Sunday, June 28, 2009
Grace notes: Right neighborly
Every lifetime surely gets a mixed bag of neighbors. As you know, I have been largely spoiled with some of the best a person could hope for, the kind of fine people next door to whom the term "neighbor" means both proximity and commitment.
At the same time, I have talked to you about the tug of war in my head as we attempt to pin down a southern home. My first choice is the Carolina's. I will not get into the reasons because my bias would be too obvious, but secondarily we consider a few other spots as listings appear: Eastern North Carolina, Augusta, Georgia, Ponte Vedra, Florida, and so on. I have moments when I tell myself lies for weeks and convince myself I would be happy on .10 acre in an HOA sub-division which regulates the size of my dog, color of my roof, and how often my lawn gets cut (welcome to modern-day repressive Levittown, ya'll!). Then something will happen: The evening news van will pull up in front of the house to ask if I have any comments on the teacher down the way who was accused of molesting a student. Or more lightly but still irritating: The never-ending dog travails or those who live in close quarters.
Just fyi, those of you with personal freedoms in your homes: Move to an HOA in Florida and that canine better be 50 pounds or less and not deemed an "aggressive breed" or any mix thereof otherwise you cannot live there nor will you be able to get home owner's insurance (still, somehow, legal in Florida. But you can carry as big a gun as you can heft.). Once you have managed those hurdles, you will need to keep your dog on a leash.
On my way home this morning, a tiny Yorkie (dressed similar to the one above in 95 degree heat and looking just as pleased) was loose and headed down the road into the wheel of the car. I stopped, picked her up, cooed at her, ascertained the owner, returned her safely, and introduced myself, "Yes... New York... rarely here, but nice to meet you... well, here she is..." and went on my way, up the drive and into the house.
Fifteen minutes later, the bell rang and it was the loose-dog neighbor. "Did you see my dog leash and harness (really a jacket)? It was right there where you returned the dog?" And he pointed to the street at the end of my drive. I hadn't and frankly, the common rooms of my home are at the rear so I do not see what goes on in the street and I am busy these days.
"Sorry, no. But let me help you look." I said, tripping over a stack of new phone books/ tree abuse on my walkway as I moved to the street and motioned for both my Corgi and Daughter to stay up at the house.
We went on this way for a few minutes. Me, trying to help him while not getting to far from the house where my new baby is sick and trying to keep a busy two year old at bay, and he - I think - accusing me of stealing the Yorkie's harness thing. Although quite obviously, someone had just been in all of the yards delivering phone books. Have I mentioned I am not a small dog person? No, more like an Akita and 50-pound Corgi person. Both have the strength of five men. What on earth would I want a Yorkie's harness for? I mean, do not even get me started.
Anyway, I would love to do more for you today but I am very tied up with my two tiny children, my two big dogs, and the oncoming hours of MLS searches which will now revise to, "Greek revival, 10 acres +, rural southern country home." Pass the bourbon, Neighbors.
Photos: Ralph Lauren Pups
Lastly, some housekeeping: Do not forget to enter the Garden & Gun giveaway at Blushing Hostess Entertains or the Old Bay giveaway here at Blushing Hostess Cooks. Both are worth a second to leave your name.