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Archive for the ‘Neighbors’ Category

Scar tissue

Today was by far the most unproductive day yet. I think I’m starting to feel what it’s like to be my brother; sleep late and spend my afternoons playing video games. I’m getting really good at Lego Star Wars though.

My next door neighbor made a really great meal for us the other night. Stuffed pasta shells, garlic bread and some sweet pineapple fluff dessert as a side. She even baked us some chocolate peanut butter bars. I called her today to thank her for everything and to tell her the bars especially were a hit. Nathan and I saved a couple to have the next day, but Nathan woke up to find Molly had pulled them off the counter and eaten them sometime during the night. I told the story to my neighbor and wouldn’t you know she walked over a new batch tonight with the recipe. She’s such a sweetheart. I hope she sticks around for awhile. They were talking about moving within the next couple of years because they’re outgrowing their house. Isn’t that funny? One family I can’t wait to see go and another I want to stay.

My parents came over tonight to help me watch Autumn while Nathan was bowling. Last week for that, thank goodness. I have a feeling I’ll be much better by this time next week though. The only thing I can’t deal with right now is the itching. The bandaged area of my knee itches like crazy and all I want to do is rip the gauze off and go to town.

And the knee. Yikes. I finally got a good look at it the other day at the doctor’s office and let’s just say I now have a good idea why the villagers were so freaked out by Frankenstein’s monster. I really wanted to take a picture of it the morning of the surgery, but I was so nauseated I couldn’t bring myself to pull out my camera. I did ask Nathan to take a picture of it with his camera phone while I was being prepped in the hospital but we just never got around to it then either. The doctor said the knee will start to look much better over time but that it will take several months before people stop trying to run me out of town with their torches and pitchforks.

I’m not a really vain person, but that knee was the flawless one, the one that didn’t have a scar from the time I fell off my bike or from the freak weed whacker accident of 1985. Don’t ask. I was a stupid kid. Let’s just leave it at that.

So now I have several scars that mark my body like a time line; the hot plate burn on my hand from Mother’s Day, 1982, the weed whacker scars, the bicycle fall, the slice to my wrist in an effort to extricate myself from my brother’s toy handcuffs with a paring knife (like I said-stupid kid), the slice to my left middle finger while cutting vegetables in 2004, the C-section scar of 2005 and the baby wipes slice of 2006.

Cripes. I’m only 36. How much more damage can I do?

Don’t answer that.

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So I signed up for another tour over at NaBloPoMo. I’m not exactly sure why, seeing as I’m stuck at home without much going on. My stint posting every day in November was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be and I had a lot to write about back then. What’s going on now? A whole lot of nothing that should make this month even more challenging.

Right now I’m feeling a lot like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. No, I’m not spying on my neighbors with a zoom lens, though I do have a nice 300mm lens with which I could spy on them. I live in a development in which the houses were built very close, and I have an excellent view of at least half a dozen yards from my back deck. When you think about it, it’s not unlike that cluster of Greenwich apartment buildings Hitchcock made famous all those years ago, though I really don’t need a zoom lens to see what’s going on with my neighbors. That being the case, Nathan has just informed me he thinks the neighbor behind us is pregnant again.

Before you start envisioning the two of us sticking our noses through the curtains like Mrs. Kravitz, let me just say you tend to notice things from time to time, and Nathan recently noticed that our back neighbor looks like she’s wearing maternity clothes. This is not normally huge news, but they already have five kids over there so it is kind of big news because we’re hoping, if she is pregnant, that the sixth child will be the one to get them to finally move out and find a bigger house.

We’ve lived here almost four years and are friendly with the back neighbors in that we smile and waive whenever we make eye contact. Their children, on the other hand, are horrors. Every spring when we finally open our windows and doors to let in the fresh air, we are also greeted to the screaming, crying chaos that is their backyard. The trampoline comes out and I watch as the youngest bounces around beneath his siblings’ feet. I see children dressed inappropriately for the weather without jackets or socks. It’s like Lord of the Flies over there with nary an adult in sight.

