Most every morning for the past several years I see her. It's always in the morning while I'm driving to work. She uniformly walks on the same side of the road, bent forward at a 30 degree angle, plodding along. It's a busy, noisy road, not really designed for pedestrians, not that it's illegal to walk there, there just aren't many who do.

She fascinates me. She's in her late 60s I'd guess, glasses, shortish gray hair. She wears the same thing every day: a nice blouse, a sensible skirt, tennis shoes, a heavy coat in winter time, a bikers' helmet, and a giant hiking backpack with a metal frame. The kind of backpack that twenty-somethings hiking their way across Europe on Mommy and Daddy's dime use. Or the kind of backpack that serious outdoors men who plan to stay in the mountain for a month use.

It's like some sort of uniform I've never understood. She's there winter through fall without fail and I pass her walking on the sidewalk in the elements while I'm driving in the air conditioned environment inside my car, listening to NPR or classic rock or some such station that's loud enough to keep me awake without waking up the sleeping baby in my back seat.

I want to stop one day and ask her so many questions.

Is she going to work? Won't it be incredibly hot walking home like that later? What does she do? Why not take the bus? Will she change shoes when she gets there? What's in the backpack? Is there a place to hang it when she gets there? And why the bike helmet?

But mostly, I just want to offer her a ride.