When I need an idea, I take a walk. It just works that way. Yesterday, I changed my route, extending the outing by three east-west blocks which, in this neighborhood, can be significant. A lot can happen in three east-west blocks. The thought snuck up on me as I made the left onto Pickwick. I don’t know if Pickwick is an avenue or a street or a lane because they don’t use those words here, in Dallas, even on envelopes. Somehow, the letters arrive. Anyway, the idea usually takes about twenty-three minutes to germinate and make itself known. I don’t worry before then. It was Sunday, and the clock is more forgiving. Walking on Sundays is more peaceful than walking on other days.
I have a method for doing most things. In part, this derives from an organized brain and a compulsion to achieve, but it also comes from a different necessity. As a single mom, I’ve had to figure out lots of ways to stay ahead of the wave, strategies I discovered only by sailing solo. At the second house on Pickwick, the musing turned into a legitimate concept. Other people can do what I do, and what other women like me do, I thought, because it usually works. All people can do what I do, in fact, even if they have mates, don’t have kids, want Yorkies or eat brownies for breakfast. They can do it like a single mom, or some of it, anyway, because when it has to happen, you have to make sure it does. By the third house, I thought it would be fun to share the philosophy, reveal the tricks. I will write about it, in all its incarnations, I thought, smiling and picking up speed. Then, like any powerful idea, this one was acknowledged with a nod from somewhere, a “Yes!” from the crowd or in my case, a dollar bill on the ground. Folded neatly and perched on a garden rock. One dollar, one moment. I snatched it and ran home.