Tag Archives: neighborhood

Mama Don’t You Talk, I Mean Walk So Fast

On my way back from the pool this morning I saw the funniest thing. OK. Not exactly funny-funny — but definitely amusing.

Today is Labor Day. And many people have the day off. The mere fact that I was able to go for a swim, first thing in the morning with my kids at home, says holiday to me. (Dad was watching the kids. Yeah. Babysitting. Why in the world is it called “watching the kids” when dad’s doing it but when mom….oh wait. I digress. This topic is for another post. Where was I? Oh. Right. That amusing thing. Sorry!)

To get the full effect, I need to paint the scene. So. Close your eyes. Oh, wait. No. Don’t close your eyes. Then you won’t be able to read this. Hmmmm. OK. Sit back. Relax. Pretend you’re closing your eyes and picture this…..

A beautiful late summer day. The sun is shining. The sky is clear. The air smells fresh and clean. You’re driving through a picturesque subdivision with front porches (that people actually use) and sidewalks (that people actually use). Very Norman Rockwell, our neighborhood.

And in the distance you see a family. Walking. Mom is a few steps ahead, leading the way. Two little boys, about ages 5 and 8. The older boy is pushing the stroller and the dad is just behind them. You think, how sweet. A family walk. It’s so great that they’re all out exercising together. What a good example they’re providing their children. Ahhh, yes. The family that plays together, stays together.

Here. In case you’re imaginatively-impaired, I found a little visual aid.

Except, picture the big kid pushing the stroller. And remember, they’re in a neighborhood. With houses, not storefronts.  Mom first. Followed by the kids and stroller. Dad, a step behind. On a narrow sidewalk. And they’re wearing different clothes.  Oh, and it’s just some anonymous family because Dave Chappell and his brood? They don’t live near me.

But you get the idea.

As you get closer, you notice three things.

1. The boys have sour looks on their faces. (The baby in the stroller is perfectly content, however.)

2. Mom is talking on her cell phone.

3. Dad is texting.

Which leads you to #4.

4. No wonder the kids have sour looks on their faces.

Sigh.

Norman Rockwell would be rolling over in his grave.

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Filed under family, funny, Observations

Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Part III

About three months ago I started a series (well, it’s NOW a series since we’re into part III) of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” posts. I described the Blog World which I reside in a few hours a day as a wonderful new neighborhood where I get to pick and choose my neighbors. And then more neighbors moved in. I’ve had this post sitting in my draft queue for some time, hesitating to hit publish.  Because, in the mean time, someone else used the same title for a wonderful meme introducing us to new blogs. A great idea. And I didn’t want to step on toes. Or have any confusion.

So this post has been sitting, gathering dust in my queue because I was trying to think of another name or another way to re-introduce what I started in early November. But I can’t. Or I won’t. (I can’t decide.) We both borrowed from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. And I like it. And since we’re both piggy backing off of Mr. Roger’s success I’ve decided to keep the name. Just please don’t confuse it with the fun new meme of the same name that appears on Fridays. And to help avoid confusion – I’ll never post this thread on a Friday. Ok? Ok.

Some new neighbors have moved in and I want you to meet them!

Angelcel at AC’sScrapbook – Sparkling conversation is what drew me in while walking my dog to the park. She invited me to sit on her porch and we talked for hours. She shared with me her love of photography, music, cooking, the list went on and on. The pictures in her “home” are beautiful. She captures moments in amazing ways. Her porch is so welcoming and is decorated with her own creations. The wicker chairs outfitted with comfy pillows. The side table always has a fresh pitcher of tea. And I always meet a new and interesting neighbor while I’m there.

ck at Bad Mommy Moments – I love her “motto” – She “celebrates the days of motherhood that SUCK. Because it’s often after our worst moments that we realize just how lucky we really are.” Well said, ck. Rising from the ashes – that’s how I feel most days. I met ck at the playground and immediately was drawn to her. Her sense of humor, her view on life – how she is always able to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. And an amazing story-teller. I get lost in them, nodding with mouth agape. On my bad days, she helps me to see that I’m not alone. On my good days, she helps me to appreciate all that I have that much more. Thank goodness she’s only a few blocks away.

