Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Won't you be my neighbor?

Spring is vibrating like a coil under pressure in my insides; on top of that, something in my pool of consciousness is rising from the depths, a large displacement creating a surging, disturbing force—but it's yet unseen and unidentifiable. With Winston in the lead, I set out to walk it off around the neighborhood around dusk.

Amidst the somewhat boring 50's ranch style homes in the area, there are some gems, and sometimes you can't see them until the sun starts to go down, and the lights go on inside. Curtains open, perhaps just cracked, give a glimpse into the lives of people who live nearby, but most of whom I don't know. This is a real pleasure for me, for some reason; I remember my Mom liked to drive through neighborhoods and peek from afar into homes. Perhaps it's genetic.

There are some very nice fix ups and remodels; one is now a very fetching half stone, half dark moss green wood siding. Another has a unique and attractive deck spanning the length of the front of the standard ranch. I often get the raised eyebrow when I mention we live in the city blocks NE of downtown, usually from those living in cookie cutter developments in west or south Salem. My modest neighborhood suits me just fine: the homes are not within arm's reach of one another, there's a and I paid about a third of what most of my peers did.

On the days it's warm and sunny, the chatter of neighbors conversing in their yards, and smells of grilling make me want to skip along the sidewalk. It's fun to wave and smile at people, maybe even stop for a quick chat about their lovely flowers, my cute dog, or some other general connection: "Hey, you have that cute little Beetle, don'cha?" We potentially know each other... but we don't, really.

But it's not quite that deep into spring yet, so I'm left to enjoying slivers of visions of living rooms, kitchens and dining areas. Who has a luscious rich color on the wall? Oooh, look at that lovely bamboo in the corner, with a glowing string of candles on the mantle. That house is dark; I wonder where they are? One women sits at her baby grand piano, in a lovely bungalow set back from the road. I never tire of watching her scribble on her sheet music, plunk something out, scribble again...

This is a perfect time to pipe This American Life into my ears as well. I don't often get a string of time where I can close off from the phone, my partner, the computer and just listen to someone else's stories.

It all sort of goes together, doesn't it?

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  1. i was at that park not too long ago and thought about how nice it was with all the trees. salem needs more parks with just tree and meandering paths. there's also a growth of trees at woodmansee park in south.

  2. Looks like I am kind-of your neighbor if you live near Englewood. Glad to have you!

  3. Great entry. It's genetic. My Mom did it too and I love doing it!
    HAppy HUgs,

  4. Englewood is a wonderful old established neighborhood in which to live. We have been here for 10 years and I never tire of walking the streets and looking at the pride people have in their homes and yards.

  5. Amen! I love it here. Of course I have my eye on a few cute bungalows on other streets... ;-)