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Anal retentive? Or just in a routine?

There’s a fine line between being anal retentive and having a routine.
I’m not sure when, or if, I crossed that line, but I’m getting some hints.
Twice recently I have been approached by people who say they judge how well their morning commutes are going by where they see me on my two-mile route around town, especially coming west on 10th Street. If I’m down by Casey’s and Union Avenue, one gentleman said he is on time. If he sees me on 10th Street near the courthouse, he is running late.
I never considered myself as someone’s clock before. But I’ve been called worse.
I walk at the same time most weekday mornings … along the same route. It’s my routine. Others may consider it an obsession. But it gets me out of bed in my retirement, and that’s good.
I also have a bowl of Cheerios each morning and read the Star Tribune before my morning walk.
One morning, my favorite bowl was in the dirty dish pile. I got confused.
Recently, I cancelled my subscription to the Star Tribune when the price went up … again. Now I’m really having a tough time finding my “normal” routine. Watching the “talking heads” on TV to get my news fix is just not the same.
But the morning walk brings me back to an even keel.
I can tell that a variation of a minute or two along my route results in me missing school bus No. 7 that turns onto 14th Street toward Grand Meadows. Or a few minutes later, along Union Avenue, I’ll miss waving at bus No. 11 heading to the school.
I usually can see bus No. 11 coming as I crest the railroad tracks on Union Avenue. If I’m too early, I meet the bus at the 11th Street corner. Too late and it’s past me at 14th Street before I get to Union.
Or bus No. 42. It’s a stubby bus whose driver either honks and waves in passing me on 10th Street, or doesn’t acknowledge me at all if a different driver is behind the wheel.
Or the Trailblazer Transit bus driver I meet each morning after his pickup at the Aveyron House next door to me. If I meet him at the 14th Street and Hennepin Avenue corner, we’re both on schedule. If I meet him coming west on 13th Street to Hennepin Avenue, then I know it’s a different driver.
And a few other observations on my morning walks:
There are a lot of woodpeckers along 14th Street. I can hear the rat-a-tat-tats everywhere. Not sure what they expect to find inside a telephone pole.
Also, there are a lot of dogs along my route. I may not see them all, but I can hear them, often barking at me from inside homes. I wonder if they are also chewing up chairs, sofas or someone’s slippers as I walk by? Of course, the ones outside are at the end of their tethers straining to get a piece of me.
I also see a lot of squirrels during that daily two-mile trek. Recently, I saw one “sleeping” in the street. Odd place to take a nap, I thought.
One of my Iowa brothers-in-law often told his young grandchildren that animals were sleeping on the side of the highway whenever they passed “road kill.” Not sure if those youngsters ever caught on.
But I thought of him when I saw this squirrel “napping” in the street. While I felt sad outwardly, inside I was doing a fist pump over one less vermin I had to deal with.
So back to that fine line. Is it just a routine or something more serious?
I once heard that crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. Apparently anal retentive people can be clueless about their habits, too.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.