Our across-the-street neighbors are a constant delight. Barb is a nearly daily visitor, who assures me that she is NOT being a nosy neighbor, but tells us that we had best keep an eye on our porch light. It gets left on during the day, and surely we don’t want to spend money on electricity that we don’t need to! It’s just that her writing desk sits by the front window, and she sees these things.
Yesterday, she saw that I had opened the back hatch of the car, revealing several large heavy bags of compost soil. This was an excellent opportunity for her to pop over to tell me that Charles would be over to unload them, so I shouldn’t touch them. Sure enough, over comes Charles, with his trusty hand truck. When he had taken some of the bags through the gate to the back yard, Barb confessed to me that this was more for his benefit than mine. “He IS 92 you know”, she told me once again, “but strong as a horse, even though his mind is getting a bit off.” Then, as usual, she thanked ME, for giving him this bit of a boost in his morale.
No sooner was I back in the house when the door bell rang. Barb was back, with a quart of strawberries. She had apparently over bought from the “nice fellow that sits on the corner by our church, selling berries from Salinas, which is further south in the state.” Then she scurried off, saying that she had to make muffins out of the rest of them, since they were so ripe. Sure enough, a couple of hours later she was back, with four muffins on a plate. We can count on a fairly constant flow of baked goods coming from her kitchen. We’ve enjoyed the initial coffee cake when we moved in, but there have also been cookies and muffins.
Lately I have found more oranges on the ground in the backyard, generally split open so not useable. Barb explained that this means they are getting old, and that I should hurry to pick the rest we can from the tree, as they won’t be very good much longer. I explained that I am not allowed on the ladder we have, since my balance is very poor, but that we were planning on buying a long handled fruit picker, for this very purpose. Sure enough, over comes Charles, with a ‘lopper’, used for trimming high branches on trees. I explained to him that cutting the branches would definitely bring the oranges down, but that they would split open when they hit the ground! “Well, you could catch them before they hit the ground”, he suggested hopefully. Thanks, but no thanks, Charles.