Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The corner where we meet.

I grew up in a simpler time. I grew up in a time when people didn't lock their cars, didn't lock their houses, knew the names of their neighbors. I don't know my neighbor's names. I refer to them as, "You know, the OBNOXIOUS family with the orange cat," or "drummer boy's father," or "the God people," (he's a minister). My fault, not their's.

I used to know my neighbors. We were one of the first in the neighborhood 15 years ago and I used to greet each new family with homemade cookies. We would generally start the weekend on Fridays in front of Patti's house after the kids got off the school bus. We gathered, someone bringing a plate of cookies, another a pitcher of iced tea, and someone usually brought a couple of beers. We'd talk about what we were doing for the weekend. Who had a game. Who was golfing. Who was going away and we'd pick up the mail and paper. But then Patti's husband got a transfer. Then Carol's. Then Vanessa's. And we drifted apart. The kids grew up and didn't need playmates within a "Dinner's ready" shout. I got a full-time job and began putting energy into it. It's okay really. I'm fine with it. But sometimes I do miss the old neighborhood.

I found a new neighborhood that I really enjoyed. We got together, much like we used to in front of Patti's house. We talked. About kids. About the neighborhood. About each other. Oh, BOY, did we talk about each other. We helped one another when it was needed. We pulled together as a neighborhood. As friends.

And that's about to change now, too. I hear the new neighborhood is going to be better. I hope so. I think it will. It will be made of the same folks who have met at this same place for a long time. I hope I'll be there too.

But I'll probably need lots of directions!


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