Little Carol is 15 months old and wonderfully cute. She lives across the street with her mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa. Their house – if you could call it such – has neither windows or doors; just a couple of curtains that separate them from the long, skinny grass-topped parking area that they adjoin. The family for all practical purposes lives outdoors so I see this tiny tot often.

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I wave hello every time I see her and tickle her tummy every chance I get. Yesterday for the first time she let out a squeal of happiness when she saw me. Or more correctly said, she let out a squeal of happiness when she saw me see her. So here she is finally learning how to walk which is surprising given the fact that her feet never seem to be touching the ground long enough at any one given time to learn. For instance, I watch through my window as neighbors and friends heading up or down the street always stop long enough for chat and the chance to pick her up and hold her. And because everyone wants to hold her she invariably gets passed around like a football.

She is adorable in that same soft squirmy kinda of way like the white Chihuahua puppy that lives a couple more doors down. Estrella (Star) finally let me pet her a couple of days ago. Her master was sweeping up in the car port when I was walking by and not seeing the dog about I asked about her. She whistled and Estrella came racing out of the house. She saw me, panicked and went into a butt-sliding skid across the tiled floor. She quickly righted herself and retreated under the car. After some coaxing she finally wiggled her way over and let me pet her walnut-sized head.

I am working my Spanish more every day. Daily encounters like these give me reasons to try a little harder.

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