A great thing occurred the other day. I emerged from our home, eager for a gentle stroll, and talked with neighbors: one, two, three, four. A fifth a day later. A sixth is traveling in the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll talk with her when she gets back. Sip of wine, show of the pictures, a regale of adventures and misadventures – not bad for a near-eighty-year-old.

house cleaningA vacuum necessitated my escape. The one that the cleaning crew was using in my home office, its noise grating my nerves. Dizzying my editing of my WIP. (work in progress, writer talk)

I also couldn’t merely lift my feet for the vacuum to travel under, like Dagwood Bumstead (what a name!) did in an ancient comic strip (from the ’50s, it still runs today) to clean the floor of my dirt and grim.

Here were the topics:

  • Neighbor One didn’t want to hear about the Irvine Water District’s free recycled water give-away, up to 300 gallons/month per household. He’d gleaned his patio plants and yes, I could have one. Gotta go.
  • Neighbor Two told me about her children: the oldest planning college in the fall, the middle one ending a rigorous year in high school, and her youngest who would enter junior high.(gasp, I recall when he was born!) Her husband, Kevin, who’d had a heart attack a dozen years ago, was having Lipitor trouble: muscles ached, as Larry’s had, I kibitzed. We felt akin.
  • Neighbor Three had just received the third and fourth dresses she’d ordered online. For her daughter’s wedding, in a week. She didn’t look or sound pleased; she preferred to weigh grey or lavender, despite the pride of first seat on the bride’s side. No more questions.
  • Neighbor Four was thrilled that Neighbor Six was still traveling, though she demurred at her age of 92. She and her husband and traveled widely in the People-to-People Program, playing golf around the world. She approved of our recent decision to travel to Thailand and Cambodia. Yes, she’d been there and remembered the temples as well as the food.
  • Neighbor Five now requires a cane “for my balance”. She looked stunning in her silver page boy. (When had that happened? I recall brown) We discovered that we had the same hair stylist. It is a small world.

It can be a very small world when one is a writer, toiling endless hours for just the right words. World-building in a private way, to make one’s world safe, sane, and secure. I’ve written about my own private burkah before. https://www.pjcolando.com/my-closeted-self/

Writing is ‘my elegant hobby’, an exercise that uses one of my gifts, honors my parental heritage and the education they provided. Larry says “it keeps you off the streets.”  Shh-h. Don’t tell him that I was out walking it the other day when he was at the gym.

As a writer I’ve garnered praise for envisioning complete characters, making them wholly visual, likable or not.

I notice and I compliment people in my real sphere, too.  Often… My family, my friends, people I meet on the street, even you, Constant Reader.

Compliments come to me for my ‘natural dialogue ear’ when I write stories. I enjoy chat. I am a listener, active to my soul – and I enjoyed my saunter up-and-down our cul-de-sac.

There’s a home for sale on our street. Won’t you be my neighbor? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtc7A67kZlQ