Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I met another neighbor tonight from a few doors down. He was at the house when the kids and I pulled up; he was talking to Shane. When I got out of the car, this man greeted me with a handshake that felt like a hug, and his smile lit up his face.

He brought us a bag of vegetables from his garden. Items just picked today.

There were squashes of all shapes and colors, and cucumbers too. To me, nothing short of gold--this generosity of a neighbor. (And he didn't even know his smile alone was more than enough.)

"Would you like some herbs from my garden?" I offered. "I'd offer you some lettuce too, but the rabbits discovered it recently."

We talked and he told me some history about the area. About knowing it when there were only three houses here. About the first family, before Joel, and how when he was a boy he'd swim here too. He told me about his farm and the animals he had.

"Do you have goats?" I asked. He didn't anymore, because one was so mean. But told me how other breeds had better temperaments.

"This is a good yard for goats," he said.

"A friend said the same thing. We're going to borrow some for the summer," I told.

I met another neighbor this morning as Lanie and I walked trashcans to the road. She told me her story and I caught her refrain, her now so different from before.

Tomorrow marks the last of holiday milestones here. We've each celebrated a birthday, and all the holidays--the Fourth the last to complete us. A variety of seasons now past as well. A cycle of blooms makes me toggle at times between before and after, thoughts on echinacea and Black-eyed Susan, what was my garden and now is hers. I wonder if the yellow petals unfolded, and if she likes them, cheery in a corner. I smile because they bloom here too, abundantly, among lilies and hostas. And I breathe deeply the sweetness of happy.

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