Neighbors 5/17/2002

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We've lived on this block for about seven years.  Generally it's been a good place to live and store our stuff.  The neighborhood was built in two phases, between 1969 and 1972.  When we arrived in 1995 many of the residents were the original builders.  At least seven or eight of them have moved since we arrived.  It's probably because of me.  Most of the homes retain their original dark wood exteriors. One house that sold in 2000 has now been resided in beige vinyl.  It doesn't really fit with the other homes but I'm not sure it really matters.  The more I look at these pictures the more I see that they are already different.  It's a good thing to not lock yourself in time so perhaps house changes are good.  The original owners all moved because they didn't fit anymore.  Some day I won't fit either.

This block has the nicest dogs that we've ever had.  Hannah, Sydney and Rowdy are great dogs and come to our house frequently for treats.  Liberty lives across the street and is a close second to the others, but ironically is tied up most of the time.  There are at least half a dozen more dogs but they are backyard dogs, house dogs and invisible fence dogs; I'm not sure what kind of lives they live.  The friendliest neighbors seem to be those with the friendliest dogs.  Second tier friendly neighbors without dogs are few, but there are a few homes that we chat w/ the owners.  I forgot Pineapple; nice dog...hyperactive...probably from Nepal.  I never see the people who have yards with invisible fences; they stay in their houses and their dogs stay in their yards.

There are some real uptight people on this block.  Most of them don't come outside at all unless it's to manicure their lawns.  People here don't come out to wash their cars, they have 'people' who do that.  It's a neighborhood full of dying oak trees and fall is incredible with leaves.  There must be hundreds of bags from this block.  We blow ours into our non-lawn back yard.  The pictures look pretty suburban but we're infested with deer, woodchucks and raccoons.  This spring there was a dead deer 10 feet from my back door.  I flipped it onto a tarp and dragged it to the street where the city picked it up. I wanted my kids to come out and smell the dead deer; they thought that was gross.  How else would one relate to "...the smell of death was in the air...."  There are dead deer around here every week.  I'm not sure what happens to them when they're picked up....probably end up in a dumpster.  This community is really into recycling but I never see any containers labeled "Recycling - Dead Animals" or "Please separate your dead deer from your dead raccoons."

Some people don't seem very good at introducing themselves.    Here's how that works; when you see someone has moved in and you don't know them, you walk over and say "Hi, my name is Walter."  I live there (point to your house) and then make some idle chit chat about where they moved from, and then say you have to go finish something. People who don't introduce themselves stay in their house and their dogs are left uncontrolled in their back yard.  No one talks to them.  I think they are lonely.  They buy new cars all the time.  I'm going to introduce myself when they or I move.

Overall this is a good place to live.  We have a few houses that we bring food to and from and we watch out for each other.  My favorite person no longer lives on the block.  Lynnette was great.  She had keys to everyone's home and walked up and down the street 2-3 times per day. If you were leaving town you called Lynette and she took care of your mail and papers. She knew everything.  I'd trade her for all the people who know nothing and stay in their houses.