At one time, the sidewalk on the east side of the house led to a street, or a driveway at least. Its first fifty feet started from the front porch and traversed the first level of the yard. Five concrete steps transitioned to another fifty feet or so of the second level and then five more took it down to the street. The old driveway was long ago covered by grass, after Highway 7 was re-routed to pass by on the south instead of the north side of the house. The old highway is still used but there is seldom any reason now for us to take the path to the north, except when Randa rides her horse out toward Randolph Road or Port William. When a driveway needs mowing once a week, it’s a pretty sure sign that it’s not getting a lot of use.
Perhaps I should say, “It’s not getting a lot of wheeled traffic.”
Every now and then, some dog whose owner is a bit lacking in courtesy toward his neighbors will come trotting across, following her nose and going where it leads her. From time to time, I’ll see a squirrel heading from one of the elms on our north property line to one of the trees lining the east edge of the drive. Most of the foot traffic, though, comes from the rabbits. Especially in early morning and evening, they’ll come out from the shade and shadows of the trees and feast on clover and bluegrass. If it’s still and quiet enough, they’ll even take time for a bit of grooming.
Sitting on their haunches on the old sidewalk, they’ll give themselves a good cleaning, working first one side and then the other. At times, they look so much like cats it makes me laugh. But I’ve never seen a cat wash both sides of its face at once. The bunnies do. Perched on their hindquarters and facing straight ahead, they lick both front paws and then rub them across the sides of their face, from nose toward ear. It seems quite efficient and endearing, though I’m pretty sure it’s not done for my entertainment.
There are worse things than letting the grass cover an old driveway, things more useless than a sidewalk that leads nowhere.