COMMENTARY

There went the neighborhood

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Our neighborhood is looking different these days with the faces of several newcomers. Don’t tell my mother, but I hadn’t greeted the newest members to the cul-de-sac or been able to properly introduce myself until yesterday.

Normally, I try to be more welcoming, and (confession) true to my hillbilly roots, I like to scope out what sort of situation may have just moved to our street. Are they another loud, rambunctious, tricycle-riding gang, with unexplainable amounts of garbage and recycling each week (the sure description of the Gaynors)?

Statistics vary, but the average American life includes about 11 changes of residence. We’ve had our fair share of moving days.

In just the last near-decade of marriage, Wade and I have moved 29 times. I’m unofficially an expert at packing and an even bigger proponent of pitching or donating those things we’ve not used in recent months.

Even though we aren’t moving, my youngest and I have kept busy while big brother is at kindergarten by cleaning out closets and junk drawers. I won’t paint any pictures, but this isn’t a chore for which I don my prom dress.

Wiley “helps” by pulling out everything we own and spreading it through the house. My job is to hunt and re-gather, designating what items can be donated or added to our dump pile. When there was a knock at the door, I answered it against my better judgement.

It was the new neighbor’s friend inquiring about our front door color. There I was, dust covered and frazzled from the hoarding-dog who was stealing from the carefully crafted piles, and a lunch that looked more like confetti on the floor. Wiley, wearing safety goggles and Cheetos stains, ducked for a peek of the lady through my legs and asked, “Hey, you like fireworks?”

Oh yes, I think the paint color is called “Tranquil Blue.”

Also among the new neighbors are a pair of retirees. Just down the street a bit, the couple seemingly enjoys unexpected visitors, grilling every evening on their Big Green Egg for said visitors, and never-ending games of Wiffleball.

They’re great, but their huge, fluffy poodle has minimal manners. We’ve all become well acquainted over the last couple months and, oh, 30+ years. It’s my parents.

As my mother unpacks, she makes a few piles: Keep, Toss, or Give to Neena. To say the least, we love having them here. And yes, they like fireworks.


Neena Gaynor is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She also writes on her blog at www.wordslikehoney.com. and can be reached via email at neenagaynor@gmail.com.

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