I’m not about to judge my neighbors’ parenting skills. Shoot, if I had that many children I’d just be happy if they all came home alive at the end of the day, but living so near to that kind of ruckus has not been a treat. Last year they brought a dog into the mix, a small, yappy breed that spent his first few weeks with the family being chased around the yard. One day, after having had enough of witnessing the children throw things at the pup, I stepped out onto the deck and had a few words with them about how they were treating the dog. It probably wasn’t my place, but those kids needed to know at least someone was watching them.

My next door neighbor is friendlier than I am and is on a first-name basis with quite a few families on the block. She’s talked to the mom back there, who apparently is so in love with her house that she never wants to leave. Are you kidding me? Their house can’t be much bigger than ours. We’re quite comfortable here as a family of three and I can’t imagine how they’re surviving over there as a family of seven. Are they using closets and stuffing the youngest into drawers at night?

I know it’s already too late to salvage this summer. The trampoline has already come out and I can hear the screams through the closed patio door.

Maybe the sixth child is the magic number, the charm that will spur them to find a lovely plot of land out in the woods where the nearest neighbor is miles away and the children’s screams will be heard by no one.

Yeah, I know that sounded creepy, but I just want one summer. One summer of peace and quiet.

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Dear Asshole,

I don’t know who you are, you person who thought it a good idea to shoot your fireworks off after midnight. Maybe you were my neighbor, seeing as I saw the remains of my neighbor’s illegal contraband sitting in his driveway as I left for work this morning. If you were my neighbor, do I need to remind you of the very large, very angry woman who stood in her driveway in her robe last year and flung expletives at you as you woke a neighborhood full of sleeping children?

Don’t get me wrong. I do like the Fourth of July, especially since I don’t have to work. However, when the holiday falls in the middle of the week, as it did this year, my employer actually expects me to come in to work the next day. So when it’s midnight and I’m drifting off, I really don’t appreciate feeling like I’m living in a demilitarized zone.

Lucky for you my daughter is a sound sleeper. Oh, she woke up a few times when your REALLY LOUD bombs went off. She called for me and I brought her in a glass of water, which she drank heartily then plopped her head back on her mattress. “Night night,” she said and pulled her blanket up to her chin. God bless the little children.

My dog, on the other hand, spent the evening, and most of the day actually, hopped up on canine roofies. It’s really the only way we can get her through the day without finding wet spots on the carpet. This is a dog who freaks out at the sound of the wind opening and closing our daughter’s bedroom door, so yes, we had to keep her plastered all day.

I’m not a mean person. I actually like watching fireworks and when my daughter is older I imagine we’ll go back to the big show again. But for the love of God, have some common sense before a very large, very angry woman without her robe comes looking for you because dude, I sleep in the nude.

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Dear Neighbor,

You know the type of people who hate July 4th? They get all pissed off when you get a little rowdy with the booze and the fireworks. You just want to have a good time and pop off a few good ones at the most ungodly hours, not midning whose children are asleep or whose dogs are so scared that they have to be given sedatives so as not to die from fright. You’ve just fired off a really good and loud one and then notice the next door neighbor standing outside in her bathrobe looking all pissed with her hands on her hips. Yep, that was me and I was not happy.

Do you really think it was wise to start your party at 11 pm when the majority of your neighbors have young children who were probably sleeping? Just because you felt compelled to keep your three-year-old granddaughter out at that late hour does not mean the rest of us were willing to join the party with our kids.

Hey, I’ve been there. I’ve crossed the border into Indiana and bought the “good stuff.” I’ve scared my own dog with loud noises and probably got a little rowdy, but I don’t recall ever doing so at eleven-o-clock in the frickin’ evening on a weeknight. That’s one hour before midnight, y’all. Some of us have to get up at 6 am to feed our children who probably didn’t get a good night’s sleep from the ruckus you caused. Not to mention some of us have really cranky children who are inconsolable from teething and don’t need to be disturbed when they finally do manage to get to sleep. And if you had to shoot off the really loud ones, couldn’t you have at least done that an hour earlier? I mean it was just as dark at 10:00 as it was at 11:00.

This may now explain why I sounded a bit upset and used an expletive when I asked you how long you were planning on being out there last night. If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t get much sleep. The dog is a bed hog and the Cartoon Network did not go far in masking the sound of the rest of the town lighting off their illegal fireworks.

Sincerely,

The cranky, pissed-off lady next door

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