Tag Archives: neighbors

Old and New

It is my goal to keep in touch with old neighbors as much as possible. Yesterday my husband and I walked and delivered lasagna to our “old” neighbors. They offered us a gorgeous desk from a nunnery.

My husband doesn’t want the desk because we have a flimsy table in our bedroom he never uses for his laptop and thinks he’ll have to do all the work. The table can be folded up and placed back in storage and take no space at all.

What I’d like to do is all the work myself/hired out and surprise my husband with a new, clean, lemon-oiled desk as a loaner, until our neighbors move to a place with room for it. It is a special piece.

Speaking of special things, one knock on our front door last night and we got to meet our newest neighbor, G. We were the first non-family folks who got to meet him as they returned late last night from the hospital. Sleepy, good weight, healthy. We’re happy for all. No, he’s not a dog. He’s a baby! Sheesh!

As to old and new I like to keep both in my thoughts and deeds. Old neighbors (in the neighborhood longer than us) tried to give us gifts, a plant, artsy paper flowers and a couple of books. I said the best gift I could have was to keep in touch and see them now and then. They also like my chili and don’t cook for themselves.

As for the new one, his mother probably doesn’t want chili, even mild chili, right now. I’ll have to perhaps make another lasagna. What goes around, comes around. Our dog Zoe will enjoy having their blind dog B around here for bits and pieces while they get used to the wee bairn. Oh, and how much stuff they have to carry around. It’s like me taking luggage to the airport but with diapers, clothing, milk, etc. and they have to take it all on a walk around the block! Oy vey, says this agnostic Catholic! Here’s to old and new. Dee



Hello, is this Earth?

So sorry, I thought I grew up here with family and friends and people who cared about each other.

Around seven this evening I heard a beeper that I thought was a neighbor’s phone with a busy signal. Then it went off. On again. I’ve seen both my neighbors this evening delivering them a package. This sound was loud and from our other building. I didn’t know how to find it so told staff about it.

All I was thinking was that it was an elderly person somewhere I never knew or met and they fell or had a heart attack and no-one would do anything. I took the dog out and asked immediately and staff had word out. Soon after the signal ended.

If a piercing sound was on for a long period of time with one of my neighbors I’d get in touch right away to be sure they’re OK. Here it sounded like my neighbors’ phone was left on the hook and I heard a mild beep.

That’s not what I do. I hope the person across the way is at the hospital and doing well. We lived out in the mountains and our neighbors were great. There were eight of us throughout the summer, fall, ski season and mud season and we had pot lucks every two months, host made the main course and others made sides and dessert. When an ambulance was called we were there and my tall husband helped a neighbor down the stairs to the ambulance.

Here most people are not so nice. I always grew up with the principle of being nice to everyone until they show they deserve otherwise, then ignore. Ignoring is worse than fighting back as they know they’re spineless turds and have no recourse. Bullies, a bete noire.

Here if you stay a millisecond at a traffic light you’ll have horns blaring behind you. No-one stops at a crosswalk even though it is state law. No-one picks up dog poop (I do). Forget about driving a car. Speed limit 50, everyone’s going 75.

In nine years I’ve driven my 2003 SUV 28K miles and that’s going across country twice. When I’ve heavy stuff to tote I drive to the grocery. Also because our feuding governments do not ever fix roads or sidewalks after harsh winters and road erosion.

Perhaps being out of jobs and not having paved streets and breaking car axles is part of the problem of people beeping at and being angry with people who just want to walk their old dog a few times per day, and clean up after her. Cheers! Dee


Our Swedish neighbor moved out last month kitty corner, he will be missed. He taught me how to make Kottsbullar, Swedish Meatballs, lent me his dad for art and horticultural pursuits, and I taught him true Pedernales Texas Chili (no beans). He left before our “final exams” which is when I would have made his dish and he made mine. Hopefully we’ll see him and his gal someday soon as they’re still in town. I think there’s a wedding coming up. He was a player but found the one.

Zoe has monitored our floor as the only dog for years. Now there’s a Labradoodle “pup” who weighed in yesterday at 2X Zoe’s weight. No worries. He doesn’t care about Zoe, just wants to jump up on “Aunt Dee” and lick my face.

As of last night there’s a new dog, sounded big, loud bark for a long time. I arranged with the pup’s parents to ask for all the dogs to meet and work things out. That will happen on neutral ground.

This morning I met the newest kitty corner neighbor and I knew her years ago from across the way. I know her dog. She agreed to meet and I said that Zoe was 85 in “people years” so would be retiring as hall monitor and crossing guard. It’s between the other two to see who protects us. Of course Zoe will “snoopervise.”

