There wasn’t anything different about the walk. I found a safe place to park, unloaded my gear (water, camera, maps, a little food), and began walking another south side neighborhood. However the deeper into the neighborhood I got the more trepidation I had. I had no true reason for it. My “rules” for a safe neighborhood were all met; objects left out in yard (no fear of stealing), no trash (invested homeowner), and nice cars (good wage earners). There wasn’t even anyone out to cause me to feel the anxiety I was having. The farther south and east I walked the greater my apprehension grew. As I walked the neighborhood was changing. The houses became smaller; much smaller, and there was obvious deterioration of the homes. At one point I even called my husband on the verge of tears asking if something had happened at home. I could not get rid of this feeling of fear. I kept walking, being very alert to my surroundings even though no obvious threat was apparent. A few days ago I was having a walking interview with Mary from the Lansing City Pulse. We were talking about scary streets I still need to walk. As we walked south on MLK heading towards Cavanaugh, I pointed across the street to a road called Mary. It’s Cavanaugh on one side and Mary on the other. If you take that street to the end it dead ends into a dirt driveway which used to be my Grandma Nina’s house. I told Mary one time we had visited and someone had shot out every car window on the street. As a child that kind of news is petrifying. To my grandma it was just another day in the neighborhood. It was in her neighborhood that we didn’t walk around; we didn’t really leave her house. Those stories had stuck with me and now as I turned the corner and found myself on Richmond Rd, my grandma’s old road, I realized I had walked from my pleasant, quiet neighborhood right into one of the neighborhoods I feared the most. I pressed on. I still had no true reason to be afraid, not one person caused me any concern. In fact, I think throughout this entire walking I’ve only felt real fear brought on by another person one time and even that was my feelings and not anything the other person said or did. I kept walking, telling myself once I’m done I don’t need to walk this again. I prayed too and had a few friends messaging me on Facebook that elevated my mood. Within a small amount of time I had walked the entire area and the feeling of despair completely left me. I walked a total of 10.65 miles in this area. I ended my last miles over by Waverly Rd. On this last mile I walked passed an elderly couple picking apples off their abundantly healthy tree. They were perplexed by what to do with them all. The woman asked if I would like some. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet and said yes. She handpicked 4 for me. I spent the last part of my walk feeling really thankful, munching on my apple and happy I had fought the urge to give up.
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