Our first contact on the street was a nice senior resident who used to be the shop teacher up at the school but is now retired. His name is Tim. He was a man who you could tell had been around loud machinery for a long time. When I said hello and introduced myself he leaned in to hear, and I then upped my volume.
Him and his wife are ajacent to us on the street. He informed me of some history of our home. That the pricipal of the school (olden days) used to live here and offered a welcome to his home where he lived with his wife.
Our next guests were our next door neighbours. They own the other part of the lot and home that used to be together at one time and was seperated in 1876. They were about middle age or so and very warm. It helped that they came bearing gifts of cookies. How could you not like people bringing homemade cookies!
They informed us they had a shikzu and that the tree in the back was both of ours. Very friendly.
They also informed us of a strange old lady across the street who was often very nosy and may even venture into your backyard. I assumed they weren't quite serious about that last part but maybe had had an incident with her at some time on that topic.
Lastly. The strange old lady from across the street dropped in. Immedietly I knew they were not joking about her nosyness because she stepped her way into the door by being a close talker and then asking if she could just come in a moment, while stepping in the front door.
She proceeded to say her name (which I can't remember) because she was also busy rubber necking around the corners of our home where she could see from our front door. It was amazing that she didn't find this rude to do at all.
In the end after a minute or two I excused her out the door again with the reason that my son was napping and it sounded like he was up. That I needed to tend to him. Perhaps another time we could meet and say hello.
"sure" she said, and went on her way.
As I sat tonight in my reading chair at the end of the hall I looked out the window at all the homes. I'm not used to living so close to others. I forgot what it was like to see other peoples lives as they see yours day in and day out. From front porch to front porch. Back yard to back yard. All connected. All different types of people.
'It is through accepting other people in our own countries that we shall come to respect our neighbors and be respected in our turn. "
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Tahar Ben Jelloun