On the days I work from home, I hike our neighborhood in my mind and I’m never lonely. I awake early and take the dog out. I can hear the birds calling one another to start their day too. I love hearing them beckon and respond and it reminds me of my Pepe, who could have told me the name of every bird in these woods. Even though I’m behind the house, I can also hear Mrs.Tellier padding in the street out front as she comes back from her even earlier jog.
Once I’m back inside and the pets have been fed, I sit down to hear the high school bus slow down to pick up Peter across the street. I settle in to my emails and calendar and schedule out my day. I know I’ve spent too long on my replies or game plan if I hear the middle school bus an hour later. The Millers, at our diagonal, have three young boys that wait for that bus. I realize that Mrs. Miller is conscious of the daily clock for a lot of other reasons.
My first conference call is mid-morning and as I daydream out my window, I’m already craving a lemonade break in the sun. That’s when I see Peter’s dad walking his property and cleaning up amongst the bushes. He works from home too and must have wanted a break as much as myself. He also must have been ready for his cigar. His wife doesn’t let him smoke those stogies in her house.
I work on my followups from the conference call and before I know it, it’s noon. I know we are at midday because the mail truck engine hums to a pause in front of our mailbox. I use the prompt to break away from my work day. I get a dose of Vitamin C, bring the mail up to the deck and then fix myself a triple-decker. I head to my non-Corporate break room and walk outside with the Pug prancing at my heels. I think he looks forward to this part of the day as much as I do. It’s not just for a break to do his own business but also an opportunity to see what may fall from my plate. We enjoy each other’s company and then take a walk to the cul-de-sac and back.
Walking amongst the places where the sounds originated, adds a new perspective. It’s trash day, so Peter also brought that down the driveway before he boarded the bus. The Miller house has two little plastic trikes and a baseball glove abandoned at the end of their driveway. Mrs. Tellier’s sneakers are on her deck.
I make other observations about those we know, or think we know. Mr. Murray’s car is in the driveway, so he’s not traveling this week. Mrs. Parker planted more daffodils last fall. The Bainbridge’s bought their Dad another new toy; his golf cart will now be waiting for him when he arrives home to the nineteenth hole.
Otis seems more than pleased when we get home and is tired enough to take yet another nap. I on the other hand must remotivate as I watch him and two sleeping cats huddled together. My stomache now realizes its weighed down and tries to convince me to join them. Despite the sleepy silence, I manage to refocus. I update worksheets, schedule followup meetings and write a report. Shortly into my second draft, I notice Mr. Peralta is already home from Public Works – because now he is bothering the public with his water and lawn works. The mower, trimmer and blower seem like they are on all afternoon. They power down long enough to hear some giggles pass by on bikes, just before dinner.
Dinner? Oh, right. It’s time to turn this office into a home. I’ve not been lonely but now I need to pay attention to my own family.