(My next country song, maybe)
Love this. This is a column that comes pretty close to an adult version of, "Goodnight, Moon." Good night bears and goodnight chairs... Can't think of what rhymes with garbage cans. Maybe that's taking things a little too far.
Such a beautiful picture - I want to live on that street! I love the 'normal' services that our city provides in order to make our lives so much more pleasant. I love looking out the living room windows and seeing the same people with their same dogs walking every day. I love the autumn colors, October skies, and the sounds of the night creatures and the morning birds calling me to put out their breakfast. I long for a 'normal' life with less 'interesting' events that the last several years have served up to us. Keep writing, Connie - you bring normality into our homes.
Dragging the trash out, mowing the grass, picking up the mail from the mail box out at the curb, and chatting with the neighborhood dogs & their humans. The necessary little things that make us feel normal.
I just came here to say thank you. This slice of your evening with its lyrical normalcy brought some calm and relief to my nervous system. Truly, thank you.
In mid-August I broke my left elbow and, as our baseball-loving son put it, joined my husband (who has no cartilage to speak of in either shoulder) on the Disabled List. How were we two old folks going to deal with the trash cans, let alone giving our dog Clio her walks? No problem - one set of wonderful neighbors appointed themselves the Trash Team and another two families announced they were Team Clio. They all declined our thanks so we asked for their favorite charities and donated in their honor. With all the grief in the world, not to mention the grade school nastiness that’s taken over the House, I hold their kindness to my heart and feel that we might just make it. (And yes, my elbow is 90% healed.)
I don't know if there is a word for that space between the sidewalk and the gutter out here in suburban CA. On our street, most of the neighbors have filled their space with concrete, so there's a drab expanse of gray all along the street. There are a couple of neighbors who put in astro turf. When we purchased our house 30-something years ago, there was a ratty, weed-infested space next to our curb. Since I have the gift of a sister who is a professional landscaper, I hired her to do something beautiful there, AND to tear out the awful square of grass in front of our house, along with runaway juniper bushes that trigger all my allergies. Thanks to her, I have a beautiful wild garden with an olive tree, edible herbs, and plants that bees and butterflies love. And that whatever-its-called strip has some lovely pink slabs of slate interspersed with butterfly attracting native plants. I can sit on my porch and listen to the wildlife whisper, and chirp and buzz and look up and nod, Goodnight moon.
Oh dear Connie. Boy howdy did I need this tonight. Practicing gratitude and normalcy through trash pickup as the world melts down around us. Tomorrow, though, we can start anew and try to mend, heal and repair our world, just a little. And speaking of that strip…it’s the only place I get any sun, so I’ve dug it up and planted bulbs and native flowers, rosemary, lavender and mint. People like walking by and taking a leaf or two to scent their evening stroll. (Although one dear neighbor calls it the “pee mint” due to the many dogs who walk by as well). Again, gratitude for this meditation. Sleep well.
I love the mantra
“ tomorrow we get to try again.”
It’s especially helpful when I only get half of my daily punch life checked off. I look forward to a sunrise every morning even on the gray days.
Thanks, Connie, for reminding us where to find solace in this crazy era. You’re so right. Sitting on my back stoop listening to the last of the crickets and locusts. Sleep tight!
You are such a treasure, Connie Schultz!
I'm so glad I found this and you! With all the stuff going on, to read your neighborly words are so comforting! Blessings 🙌!
Connie, on September 2, I turned 90. Honestly tonight I am scared. An election denier 2 steps away from the White House. In this crazy world your voice, Franklin, Walter and yes, Sherrod give me hope. Please keep on writing: truth so simple, I can breathe. Blessings 🙏
Love this -especially the “Devil’s Strip” mention. When we moved to Columbus from Tallmadge 8 years ago, we asked our neighbors if we put our trash on the curb, or the Devil’s strip. I can still see their shocked faces! They thought we were part of an occult, I’m sure.
Here in Utah it’s referred to as a park strip. But being originally from Ohio I still call it the tree lawn.
"Evening Connie putting morning Connie first"...words to go to sleep by. Your neighbors might think that intermission is over and it's time for the second act. Out here in California, we, or at least my neighborhood, call it a parkway, but I do love tree lawn, as I do all of your writings. Thank you.
After he reads this, I fully expect my sweetheart to steal, “Honey, don’t escalate.”
In Ann Arbor, it’s called “the extension.” We can’t leave our trash bins on it. They must be in the street and must be spaced. Our garbage trucks have robotic arms that reach out to pick them up. Regional differences!