Thursday, March 21, 2019

SOL 2019 -- Day 21 -- 21 Observations

Slice of Life story challenge, March 2019
Day 21 -- "21 Observations"

In honor of March 21... 

Here are 21 observations of things I see out my living room window at 10AM today: 

1. Gray skies. I see gray skies, not at all unusual for this part of Ohio for well as February, January, December, and November. March is when we normally start getting fewer cloudy days, and see more sunshine. But not today.

2. Wet pavement on all the streets. It has rained during the night. How much it has rained, I don't know.

3. A trash truck, its employees picking up a nearby neighbor's trash.

4. The trash truck driver, outside the truck, waving his hands wildly while talking to his work partner.

5. The same trash truck, employees inside, driving backwards down the street which runs next to my house. The truck disappears from my sight. Did the trash company employees forget to pick up a customer's trash?

6. The same trash truck again, a minute later, driving the correct way on the street again, leaving my neighborhood. Apparently they corrected their error.

7. A tarp-clad chair on my neighbor's porch, covered up to protect it from the winter weather. Perhaps it will be released from its imprisonment soon?

8. Cars driving past the street corner where I live. Inside them are people going about their business, running errands or going to work. I wonder briefly about their destinations.

9. My wooden mailbox post. Gee, it's looking worn...and not at all dark brown, which it used to be. The post can really stand to be painted.

10. A neighbor's huge pine tree, its branches brushing against their garage roof. That tree has been there for many years. A few years ago, the bottom branches were removed so that the tree wasn't crowding up against the house. Maybe a few more branches need to go.

11. Grass. Lots of grass in my yard and in the neighbors' lawns. It is mostly brown, with a little bit of green here and there. Spring is trying to come.

12. The big rock under the pine tree across the street on the corner. The rock is large enough for a person or two to sit on. It has been there for many, many years, and has stories of its own to tell. I know a few of the stories; maybe I'll write about those stories some day.

13. Leafless trees in neighbors' yards. Wait just a minute. Looking more carefully, I can see buds of leaves sprouting on the trees. The branches aren't really bare anymore. Spring IS trying to come.

14. The round patch of a tiny flower garden in the yard across the street. It has the remnants of ground cover growth from last year. Once there was a tree that grew in that spot. When the tree died, my neighbors turned the small circle of dirt into a tiny garden, covered with a ground cover plant. The plant will sport minuscule flowers when it blooms later in the spring. Or maybe that plant blooms in the summer? I don't remember exactly.

15. My car, parked backwards in my driveway. It is an old car, and it's parked in that manner so that it's pointing down the slope of the driveway. That position will hopefully help prevent my leaky sunroof from dripping onto the front seat of the car. It's not fun to sit on a wet car seat. Trust me, I know about such things.

16. Another neighbor's yard.... There are 4 tires, 2 trash barrels and a small woodpile sitting alongside his garage. They don't look horribly terrible, yet they aren't very pretty to look at. It makes me wonder about the appearance of the side of my house, as seen by my neighbors. Hmmmm....

17. A tanker truck driving past my corner, heading deeper into my neighborhood. I saw this same truck driving by a little while ago, before I started taking notes. It has EPA something-or-other written on the side of it. I wonder if it's vacuuming the leaves and collections of winter gunk out the sewers on streets in the neighborhood. I've seen my township perform that service in previous years.

18. A torn bag of mulch in the flowerbed of the yard across the street. My neighbors never used the mulch last year, so it's been lying there for a while. I wonder if they will use it this year. They are an older couple who have had some health problems in the past year, so maybe not. Maybe I'll offer to spread the mulch for them this year.

19. A different truck, this one with a long conveyor belt and some packages of roofing shingles on it, driving slowly past my corner. It drives onward on the street which runs next to my house, and I can't see it anymore. Then I hear its backup warning signal beeping, so I think it's parking on the street right by the side of my house. One of my neighbors must be getting some roof repairs.

20. A car turning onto my cul-de-sac. Driving it is an elderly man who lives next door to my across-the-street neighbors. The car pulls into the garage which is attached to the house. The garage door does not go down. 

21. The elderly man appearing, a minute later. He walks out of his garage, down his driveway toward his mailbox at the curb. I see him pick up two empty trash cans and carry them into the garage. The garage door closes. The man is back home with his wife, in the warmth and comfort of their home.

When I first starting looking out my window and taking notes, I wondered if I could find 21 things to notice. It seemed to be a formidable challenge. Could there be 21 things happening in this quiet little neighborhood on this rainy weekday morning, when most of the neighborhoods' residents are at work or school? I shouldn't have wondered; it took me only 10 or 15 minutes to spot these 21 things. I could have written whole stories about a few of them.

My advice to everyone: Take time to stop and observe what's going on around you, wherever you are. You'll be amazed at what you see and hear...and wonder!



JudyK  :-)  March 21, 2019


  1. I love this! Grandson Jack would have loved to sit with you & watch all those trucks on your street. Keep hoping - spring is trying and it WILL come! I'm ready for some stories from the rock across the street.

  2. Thanks, Ramona! I may get to the rock's stories before this challenge is over.....We'll see. :-) ~JudyK

  3. I'm going to jot this form down for my future slices -- It's amazing what you can notice if you stop to write them down! I do a "from my chair" format sometimes, and I'm going to teach it to a class of 5th graders next week, I wonder if they might like this as a choice too.... Thanks!


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