Funny what a 70 degree day and some yard work will do for neighborly relations. Yesterday, we were tearing out a rock garden (I use the term loosely) on the side of our house, and realized we had way more boulders than we could ever use. Since it seemed like all my neighbors were also out in the yard, Michael went to ask if anybody wanted some free rock. The Christians across the street said yes and came on over to inspect our pile. “The Christians” as we’ve called them – since we suspect they host a home-church and have gotten a few of their friends to move into the neighborhood too (something my friend Kate has told me is called “reneighboring communities”) – are nice, it turns out. (you never know – what looks like a home church could be a kool-aid-sipping-cult, we reasoned) They are named Brian and Naomi, and they have a daughter named Ruth (coincidence? I think not!), and they like to share things. Which is good, because in exchange for our rock we got some ferns, which have been growing crazily along the side of their house. So now I have free ferns for my planters out front. Perfect. And, in exchange for our rock, we got some intel on our other neighbors….
Mr. Galoshes has a name! Walter. Never met a 30-something named Walter, so there’s a first time for everything, I guess. He and his wife have four kids (hence the Suburban). They are friends with Brian and Naomi and go to their home-church. They also used to own a tres-chic restaurant in a tres-chic neighborhood here. It was called the Chat Noir (French for “Black Cat”, I think), and they lived above it, I believe. It was in an old Victorian home, and was pretty cool, but it’s closed now. Walter and his wife, Michelle, bought 7 acres of the ravine behind their houses last year (across the street from us), and tore the fences down so their rugrats can run around down there. (Brian and Naomi also own part of it, too, and they invited us to explore it anytime!) There’s a creek and everything – how cool would that be if you were a kid? It’s right in the middle of the city, too. Big logs, wild raspberries and everything. (I think I should also tell them, however, about the sex offender who lives on the other side of the ravine. No lie! Remind me.) Walter is from Louisiana, which Michael and I surmise MIGHT be why he wears galoshes. I mean, down in the bayou, what are you supposed to wear? I think it’s harder for a gator to bite through rubber than leather. Slippery, you know? Especially if you coat them with tabasco. Plus, Michael and I saw Walter (with his two-year-old daughter, Annabelle, slung to his chest) emerge from the ravine at dusk – a nice little jaunt through the woods. Galoshes work perfectly for that, too. If ravine = galoshes, then Walter spends a lot of free time down there.
BREAKING NEWS: Walter (I can no longer call him Mr. Galoshes, but maybe Walter Galosh) was spotted walking around his front yard in sneakers yesterday! I couldn’t get the camera and in a covert position fast enough, so you’ll have to wait to see him. Sorry. I was in a state of shock at the moment.
With fascinating neighbors like this, I guess I should get out more often…