When I started thinking about celebrating Women’s History Month and how to write a little something-something, I went on the internet to good old Google. I used other sources like cable, the radio, Y-tube, LinkedIn and Pinterest too. I started saving articles from the magazines and newspapers I read. Then I sorted through my book collection looking for books about women. I guess I’m old school because I still read newspapers and magazines. My book selection includes both the hardcover and paperback versions.
Before long, I had amassed a collection of information about women that any researcher worth her weight in gold would love. And that was my problem. Too much information. Great if I was writing a thesis but way too much for a one-page post. Like most writers I love words. Whether they are my words or somebody else’s, I love ‘em like I birthed them. So, it’s difficult for me eliminate them entirely as good editing requires. It wasn’t long before I realized writing this article was becoming a nightmare for me. Then I did what I usually do and waited for inspiration to help me. When that didn’t work, I did the other thing I usually do with writer’s block. I left everything piled up at my desk and the floor beside it to hustle outside and sit on a park bench across the street from my house. I people watched for the next couple of hours while I thought about my dilemma.
I started to see women doing things … ordinary work life things. A bus pulled up. A female bus driver noticed I was sitting in the bus stop and asked if I was getting on. I said I was just enjoying the day, she laughed then drove off. Two city park workers with plastic bags in one hand and three-foot metal trash grabbers, began to clean out the debris around wrought iron benches, the cobblestone sidewalks and the balding dirt around the trees. They nodded in a morning greeting. I nodded back.
Soon, I grew tired of just sitting on the hard, wooden bench. I took a walk on the traverse bridge over the Westside Highway and headed into Riverbank State Park. On the way I spoke with one of the park rangers in the guard shack. I asked about the renovations, the new plants, young trees and two bamboo like shelters I noticed on the bridge. We joked around for a minute before she stopped our conversation to give motorist directions to enter the park. I walked on, enjoying the light breeze and the spectacular view of the Hudson River.
I walked around the perimeter of the park stepping aside sometimes to allow the few runners both male and female room to go around me. Today, I wasn’t interested in keeping a fast pace on the brick pavement surrounding the park. I was still trying to find a way to shorten the topic I had in mind for this post. I left the park’s brick perimeter and wandered over to the combination running track, soccer field and football field.
To get to the track, I passed through a series of brick crossroads that lead to several buildings containing a restaurant, two snack bars, basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor pool, an ice-skating rink, locker rooms, exercise studios with training equipment and a state trooper satellite station. As I strolled by the tiny police parking space, I noticed a uniformed female trooper sliding into the driver’s seat while her partner sat in the front passenger seat of the white and green patrol car. I watched them drive off to begin their patrol.
I walked around the track once and then headed back to move my car before I got a ticket. In New York City, drivers have to move their cars from one side of the street to the other for street cleaning. I made it in time to see the department of sanitation’s street sweeper coming down the far end of the block. I lucked up. I was able to double park on the clean side of the street. The sweeper driver whizzed by me then she stopped to honk at a driver who had just come out to move her car. I sat in my car watching the opposite side of the street being cleaned until I grew bored. Then it hit me. I could celebrate women by writing about every day women just doing their jobs during one day in the life of a city.
Kudos to you Ladies.
Thanks for reading
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