cops!" Pat yelled.

"Okay, sorry," the kid yelled. And they went away. And Pat called and yelled at K-Mart management.

You kids, get off my lawn. And leave those poor birds alone.

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