Looking Out, Looking In

Today was a gorgeous day. Blue skies, a few clouds, lake and sailboats probably going home to “roost” for the winter that is to come.

There were strong winds and I can’t believe the window washers were allowed to hang from the roof. The result was spectacular. No more spider webs and dying/dead trapped insects.

As I do every year when they’re here (their work boots and suction clamps alert Zoe there are intruders) I take her out on the balcony and introduce her and tell her these are her friends. They’re visitors. Later on when they moved to other windows they waved to us.

I asked them to be careful, as the winds were heady. Our views improved incredibly and seeing out the non-spider-webbed windows and seeing sailboats on the crystal blue water made my day.

Now, I wonder what they saw. They waved at us. What do they think of the people who live here? Are residents neat, messy, naked, ironing, cooking, at the computer paying bills? Are we nice, nasty or do we just dismiss them as people who don’t matter?

My father used to take me to the tobacco store in our small village and I’d sniff tobacco from glass jars (same as I do today with Penzey’s herbs) while he talked to the owner or clerk. He “schmoozed” every waitress he ever met. No, I don’t smoke, just love the smell of pipe tobacco. I don’t drink coffee either but love the scent of the grounds and do go to Starbucks occasionally, but only for herbal tea and a muffin.

People help us all day long, I’ve known many postal service personnel over my adult lifetime, plus UPS, Fed Ex. We now have a concierge, security and maintenance. Yes, I cook for all of them, tastings and treats. If the dog needs to go out at three a.m. I feel safe taking her.

Tomorrow I make a farewell lasagne for our neighbors. They called us over here (telepathic) nearly five years ago and although they’re older he always checks in on me weekly. They’re moving down the street this week. I hope we still get to see them and I promised them a lasagne to pop into the oven their first night. I’m thinking of putting baby arugula and marinated gigante beans into the cheese layer. It’s a veggie lasagne, they don’t cook and may want some protein and veg.

We neighbors try to take care of each other, and I say hello, good morning, how’s the weather to everyone. And I open and hold the door. Not for long as the dog and I are getting older and the winds are stronger.

It is clear, dark and nearly midnight. I’m leaving the blinds up tonight so I can watch the sunrise tomorrow and then close up to save the art I’ve spent a lifetime not making, I’m not that talented, but framing. What is life but memories. My father took up painting at age 80. I’ve three of his works, all exquisitely framed and hung in our home. I’ve been outside our childhood homes for many years, his paintings of Tuscany and New Zealand allow me to see him. Dee



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