Thursday, November 15, 2012

In The Hood

Hello!  Happy almost-Friday!

Ok, so...I have a couple of completely unrelated things to talk about....per the usual.  First up....Halloween!  Ben had A BLAST!!  I'm not going to post any pics since you already saw the pic of him in his costume in my last post, but he really did have a great time.  I think his favorite part might have been helping us hand candy out to other kids when Greg and I were done taking him around to houses.  He would see the kids coming and yell out "More kids!!"  Then he would run out and meet them at the top of the stairs that lead up our yard to our house and tell them "HI!!!" very loudly :-)  It was so cute.  He acquired a pretty good haul for himself too.  I've been letting him have one piece of candy most days since Halloween has ended, so we should get through that sometime in 2015.

With the Thanksgiving holiday only a week away, my thoughts are turning to the excitement and happiness of spending time with family.  One of our neighbors across the street had several family members arrive at their house today and they were all hanging out in the yard, throwing around a football and talking and just enjoying each other.  This made me think about my own past family get-togethers.  Specifically, get-togethers we had when I was a kid.  They often happened at grandparents' houses and we kids often found "creative" ways to entertain ourselves.  I specifically remember something my brother and I would do when we went to my Grandma and Grandpa Rade's house.....

 We went through a phase where we would sit on their front stoop and just watch the neighborhood kids play.  Since we grew up on a farm, and not in a neighborhood, the idea of living in close proximity to other kids that you could just go out and play with whenever you wanted was fascinating.  We were so enthralled, that we (or maybe it was just me :)) would actually get out notebooks and write down what they were doing.  We would give them made-up names and record everything like we were spies on a fact-finding mission.  For example:  10:30am--The King (yes, we actually named one of them "The King") rode by on his bike.

 I know, I know....nerd alert, nerd alert.  So be it.  We loved it.

Remembering this made me think how, at this point in my life, I've now lived in several neighborhoods.   And ye old tradition of watching and assigning made-up names to fellow neighbors has continued.  I may or may not have begun worrying that I am the only one who does this.  But then I remember the movie "The Burbs" (one the BEST MOVIES EVER) and realize that spying on and talking about your neighbors is a time-honored tradition that I feel a responsibility to uphold.  And Greg gladly joins in on the slightly creepy fun.  So, my Thanksgiving gift to you is a brief list of some of our unsuspecting neighbors and the names we have anointed them with.

Let's see.....we have "Man On Bike With Dog" (hey, I never said the names were creative).  This is a man who rides his bike at the same time every day, wearing a reflective vest (even in the middle of summer when it's completely light out), and "walking" his dog on a leash while he rides his bike.  He makes one lap with the dog, and then another lap without.  And usually he rides by while we're eating dinner.  Whoever sees him first (usually me) announces to the other "man on bike with dog".  And then we go about our business.  Actually, Greg doesn't go about his business until he watches the man go ALL THE WAY by to ensure his dog doesn't do his business in our yard.

Next up:  "China Man and China Woman".  This would be a lovely, older Chinese couple who goes on walks together.  Or rather, China man walks approximately 20 feet in front of China woman with his hands clasped behind his back while she does the power-walking "arm pump".  Except she isn't really power-walking.  In fact, she's actually going at a glacial pace.  Which could be why he is always 20 feet in front of her.

Our next-door-neighbor has earned the name "Motorcycle Charlie" due to his penchant for firing up his motorcycle at approximately 9:00pm EVERY SINGLE NIGHT OF THE SUMMER.  Not only that... he also enjoys just sitting on it in his driveway, revving it up for what seems like 15 minutes.  I should take it easy on him though.  He's had a spot of bad luck recently with his third DUI offense and 6 months in jail.  Whoops!  Greg and I were talking one night about how we hadn't seen (or heard) him in a long time.  Greg had a sixth-sense that he might be in the slammer, so we Googled his name and, sure enough, he was in the slammer indeed.  He's out now....just in time for the holidays.

And we can't leave out our personal favorite:  "Man Who Hates His Family".  This is a man who is always in the opposite location as the rest of his family.  We often see him just sitting in a lawn chair in his driveway....and no other family members are anywhere to be found.  We assume they are in the house.  Conversely, if his family is outside, laughing, cavorting, enjoying each other's company... man who hates his family is MIA.  The other day, we spotted him just sitting in his truck in his driveway.  The engine was not running, the garage door was closed.  Just. sitting. there.  I'm guessing the holiday season is that man's own personal hell, so we should be seeing a lot more of him in his driveway very soon.

I can only imagine what our neighbors say about us :-)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Don't be like Man Who Hates His Family.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Love- Brooke, Greg and Ben