Saturday, April 10, 2010

There Goes the Neighborhood

O.K. So its not as bad as that photograph. But it sure aint the same as it used to be.

The moving van is across the street. It is taking away a family (to larger quarters, no doubt) with twin girls my daughter’s age. They aren’t the first to go and they certainly won’t be the last.

Three or four years ago, this was an incredible neighborhood. Full of young couples, families and kindly old ladies. You couldn’t walk your dog down the street without getting an invitation to a cook-out. Or perhaps someone would place a glass of wine in your hand. Someone might rush out of their house to offer useful or useless advice. Now the tumbleweeds are blowing and even the kindly old ladies are getting crabby and chasing dogs off of their lawns.

One young couple moved about 3 or 4 years ago. Off to the city for fun living. Next, the couple that owned the outdoor movie projector, fog machine and industrial grill moved off to the city, too. The little boy about to start kindergarten this fall moved with his family to a larger house in a different neighborhood. The family that lived across the street from him seems to have disappeared. Blankets now cover the windows of that house – a sure sign that students have moved in. The family across the street from this house was interested in the house that my across-the-street-neighbors bought. The family of five that lives next to the bus stop are making grumblings about their house being too small. And to top it off, the around-the-corner neighbors with a friend of my daughter’s have just put a for sale sign in their yard.

The neighborhood is not empty though. There is a single, middle-aged woman moving in across the street. There are several older, single men on my street. One of which I have a fear of hearing about on national news as they remove semi-decayed body parts from his house. Oh, and yes, there are plenty of front-porch-furniture-stealing students around here. Can’t forget them. Hard to forget them when your chairs disappear. And beer cans appear. And reappear. And the sounds of late-night vomiting are heard on those warm weekends. (Oh Geez, that means its almost condom season again).

I guess all we can do is sit back and wait and see who moves into these houses. And watch the tumbleweeds roll. And perhaps I can put on a faded housedress and chase dogs off of my lawn.

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