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The Garage Door

Sometimes, a girl just needs more – more cake, more hugs, more sunshine, more opinions, more coffee, more sleep …. and a whole lot more words!

Just when my Mom didn’t think I could do any more talking, I have decided to expand my blog, and empty out more of the words that dance around in my head when I least expect them. Not content to confine my thoughts to decorating, I want to write about everything else that goes on in my head as well. It will be the same as before, but different (and might even include an entire story on why I don’t think the world needs any more broccoli) but mostly it will just be more. More of what we like to talk about, more odd bits and pieces, and more than you ever knew you needed to know.

Talking of which, I wish my neighbor’s hadn’t fixed their garage door. I miss seeing them come and go. I miss knowing when they were home for dinner, or seeing them leave early on a Summer’s day – off to enjoy the sunshine, visiting friends and stopping at their favorite diner for lunch.  

It is all electronic now, and while in the Winter I wish like crazy for my own attached garage and automatic door opener, I realize that I have lost the comfort of feeling people around me. Now, cars slowly approach a house, buttons are pressed, and they all slip in and out of their car home with barely a sound. Unless your nose is permanently pressed to the window, you won’t see this happen, so the outside of a house can remain unchanged for weeks at a time.

It is strange not knowing if people are home or not, and I wonder if they feel the same way?

Our previous neighbor, Mrs. Hansen, didn’t have a garage at all, so there was a lot of waving through the row of trees, and my daughter and I could easily pop over to say hello when we knew she was home. As my daughter grew older, I could safely send her all by herself to visit, because we could see when Mrs. Hansen was and wasn’t there. It was easy to see by her car.

We would wave and complain about the cold during the snow storms, as we both shoveled our driveways and scraped the ice off our cars. Being much older than I, she put me to shame with her energy, and if I saw her outside I knew enough to be embarrassed, and that I had better bundle up and get my backside out there as quickly as possible.

In the Springtime, we would find ourselves talking about the weeds, or how on earth she got her Iris’s to grow so tall, and in the Autumn we would both rake leaves, side by side, in an almost magical companionable silence.

The car in her driveway was like a welcome sign, and my daughter would run over to tell her about school, or just to say hello and share some cookies; she liked the freedom of being able to go by herself, and I liked the security of knowing that I could see at a glance that Mrs. Hansen was there.

Now, the street is becoming a sea of automatic garage door openers. We have no idea who is home, and who is not. We will never know if they are housebound and something is wrong, or if they have a new girlfriend and got married. Which is such a shame, because neighbors create a sense of ordinary, everyday, necessary comfort….and I miss that.

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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