jeudi, mars 01, 2007

Why I Love My Neighbors: A Really Short Conversation Preceded by a Whole Lotta Background

Background to a Really Short Conversation:

"Betty" is a woman who lives near us. She’s really nice. She has a ghetto fiancé* – let’s call him Steve.

Anyway, Betty and Steve are wonderful. Really, all of our neighbors are wonderful.

I am starting to entertain the notion of moving; what makes that prospect almost unbearable (besides packing up all of our stuff, moving it, and then unpacking it again) is the thought of leaving our amazing, wonderful neighbors. But we need a bigger dining room, and a bedroom for guests, a little bit more room for books, and a slightly (really just two feet) bigger kitchen. And it is a buyer's market, and there is an ideal home for sale that I keep thinking about. Well, ideal in every way except one: price.

But all of this is background for what I want to tell you.

Last week, after more than a foot of snow hit St. Paul, my neighbor Steve was kind enough to blow the snow** off our driveway. Just so you know, our driveway is 80 feet long – never get a driveway this is more than 15 or 20 feet long. It seems like a good idea at the time, but it's a bad idea.

Okay, and now I’m really done with the background.

Really Short Conversation:

Duf: I guess it’s time for me to get a snow blower.

Steve: You don’t need a snow blower as long as I’ve got one.

The Whole Point of the Really Short Conversation:

My point...and I do have one...

All of my neighbors are this thoughtful and nice. We have four neighbors with super-mega-horse-power-industrial-strenght-snow-killah snow blowers, and they practically fight over who gets to blow snow off our driveway. And it's not for love of blowing snow. Well, not really. It's just that they're cool people. In fact, I was out shoveling today*** and my other neighbor (let's call him Phineas) said he'd run over it with his snow blower if I wanted him to do so.

I'm more than happy to oblige.

*Ghetto fiancé is my term for people who are engaged with no wedding planned for any date in the foreseeable future. One of my dear friends from high school (let’s call him Hector) has been engaged for 14 years. His beloved is his ghetto fiancée (but I would never say that to his face, instead I would blog about it). People often get engaged to feel better about living together or to get others to feel alright/better about them living together.

**I don’t own a snow blower. I’d like to never own one – all they do is emit carbon dioxide. Now, you’ll notice that I don’t prevent my neighbors from using their carbon-dioxide-emitting snow blowers on my property. This is for two reasons. First, it would be really hard for me to tell the four neighbors who would offer to blow snow off my driveway not to do it (and awkward if I said why). Second, I still shovel most of the time. So, I feel it’s a net gain for mother earth.

***We're expecting between 12 and 18 inches of snow today and tomorrow. This after getting more than 12" not so long ago. But I Live in Minnesota, so what can I expect?