Aidan at Ivy League Insecurities – I believe I met Aidan at a social event here in the neighborhood. She was interesting, kind, articulate and whimsically philosophical. I loved what she had to say and I had to hear more. So we met for coffee one afternoon and became friends. She takes a simple, pure event and turns it into a compelling, delightful inquiry. She invites discussion. Her dining room table turns into a round-table with all of us laughing, crying, sharing and most of all, enjoying each other’s company.

Unabridged Girl – Wise beyond her years she is a lovely young woman. I probably met her at book club. She is a lover of books, words, conversation and life. Her home is filled with books, diet coke (I bring my own Classic Coke), and fun friends. We all poke fun, playfully argue and always agree that visits with her are never dull. She is curious and refreshing. She shakes the cobwebs off my 40-some-yr-old mind.

There you have it. More wonderful new neighbors to meet, if you haven’t met them already. Make sure you tell them I said hello!

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Filed under People

Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Part II

Remember about a month back when I posted about the wonderful blog neighborhood I’ve created for myself ? Well, I meant to get to this sooner but the hustle and bustle of the holidays got the better of me. I was strolling in my neighborhood the other night, enjoying the lights and decorations you’ve all put up and I wanted to share with you a few more of my wonderful neighbors.

I’ve noticed, while commenting on other blogs, that we DO seem to run in the same circles, in the same neighborhood, if you will. And I just want to say, especially at this time of year, how grateful I am to have you all as neighbors and friends. Thanks for sharing your ideas, opinions and thoughtful posts. Thanks for your interesting, funny and kind comments. Thanks for visiting me, for welcoming me to the neighborhood – I still feel a bit of a newbie. I enjoy our time together and look forward to seeing you whenever we all sign on!

Maureen at Island Roar is the big sister I never had. She’s warm. She’s funny. She has kids just a bit older than mine so I can learn from all of her mis-steps and successes. Her youngest daughter and my oldest would be more than cousins – they’d be great friends and mischief makers. And the fact that they live just around the block from each other would make for some sleepless nights on my part. But Maureen would calm me down, just after gently chewing them out, of course – as only a favorite aunt can do. Holidays would always be brighter with Maureen around!

Faemom lives just down the street. Our boys are around the same age and we have great fun during the playdates. And then she blogs about the same playdate and I crack up because she’s noticed something and re-told it in a way that makes it seem fresh all over again. She’s insightful and wise. She finds humor in the simple, beautiful moments of our lives. Her life is about to get that much richer because she’s expecting and I’m just so excited and happy for her. We’re going to have to have a bloggy baby shower for her!

My dear friend at Burp and Slurp is a young student at the local university. She is a beautiful spirit. I love the stories she tells before sharing her food adventures. She is wise beyond her years. With a love of photography and good food, she shares wonderful recipes using ingredients that help me to stretch my culinary talents. My taste buds love to hear when she’s in town!

Country-Fried Mama is who I visit when I need a dose of reality. And although I’ve been in the south more than half my life now she’s who I turn to when I’m perplexed my some of the eccentricities of this beautiful place I call home. She makes me laugh. She makes me pause. But her love of her family is what I like most about her.

There you have it. Four more neighbors in my favorite neighborhood. I hope you enjoy visiting them as much as I do!

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Filed under off topic

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Please don’t laugh at my niavete or scorn my belief without basis. (The real word that should be inserted here is prejudice but I just couldn’t bring myself to say it.) We used to live in an historic neighborhood. Some renters. Some restoring old homes to their glamour of yesterday. A mixed neighborhood of  color and money. It’s what we wanted. We’re a mixed race family. We’re educated but chose professions that don’t bring in tons of money. We made the conscious decision to be where we were. And most of the time, we loved our neighborhood. But the school system wasn’t stellar. And my husband’s business was growing. And, frankly, I just didn’t feel safe anymore. I was tired of going to neighborhood watch meetings and talking about the latest gang markings. I was home alone with two infants and my daughter was starting high school – no longer to be homeschooled. We decided we wanted idyllic suburbia with people “just like us.” Ha!

