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Spring in "The Neighborhood"

By Maggie Turner

Sunday, March 26, 2000

Spring in "The Neighborhood"

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Silver Chimes Oranges

Attila is moving around the front garden with a rake. He rakes last fall's leaves into piles and the piles onto a drop sheet. The whole affair is dragged to the backyard and taken to the compost area. I have wandered around the yard with a pair of clippers removing dead stalks from the plants that were last year's growth. New growth peeks out here and there. I can see the first red shoots of the Echinacea, tentative leaves on the Lemon Balm, branching bunches of Feverfew and the dark leaves of the Liverwort.

"The Neighborhood" is active today. "R&B" across the street are spring cleaning and as a result, Attila has attained a lot of interesting "stuff", things like a grease gun, a come-along and a post-hole digger. In addition we were lucky enough to drag home two orange crates used by "B's" mother to hold books during her years as a teacher. One was painted and the other bore the faded and torn label of the original orange producer. These crates will do nicely in the shed; they will hold all the lovely "stuff" Attila brought home.

At the end of the street several children bounce a basketball between them and occasionally aim for the "basket on a pole". Next door to the west the youngest teenager is sitting in her front yard in bare feet and shorts, I am wearing a winter coat and a hat; it is sunny but quite windy and chilly. She is absorbed in conversation with an invisible companion that turns out to be her cell telephone. Next door on the other side, the east side, "G" is digging holes for posts. As Attila makes his way to the compost he sees "G" and immediately offers the use of his new post-hole digger. I am writing quietly on the front porch.

The oldest teenager next door on the west emerges from her front door in search of me! "The Teenager" has been calling us on the telephone; we are outside and have not been answering. A quick call was made to the neighbors asking them to ask me to go inside my house. "The Teenager" then could call me on the telephone to ask me to please provide her with a ride home. Tucking my computer under one arm and my little collapsible chair under the other, I headed into the house, received the crucial telephone call and exited the house on my way to fetch "The Teenager" and her friend. I guess writing is over for today!


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