Fri 4 Nov, 2011 04:35 pm
Since I've lived here in this quiet neighborhood composed of side by side double units (I don't know the local phrase, perhaps townhouses but I take those as more elegantine), I've liked my immediate neighbors that I've gotten to know, including the sheriff with all the cars and flags. Well, except for one batch.
Across the street was a woman about my age named Soledad. She took me into her pristinely clean and decorated house, seldom have I seen such an immaculate place, very peaceful, and showed me her shrine for her mother. We liked each other, different as we were. Then she moved to a family place of some sort south of this city. Soon came a gang of relatives, as I figured out they were related to Soledad from discussion with one of them, and I say gang with intent: slobs who parked cars in the front yard, slammed doors, et al.
They managed to figure out I didn't want battered cars in front of my own parkway space and desisted. I waved and they waved back, but I was glad when they left en masse a couple of years later.
Then came the renters - a christian couple, mentioned right away, who wanted to help me (oh, never mind, that never happened except that the husband gave me a new hose, one with many leaks - I'd told him I'd put the hose in the back, but he'd seen me watering with milk bottles, smart in my yard), but I tended to like them as we had some similar interests aside from the spiritual - art and plants. The wife told me about all the black widows. Criminy, I'm freaky re spiders as it is, but especially re black widows.
Those two knew a lot about landscaping, kept the place up. Left because the owner wouldn't fix anything.
Maybe four months ago a new family moved in. I'd had some conversations with the husband, and wife and kid waved with me. Last month a for sale sign turned up. I didn't see the husband to express my dismay since then. He'd planted stuff in the yard, a nice looking Caesalpina and some other plants.
Just went to my mailbox and there was the gas company - the people are gone.
Maybe the place is sold, or maybe the folks couldn't make rent.
Wish I'd talked with them more.
We called them duplex's Osso. We have lived in two. One was the size of a cracker box and the other was a little bit bigger.
When we lived in ours, we had a Latino family living next door. Many children - and they loved to listen to mariachi bands in the afternoons. On the other side we had an older woman, who passed away shortly after we moved there and her daughter moved in. That was a pretty transient neighborhood as well. I only knew 3 of the families around us. Most of the others were young and gone during the day and then off at night to play.
But it is kind of interesting the folks that come and go.
True. I've lived in some interesting neighborhoods of different sorts, and there are various patterns.
When I was in Chicago for an a2k get together in 2006, I met a childhood friend from Evanston and we walked the old neighborhood. My family had eventually bought a house nearby, but for years we rented what I now think of as a near palatial cool house and sideyard. As we were walking, old friend and I met the woman who lives there now, the daughter (I think) of our old landlord. She didn't invite me to see the house. Maybe privacy, fear, or class, as we were renters.
I didn't need to really - I've had many dreams about it. It's where we had Secret Pine Club meetings.
Adds, I call them duplexes too.
We still drive the boys through there at times. It was decimated back on April 27th when all the tornado's went through there. Bad news. But I have often wondered what it would be like to walk through it again. I think I forgot to unpack all of the stuff in the attic. I can't remember taking that down for some reason....
The dulplex we lived in before was really crazy. Lots of theater folks and very flamboyant. Really entertaining though. But they came and went like mad. They would pass it off to a friend as they were leaving town. That was the duplex that I could actually see the ground from a whole where the washer and dryer were.
. The really great thing about that duplex was that the landlord let me paint it any way I wanted to. I had murals on every wall in that place. Fun memories.
I didn't need to really - I've had many dreams about it. It's where we had Secret Pine Club meetings
What is a Secret Pine Club?
Y'gotta see my Venice in the Seventies thread.. which I could elaborate on, but am planning to add photos.
Someone posted on it recently so it's in the mix of the New Posts threads.
A Secret Pine Club is a group of neighborhood girls, two from a certain family that taught me a lot about a lot - how families work, about making caramel apples, about ice skating, about getting over having snow smashed on my face, about charades, about what I now think of as normal childhood. The house we rented had a big pine tree toward the back of the lot, and we used to play in that yard - making houses out of boxes and chairs and sheets and whatever (if I'd only have listened to myself, that I liked architecture). I imagined a lair under the pine tree, with a mattress and books and a refrigerator and chocolate bars, and that must have convinced the rest of us, thus.. the secret pine club. I think I was nine when this happened.
I will look up your thread Osso.
That sounds like a lot of fun. Sweet memories.
I love things like that. We made a tree house for the boys in the backyard (cuz I wanted it) and I am pretty sure I use it more then them. I like to take coffee up there and read. It is so peaceful.