We searched and searched. We thought that by living in a neighborhood where the homes were of a certain worth we’d fit in and feel comfortable with everyone. We looked high. We looked low (but not too low.) The higher we looked the more promising we felt the neighborhood would be. One woman (a neighbor) saw us looking at a home and she came over and introduced herself. She alerted us to another home down the street from her. The husband was being transferred to Singapore. “I want neighbors who are moving to Singapore!” I said to my husband. I felt that if you were willing to move to exotic locales you would be worldly, educated, open-minded and interesting. We looked in another neighborhood where the price point for the homes was wide. The only homes we could afford were in a section called The Commons. “Oh look, Honey,” my husband exclaimed, “We can be commoners!”

Ultimately, we chose a beautiful neighborhood with lots of amenities, homes priced close together so we’d be with like minds (ha! again), sidewalks, front and back porches, neighborhood activities and get-togethers. It’s also closer to a major city and a large Korean population which is what we wanted for our kids. Don’t get me wrong, we love it here. We’ve met some amazing people who are now close friends (Hi K and A!) but some of my neighbors are not what I bargained for. One neighbor gets caught up in gossip and helps to spread it like wildfire on Facebook. One neighbor gives my daughter the creeps with his leering and creepy comments  (don’t worry, we stay away). One neighbor bragged about cheating the bank/government/us by walking away from their mortgage. Another grabs a  few clubs and he and his kid sneak onto the golf course at the 5th hole at dusk without paying. So much for like minds. Another lesson learned.

I’ve called this place where we, the bloggers,  reside as Blog World. And a dear reader commented in a private note to me that I’d make a great neighbor. I thought, this is what I’ve created here for myself – a neighborhood! And I LOVE my neighbors here. And I like it that we all live here together. How cool is it that we get to pick and choose our neighbors? Our neighborhood here can be as homogenized or eclectic as we want it to be. In case you’re wondering, mine is pretty eclectic and I like it that way! I thought I might introduce you to some of my favorite neighbors! I won’t be able to get to all of them today so I’ve decided this is going to be a series of posts, hopefully without end because I seem to meet kind, creative, interesting, and amazing people every day. This neighborhood is as large as I want to make it and we’re all within walking distance of each other. How perfect is that?

Submom at Absence of Alternatives – This is the kind of neighbor when you go next door to borrow a cup of sugar, you start talking and talking so she invites you in. You keep talking. And talking. You finish your conversation. Go home and realize you didn’t get the cup of sugar. So you go back, laugh about the forgotten cup of sugar. It reminds her of this funny story so you start talking again. And talking. You go home and guess what? Yep. But it’s a great excuse to go next door again for more great conversation! When she moved in I found my new best friend!

Steve at The Planet Harris Blog – There is a pond in my neighborhood and he lives across it. (Smiling at my feeble little  joke) As you enter his home to the left is the library. To the right is the dining room but the table is covered with books and a laptop and has been turned into an office. You step into the family room and there are floor to ceiling bookshelves with a handy little ladder on wheels. His wife is baking biscuits. You can smell sweets baking and coffee and tea brewing. They are warm, welcoming people. The couches are comfy and there are always interesting people popping over for good conversation. I like it here!

TKW at The Kitchen Witch – She lives right next door, too. Which is a good thing because when I’m in a pinch and have NO idea what to bring to the neighborhood BBQ – she’s got the recipe. Snowed in with the kids for three days? She’s got the recipe. Husband home sick and whiny and you just want him to shut up  get a good night’s rest? She’s got the recipe. But better than her recipes are the stories behind them. She’s the best kind of neighbor because she doesn’t judge, she laughs at herself and she’d look out for your kids like they’re her own.

I have two neighbors (they live in the bungalows just up the street, downsizing since the kids have moved away) that I go to for advice, Robin at Passions and Soapboxes and Mary Lee at MerrilyMaryLee’s Weblog. They’re wise and they’re hip. They’re sweet and they’re funny. But they’ve been there, done that with child rearing. They’ve lived it and they’re willing to share what works and what doesn’t. And they’re living a life right now that is packed with fun and interesting adventures.

Five houses in my neighborhood. I’ll tell you about more of them another time. But to all of you out there – thanks for living in MY neighborhood. Thank you for allowing me to live in yours. I never realized how attached I would become to my bloggy friends. What started out as a little experiment grew into something I never imagined. I’m glad I live here!

(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together Friday, November 13th. Collect the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them on Friday. You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you Friday!)

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Filed under Lessons Learned, People