I love to sit outside and work, especially now that it’s gorgeous and my garden is in place and the trees are trimmed. But here’s the downfall of having neighbors that you actually have a relationship with. First of all, I don’t like them seeing me like this because I don’t shower until about 2:30 before Dave gets home and I wear my pajamas most of the time to work from home here. I fear that my neighbors will think I’m really just some lush who kicks ’em back all day.
Now, they all know I’m writing a book. They know I work from home, but I don’t think they grasp the full scope of a groove for us writers. As they shouldn’t. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just waved or said a quick “Hello, how ya doin’.” But this isn’t the case here in Wildwood. I find myself hiding from the neighbors during a weekday as to avoid an hour long conversation. The guy to the left of me is like eighty-five years old and as wonderful as he is, I tire quickly of our little chats. He can barely see and is somewhat hard of hearing, but quite the spunky, savvy little man none the less. His wife is ill and he does his best to take care of her and nurse her to wellness. I adore them both, but avoid them at all costs during the week.
My neighbor on the other side of me is Korean and has a hard time speaking English, which is fine with me. We communicate pretty well. She is always bringing me lettuce and tomatoes from her garden and giving me tips on how to tend to my vegetables. She’s very knowledgeable in this area. She goes into the lot that lies between her house and mine. It’s empty and the people who own it don’t come by to take care it, so we, the community, do what we can to maintain it. The Korean neighbor puts on her little straw hat and gardening gloves, grabs her basket and goes out to the lot to pick wild flowers for salad or tea or something. You would think she’s in a vast field out in the country somewhere the way she sets out to do her daily tasks of picking berries. She then comes to me handing me what looks like a nasty weed and says, “Here, you eat.” I squinch up face and say, “Eat it?” She shakes her head and says, “Yea, you put in bowl and eat on lettuce,” as she goes through the motions of putting something to your lips and eating. I say okay and try to walk away. But she insists on standing there, looking in my garden and asks me what is growing. “Mostly weeds,” I tell her. She says, “Oh, not good, you pull.” Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it…or not. “Okay,” I tell her and walk away quickly because I was just in a groove. I’m dreading going back to the computer because I have completely lost my train of thought and the emotion that was driving me.
And then…going out to get the mail is like a recon mission. I have to peek out the windows to make sure no one is out there and open the door to look around even further down the road and almost run to the end of the driveway and back without it looking like I’m a mental patient that is trying to escape.
I’m friends with the across the street neighbors too. And not just one of them, all of them, for at least five houses in a row. Not only that, but I’m still in my lush attire. Do I really need to go get the mail you ask? Well, yes, some days I do because I am probably waiting for a book that I ordered on line or some unnecessary part for my bike.
But in all, it’s a pretty glorious and charmed life, I must say. There are so many good things that outweigh this one minor hindrance, so I’m not complaining, I’m just sayin’.
There is definitely a book in here somewhere. This neighborhood is the perfect place to be written about.