The sound of crickets making rub legged songs to each other greets me when I flip off the porch light and slip outside for a smoke at night. I survey the freshly cut lawn and newly installed solar lights, and then look beyond, to the dots of solar lights accenting well kept lawns of tidy houses lined up and down the block, hoping the little bit of yard work will make my own little house less of an eyesore. It will blend in better next year, after the exterior is painted.
If other neighbors are outside at night, they are as quiet and motionless as I am.
Still I feel watched. I’m the newbie here, so I feel like they waiting to see what I do to this place, if I will blend in or disrupt their neighborhood. The first to introduce herself was Ms. Kravitz (not her real name, think nibby neighbor on Bewitched years ago). She seems to be running her own little block watch by keeping tabs on everybody. She talks to M more than me, shares tidbits about different neighbors.
M watches me, chuckles to himself while I’m fixing things. He’s not the handyman type, so it kind of amazes him when I come up with a creative way to do something that would otherwise be physically impossible for me to do. He’s learned not to argue over my homemade gadget tools.
He tells his friends that he’s just staying with me until I get used to my new environment, that he doesn’t want me to be here by myself until he’s sure my neighbors will look out for me. On days he has gone back to his own place for awhile, my daughter has stopped by, so I really haven’t had more than a couple hours alone in my own house yet. He’s really good at watching football in another room while I am busy doing things, but it is not exactly the quiet solitude I occasionally need. I find myself getting up in the wee hours to write or to just be alone with my thoughts.
Well, here is a photo of the back yard after cutting down baby maple trees that had rooted in untended flower beds. Most were seedlings. The tallest was ye 14 foot. As for the angel, she was there when I moved in… it makes me wonder if a pet was buried there.
The house definitely needs painted. What color should it be?
The color palette must go with browns… brown roof, brown gutters, brown rain spouts, and shades of brown of the stonework facade that covers half the front. I want to go with something different, maybe gingerbread it up a bit, yet still kind of blend in with the neighborhood.
M says, “Why do you ask? You are going to do whatever you want to do anyway.”
True… my house, my decisions, but I do value input from others. I may like a suggestion, or someone’s suggestion might lead to something else… thinking is a process and I have all winter to decide.
Speaking of time, I’m almost out of time… M will arrive on the next bus.
I’m really trying to make a go of this relationship thing, more often just learning to go with the flow of it, take it as it is, roll with what comes, if that makes sense. I’m not used to anything.
That may sound odd, but you have to consider… 34 years of my adult life has been lived as a single woman on my own. None of this couple stuff comes easy; my “normal” is alone. I’m also kind of selfish and set in my ways. I ain’t right, so he says… oh well.
Thanks for reading.