Everything happens for a reason! Who knows where we’ll be in the next few months? Zoe and I do lay claim to two of our neighbor’s grandkids now 8 and 10 who play a lot of soccer now in their home state. They visit a few times a year and stand by our front door and just whisper “Zoe” until she runs to see them. As they grow, Zoe will be a faint memory.

I brought a mason jar to the flower store today and bought a few yellow tulips and mini-daisies in a box with welcome card and purple wrapping. My next door neighbor, a retired architect, asked who might have left that by the door, given the barking dog last night, who was just upset at moving and change and owner leaving to keep moving. Plus I’ve had him for a couple of hours, half the time sitting in front of his new door telling him stories of moving and happy endings. Now they bark every few minutes at every sound they hear.

We took care of B yesterday evening for a few hours. B is blind. Zoe has no hips. What a pair. Everything is new to him but he’s really smart and found his way everywhere. Then he got scared so I let him lead me to their home while they were away, moving, and I made up stories about a dog and a new home with good folks who are moving so took their dog to a safe place. They’ll be home soon. After three different versions of the story (no scary stuff) he relaxed went down and I knew he’d be OK.

Back at our place he laid down on Zoe’s bed and slept a bit. When his folks came to pick him up he disappeared. Where was he? Our place. Zoe was out being petted, of course. Zoe THW (the hip-less wonderdog) learned not to prance around waving her only toy at a blind dog, and took care of him as Grandma all night, even though he was home. B learned a bit of trust of a person and dog he knew years ago and new environments.

Of course it was me who gave the flowers. Turns out she’s an old neighbor from across the way. Other than hearing “I love you” from my husband or my dad, certainly the kindest thing I’ve heard today, from my old neighbor of several years, is “I knew it had to be from you, you’re the nicest person I know.” So we’re getting money back from the feds and three states, but these compliments are worth a fortune.  Cheers! D&Z

Two Incidents

Forget that, let’s make it three. My dog of nearly 12 years ate dinner off my plate while I was eating. That is unacceptable.

Then a neighbor tried to give back a collar from a teething pup I’ve taken care of and I’ve bite marks and blood all over my arms and hands.

Then I saw a huge dog that has grown at least 6″ taller and 20 lbs. bigger since a couple of days before Christmas. I want to send a silly note about what was done with the dog I once knew because he’s HUGE!

He saw “Aunt Dee” in the elevator, laid down on his side and gave me his tummy to pet. Sir W is a patriot, a gentleman, and an all-around good dog. Bully for his owners. They’ve a lifetime of grooming ahead of them but that’s OK. Our neighbor is younger and needs a bit more training to stop biting Aunt Dee. It’s OK, they’re working on it.

We’ll be married a long time this month and I hope to have an understated event next anniversary because we eloped. My husband asked about kids and I said we had to get a dog first to find out how bad he is. We got Zoe 12 years ago, he was so bad, spoiling as he would with a daughter before she started dating. I was unable to have children so it’s just us and Zoe. That’s the way it is, as would Walter Cronkite say after giving the Vietnam war death toll each day. My father-in-law was in the service at the time and disputes those numbers because he saw the coffins. He doesn’t talk about it. I am not in a place to ask. Cheers, hail to the people who keep us safe from harm. Dee




When did that go out of fashion? I like being out of fashion because I welcome new people. Where’s the cake one took to a new neighbor?  No-one cooks here.

I’ve moved with family many times and it was always a challenge going to a new school. As adults we have longer term engagements and it allows us to meet neighbors.

For our neighbors across the way, the day they moved in I offered a pot of Bolognese sauce, and a pot to cook pasta, and the pasta. I knew they wouldn’t have their kitchen set up in time so I set them up knowing they would be tired from the move.

Now their grandkids, when they visit, stand outside our door and whisper “Zoe” so they can take her out. So, I’ll get up early on a weekend and let them take the leash and walk with them. My husband has learned to twist balloons. He does it for these great kids.

I welcomed one Swedish neighbor who taught me how to make meatballs. I taught him Texas chili. Tomorrow I’m going to give him some chili. That’s how it goes.

Our dog Zoe thinks I’m essential to her food and walk routine, but boring. She takes care of the entire floor. Yesterday, she finally put a pup in its place. She’s our mascot, our 80 year-old Lady. Zoe told him not to bite her legs anymore. She would never bite anyone, a toddler could take out her food and she’d just look at me for more. She stood her ground and said “enough is enough.”

