Monday, May 18, 2009

Neighbors

It felt so hot today I was sure our little party would all be miserable tonight. Inside wouldn’t have been any better; the heat pump is ancient and throwing another hissy fit. Lucky for us it cooled off. Right now it’s in the 70’s and an amazing breeze is coming through my window. I can’t think of anything that’s going to keep me from sleeping on the trampoline tonight.

We had some great neighbors across the street from us and they moved out this weekend to a home in North Richland. Tonight several of us from the block got together and had a potluck dinner for them at our place. Many of us have talked about doing something like this for as long as we’ve lived here but we never quite got around to it. We all enjoyed ourselves so much we’ll certainly do it again.

At one point Josh pulled one of his trademark moves. I lost track of where he was so I quickly scanned the crowd. Immediately I saw him with the garden hose pointed at Mr. Malley, our next door neighbor. The water was actually in an arc just a foot or so from the back of the poor man’s head. I screamed for Michael and he jumped up and quickly turned off the water, summarily ending his potential reign of terror.

I remember moving in 4 years ago and having people tell me I couldn’t possibly live next door to Mr. Malley. He’s dead. It turns out that this is a widely held misconception in this small town. He sold Malley’s pharmacy several years back to a man who then promptly died. I guess people confuse the two of them. He’s a funny guy and a good neighbor. The sound of his table saw reminds me of home and his wise cracks remind me of my dad. I remember a day when Kenny belched loudly right in front of him and I scolded him, telling him to say, “Excuse me”. He did and Mr. Malley instantly said, “Now do it again!”! Tonight a neighbor from down the block introduced himself to him and he said, “I’d get up, but I’m old!”. I hope I have a good sense of humor when I’m an old lady.

I think this party was a great antidote for some of the modern isolation I’ve been writing about. Spending real face time with the people we normally see just in passing. It’s hard to believe we won’t be seeing Marijke waving as she leaves the house or her kids coming and going. I hope the new neighbors are as cool.
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