The home I now reside in out in Haslett has many things my house on Cooper Ave. in Lansing did not. It offers a couple more bedrooms, which has been very helpful with the addition of our twins to the two teenage boys we already had. We also are thankful for the larger yard size and multiple fruit trees we get to forage each season. Our house sits a bit off the road and the yard has a heavy tree line on all sides, making for a very peaceful residence. However there has been one commodity our Cooper house had that we all sorely miss; sidewalks. We miss stepping off our front porch and entering onto a cemented pedestrian freeway. These trails would lead us unobstructed and safely around the neighborhood, around the block, to Quality Dairy, Mancino’s or another convenient stop. If we were feeling ambitious or really warm in less than a miles walk we could be at grandma’s house. With the convenience of sidewalks children learn to ride their bikes, exercise is safely commenced, and neighborhood children exuberantly flitter from one house to the next like flocks of birds. It was a privilege we had while we lived in town and at times desperately miss while living outside of it. The twins have recently learned to ride their little bikes without their training wheels. And despite riding their bikes every day since learning to do so, our driveway only provides a small circle for them to go around in; possibly a figure eight if they can maneuver the small part of the driveway. They were ready for a true bike ride. A few years ago my brother-in-law, his wife and their two children purchased their first home in the Groesbeck area. It’s located just outside the Lansing City limits, within a Lansing township pizza shaped wedge in the center of the area. So I guess technically they don’t live in Lansing either. But they have sidewalks! We loaded up the kids’ bikes into the trunk of our car and we headed west into town. Within seconds of arriving the twins had their bikes out and were zipping up and down the sidewalk like they’d done it their whole lives. The shape, size and even distribution of sidewalk blocks just yell out, “Traverse me!” With two five years olds on 2-wheelers, a 4-year-old on a trike and a two-year old with a toy lawn mower we began our journey. The four adults casually talked and walked; each taking a turn running ahead to rescue a rider from an uncooperative bike, behind this parade for a good one and a half miles. Our path took us past a school and a playground. It took us past gardens and landscaped flower plots. It took us past neighbors and other children out enjoying the cement pathway. Most importantly it took us safely back to our starting point; a home, where a choice was apparent. Should we continue on our journey or head inside? As we stood outside with the wind blowing perfectly and the sun setting we packed up the bikes and headed inside where kids continued to play and the grown-ups enjoyed a game of Euchre.
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