Monday, January 28, 2008

Deaver Street

This afternoon, our neighbor Nicole, sat outside on her porch in the sun. I saw her from here, my office window, down there reading. She is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet, walking around in her bathrobe in the morning and sometimes wearing a Stetson and a big yellow coat in the afternoons. She plants tons of flowers in her yard. By tons, I mean tons: Hostas and begonias and impatiens and about 20 hanging baskets of plants on her porch. She's always working on her yard, though she rents the place. She's French Canadian. Last night, she yelled across the street to tell Pat that she was calling her friends in Hawaii and was looking for her cats. She takes care of five, though I don't know if they are hers, technically. There's a lot of strays around. She likes to take Sammy for walks. Nicole is mysterious; she has an accent.

The neighbors next to her haven't said anything to either Pat or me. We haven't talked to them, either, but we see them every once in a while. They have about eight cars -- Jeeps and Broncos and the sort -- in their driveway most of the time. On the weekends, they'll throw open their front door and if you look, sometimes you can see out the back of their house to the woods and the ravine behind them. They keep their yard immaculate. The grass is cut every weekend. The porch is swept. They wave and smile when they pass me and Sammy on the road as we take our walks, up past the neighbors who throw all kinds of trash out in their yard, things like old shoes and broken mirrors and, today, two TVs, facing each other on the grass. These neighbors speak Spanish; Pat and I don't. Sometimes a wave and a smile are the best things to say, anyway.

In the ravine, up the way some, there's a guy who drives a tractor trailer for a living who lives in his van in the woods. He's got piles of wood stacked up on his land, which he as keeps clean as a well-kept city park, except for all the broken-down vans and a shed or two. Every once in a while, the rig is parked down there -- minus the trailer, of course. I've never seen him, but I've heard about him from our neighbor, Ginger, who is like the Neighborhood Ambassador.

I work with Ginger, who hosts semi-regular women-only poker games at her house. She has two dogs. One is as old as the hills and can't see or hear anymore. She has a patch of herbs next to her house and knows everyone. She asks me all the time if anyone is giving us any trouble or if we heard some fight across the street, in the duplex where some guy who just got out of prison comes in the middle of the night and yells at the woman who lives there with a couple of kids. Pat and I don't hear them. Ginger's bedroom faces their house, so she does.

Down the street live a couple we went to Warren Wilson with. They have two kids. Baby Sam loves Pat's truck, always wants to crawl around in it and push the buttons as he grins. His sister sometimes runs around like crazy and shouts and laughs. Sometimes she won't say anything.


Anonymous said...

What a scoop on your hood! Fun!


Kathryn Frances Walker said...

i love this. i love neighborhoods. and streets. and people on most days.