Saturday, April 26, 2008

welcome to my neighborhood

There are a lot of things I like about the neighborhood where we live. It is quiet, for one thing, and that's important. We live far enough away from the university that there is not much student housing near us. We hear the occasional loud music from a weekend party, sure, but not more often then in any other neighborhood. There are only a couple of families with children on our street, so there are no yelling kids riding endlessly up and down the street on their big wheels/bicycles/skateboards.

Our neigbors keep to themselves and mind their own business - for the most part, anyway. We do have the nosy old lady who lives across the street, but what neighborhood doesn't? And, after all, she was the one who took Bobo in the one and only day he wandered off. Ben found him fenced in her backyard, and he says that he and Bobo looked at each other like, "What are you doing here?" I try to think of her as the neighborhood watch.

As Rufus and I take our daily walks this spring, I enjoy the flowering plants and shrubs that bloom in each yard we pass. I have realized that there is something else I really appreciate about this quiet, middle-class neighborhood. People in this neighborhood have violets in their lawns. That is enough for me, in and of itself, because I love violets, and always have.

As lovely as the violets are, however, their presence serves as an indicator of something that is even more important to me about our neighborhood. It is the fact that although people perhaps don't encourage violets to grow in their lawns the way I do, they certainly allow them to stay. What I mean to say is, for the most part, we don't have "perfect" lawns here. Oh sure, there are lawns that are chemically treated and posted with signs warning you to keep your children and pets and any other living thing you care about off them, but they are the exception. In our neighborhood, violets and spring beauties and - sad to say - dandelions grow in our lawns, and that suits me just fine.

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