Yesterday after staying indoors all morning, Christopher (who will henceforth be referred to as CC since Larry objects to me using our private nickname for him in my blogs), was again fussing to go outside. So I packed him in the stroller, grabbed my mp3 player, and since I didn’t have any particular errands to run that day, decided just to take a walk to the park. By the time we reached the playground at Willard Park, just north of Telegraph, CC was already fast asleep. Determined to keep him asleep, I kept strolling and ended up in the residential neighborhood of Elmwood, a posher side of Berkeley compared to where we live. I couldn’t help but admire (okay, more like covet) the old style Victorian houses, each with beautifully landscaped front yards, that lined both sides of the streets. I’m glad we don’t live in a place where neighborhoods are just row after row of uniform cookie cutter houses with perfectly manicured lawns. This neighborhood definitely had character, each house unique and different from the rest, as I’m sure are the people who live inside them.
It was a beautiful sunny spring day, and my mood was light and cheery as I took in the wonderful sights and smells around me. The whole neighborhood was abloom with color – dazzling irises (my favorite!), wildflowers, cascading vines of wisteria, and a plethora of other flowers and plants I can’t name. I paused to pet a big grassy bush that looked and felt like a green Pomeranian and to inspect a huge pear cactus that one resident had planted on the very edge of his front yard so that it was almost on the sidewalk.
I emerged out of the residential area and decided to take the long way home by walking down College Ave. I was tempted to go into Ici since there was no line outside (for once!), but decided against it because I had just had ice cream at home an hour ago. After peeking into the windows of a couple of shops, I went into the bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts. I had walked past it many times before, but for some reason had never gone in. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big Virginia Woolf fan.
The minute I stepped into the store, I knew this would be a place I would come back to again and again. It’s everything a good bookstore should be – quaint, well-organized, nice displays, big sunny windows, a few chairs scattered here and there. It doesn’t have the commercial feel of the big chains like B&N and Borders; neither does it have the mustiness and dust of used bookstores. A small corner in Mrs. Dalloway’s featured gardening paraphernalia and there was a whole separate room for children’s books! While in the store I discovered that April 29th is the Third National Poem in Your Pocket Day. They had bowls placed throughout the store filled with little pieces of folded paper with a sign above them that instructed you to pick a poem, put it in your pocket and share it with someone that day. The poem I picked out was Late Indian Summer, by August Kleinzahler.
After browsing awhile I left the store and headed toward home with CC amazingly still asleep. While in the middle of deciding whether I should keep walking to prolong his nap, three little blond girls overtook me on the sidewalk from behind and one of them proceeded to stick her face in the stroller and start squealing “Ooohhh, he’s sooo cute!” Of course it was too late for me to shush her. Nap time was over. Note to self: put stroller cover on next time CC falls asleep to protect him from squealing little blond girls.