Being a good neighbor is more than welcoming new folks, its teaching Dog 101 and helping people with loss. Cooking for staff who wouldn’t eat otherwise. It’s about being….. Dee Cheers!

ps K, the new neighbor, saved Zoe’s life in an elevator incident. I thought Zoe was dead, but got back upstairs and K had her, safe and sound. She paid back that dinner 100 times. However many balloons or dog walks with the grandkids it will never be enough thanks to our neighbors.


When I went to the grocery store today, without the dog…. Let me go back. I did not have the dog with me because it was too warm for her to stay in the car although she loves “coming with.” I paid for 30 minutes on the meter and got back with 20 left.

The owner of a gorgeous rescued Greyhound came up to me (and let me pet his dog). As a volunteer for rescued Greys for six years it was a treat for me. He told me the city had just banned dogs on outside restaurant patios. Also, that businesses are not allowed to place a water bowl for dogs outside their door.

Two more men came up to me and told me the same story. Why? Kindred spirit? Again, I was not with my dog. They urged me to take action. I’ve tried to find the new law, have emailed the Commissioner and our Alderman to find out the truth about what’s happening in our district.

What I’ve said is that we have a couple months of summer, one each spring and fall and the rest is winter. People bike (cycles and Harleys), run, walk dogs and eat outdoors at restaurants with their dogs. There is a very slim window for us to do so. For our city, county or state to deny this to its tax paying, law-abiding, voting responsible dog owners does not make sense.

My dinner was beautiful sea scallops sauteed on the stove, with room temp marble potatoes and asparagus from yesterday. Yum. I made my own fresh bread crumbs from a brioche roll and dinner was delicious. Cheers! Dee


I like quiet. A dear friend now interred at West Point told us a story at lunch one day. They had about 1,000 acres and a home within and a neighbor complained of noise at their home. He said, “then stay off my property!”

My dog thinks she’s in charge here and barks once at any noise because protecting us is boring, she’d rather protect everyone, herders…… But neighbors slam their doors. I know my husband is ready to shave and get into the shower when he slams the toilet seat down.

I tiptoe around and am quiet so my husband and dog can sleep when I’m up at 3 a.m. Even when I take the dog out early morning I close our door and lock it quietly so I don’t awaken neighbors and wear Crocs in summer, soft, quiet shoes.

What I don’t understand is when a neighbor calls for an elevator and hears me locking our door, hits the close door button instead of doing what I do. Anyone there? They either say I’ll be right there or say they forgot something and to go ahead. I know everyone and do not know who it is that closes the door in my face. That is not on point but it is about neighbors.

Rant of the day. I may have more. Cheers! Dee



I found out today that our next door neighbors are moving out tomorrow. Sad. A couple with a young, bright, engaging young son who Zoe (our dog) and I will miss. The son was always shy, loved Zoe but never petted her, and liked to tell me about his day at school and show me a new toy.

Two years ago we had a major league baseball player in the same place. His son shrieked for a month, then started hitting his head against my desk in our living room, then began hurling his entire body against their/our wall. I was glad when they didn’t make the Series. If they move back we’ll have to leave because by now that kid can probably pummel through and literally get into our living room and that is unacceptable.

We’ll see who is next and where we’ll be. Dee


I went to see my canine friend who has bone cancer. He stood up when I arrived and went for a walk with his Aunt M. His Aunt Dee is impressed with this wonderful companion.

There’s another who is in good health and old and we see a few times and his name is Wurli. He and our dog Zoe are buddies.

This morning I saw Wurli’s owner’s ring and it had a blue cast then it changed. He said it was a mood ring, which I had in the early 70’s. He’s quite retro and an artist in the purest form.

I showed him my Claddagh ring with heart for love, hands for friendship and crown for loyalty. I initially wanted one for my wedding ring. Now I wear it on my right ring finger, heart pointed in as my heart is taken, forever.

There are so many things that go into a life, a marriage. One does not have a choice to be born, only to figure out what to do with one’s life. That’s a task that can take many years. Cheers! Dee

Couples and Dogs

Months ago I was on a bridge with our dog and I saw a couple down below on the trail with their two old dogs a few hundred feet away, with their backs towards us and thought of our future.

Immediately I thought that I would love to take the dog out in the morning for a walk with my husband, but that’s not possible most days.

Then the couple and I said hello with the dogs every few months and I felt a familiarity with them.

It turns out that we’re neighbors again, 35 years later. We finally met and realized how we know each other. We got to meet their dogs and now I’ve hopes of seeing them again on the trail.

I would also like to someday realize that dream someday of my husband and I walking a trail with a dog, together. Let’s do it for a hip-less Aussie/X, Dee