Saturday, January 12, 2013

May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?

My neighbor stopped by the other day to tell me my irrigation system was leaking into my side yard.  Norm doesn't stop by too often, but when he does, it's always because something within his purview is amiss. Last time, I had lost a few shingles during a storm.

Next-Door-Norm is handy for keeping me informed about my house.  But that's as far as we go.

I've tried.  I once wandered next door when he was weeding his flowerbed.  I asked him how he was.  "Fine."  Not, "how about you?"  So I mentioned the weather.  "Yep."  I stood there for 30 seconds watching him, hands in my pockets, then told him to have a good one.  I wandered back into my own yard.

Norm's daughter hangs outside and plays with my son, but Norm and his wife keep to themselves.  I know nothing about them beyond the tidy nature of their yard.  The yard is always very clean, which is impressive.  Very tidy.

Remember when neighbors used to talk?  When I was a boy, Ailene and Shorty were over twice a week for cards.  If we were out of something, Harold Young next door probably had it.  My grandpa "loaned" Bill Blackman a quart of oil once and I spent more time than I'd like to admit considering what condition it would be in when he returned it.

I wonder if Next-Door-Norm would loan me a quart of oil.  I wonder if he'd let me use his phone sometime. I kind of doubt it.  I bet he just wouldn't answer the door.

Neighbors just aren't the same nowadays.

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