Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Writing on the Sidewalk

Maybe you have heard the phrase "the writing on the wall."  Like, someone will say "I can see the writing on the wall."  And this means a bad thing is about to happen, so you had better run and hide or at least flatten yourself against the ground so that you are mostly invisible.

One time when Mom was a little girl, she wrote on the wall in her house.  But she was so young that she did not know how to write yet, so she just drew pictures with a crayon.  Mom got into a lot of trouble for doing this.  Her mom made her wash all the drawings off the wall, which just goes to show that not everybody takes the writing on the wall as a serious warning or even as beautiful artwork to be preserved forever.

Dogs don't really spend much time reading writing on the wall because this writing is often above our eye level.  Instead, we like to read the writing on the sidewalk.  We read this writing because it is easy to see when we are sniffing around, looking for yummy food fragments to eat.  Writing on the sidewalk is usually not a warning, like writing on the wall is.  Sidewalks are almost always made of concrete, and wet concrete has the quality of making people want to mark it somehow, like by writing on it or putting a handprint on it.  This is similar to when a dog marks a tree by peeing on it, except a mark on concrete lasts lots longer.

In our neighborhood, there is writing on several sidewalks, and now I will show you some examples of this writing.  One thing that gets put on sidewalks is the name of whoever made the sidewalk.  Here's an example of that kind of writing, and you can also see that a small dog walked here while the concrete was still a little bit wet.

Another thing people like to write in concrete is the names of their kids and also maybe their kids' handprints.  Here is a picture of the driveway of our house, and it has the names Jamie and Lindsay, who were two girls who grew up in this house.  They also had a younger sister named Morgan, but her name isn't on the driveway, so maybe she hadn't even been born yet.  Also we can see by looking at this spot that the driveway was last replaced in 1985, which could be a useful thing to know.

A couple of blocks from us, there is a family with three kids, and their names are Chris, Harry, and Grace.  We know this because we read their names on the new part of the sidewalk, which was made in 2008.

But it's not just people who leave marks on concrete.  Sometimes it's dogs or cats or squirrels.  And sometimes it's nature.  When we had our new patio made, an acorn fell in the concrete, so now there is an acorn-shaped mark there.  And here's a photo of where a leaf fell on somebody's driveway.  It looks like a fossil, but I guess it doesn't really count as a fossil if it's in concrete instead of limestone.

Anyway, all of this just goes to prove that if you keep your eyes open while you are walking around the neighborhood, you might see some interesting writing on the sidewalks.  And also if you keep your eyes open, you are less likely to trip and fall down!

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