It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good
fortune breeding head of hair . . .DVD collection must be in want of clean pajamas so her Saturday can consist of changing from her sleeping pajamas to her lounging pajamas.
However, it sometimes happens that said single woman is not only responsible for her own entertainment but that of a small inquisitive border terrier thing who will otherwise sit around shredding her toys in a disturbing, sociopathic manner.
So, we set off to Brooklyn’s own Prospect Park, walking with a friend outside our usual Long Meadow ring, and instead trekking into an unpronounceable section of park I’d never been to directly. I’d tried to go around it, I’d cycled wheezingly past it but never had I attempted the We’re Going On a Bear Hunt approach.
So this time we went through it. We walked through something allegedly called the Nethermead Arches *skeptical face*, across picturesque wooden bridges. By burbling streams in various stages of defrosting. Across fields where hippies played snow-frisbee where ladies in parasols and bustles used to stroll with their chaperones. Past the stunning boathouse and the frozen ponds with well-intentioned but mocking “emergency rescue ladders” propped against their pedestals smirking “Yeah, you’re definitely going to think of grabbing us when Harry Bailey eats it.” All of these sights and sites were made more exciting and less noticeable by the layer of crackling ice over it all. At one point I debated putting skates on and letting Gracie pull me, but after she lunged towards some squirrel tracks I reconsidered my nearly invented sport, Cross-Gracie-Miranding.
We walked all the way to Flatbush, where my friend H turned off. Something felt familiar about the avenue we were walking along, so at the carousel we turned right and I saw some very familiar apartment buildings. It was the former home of Ebbetts field! I recognized it even without Roger Kahn standing in front of it interviewing Pee-wee Reese. My cell phone died right as I started to take a picture of a Dodgers’ mural, so you’ll have to take my word for it, but it was cool. I shed a tear.
Gracie and I started walking up to what I thought would be a quick and easy loop back towards Park Slope but what turned out to be an epic detour around the Historic Lefferts house (did you know there was an 18th century farmhouse in the park?! I did not.), the Prospect Park Zoo, and up through the inexplicable woodsy hill trails.
I may have thought I was walking on a snowy road, and not realized I was in fact taking a dirt trail that would eventually necessitate switchbacks and Into Thin Air hallucinations. But Gracie loved it – she kept sticking her nose straight into the snow until it reached her ears, then she’d pull her head out and sneeze at it accusingly. The sky was a beautiful clear blue, with puffy white clouds and a shining sun. I kept pointing it out to Gracie until I realized maybe I was being insensitive and should admire the impressive grayness of it all instead. Either way it was true.
Our trip up and over the Mount Rushmore of Brooklyn (faces pending – Marty Markowitz just has to choose a headshot) (Seriously these hills were STEEP and we definitely passed a dude building some kind of lean-to in brazen defiance of the “don’t snap a twig” ethos of the trails) took an hour, and when we finally made it back home Gracie slept for about 5 hours straight on the couch. I napped too in between trying to learn the rules of the Rugby tournament on tv.
Just call me um… the name of that outdoorsy girl from some book.
From the sequel to My Side of the Mountain, maybe.