Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Ulu

By the way - this is what an Ulu is. I decided that I am going to get a couple for the neighbors. Shoot - I'm going to get an extra one for me. I can't remember if I packed my old one...


Neighbors & Cohorts

I talk to my old snoop-buddy neighbor back in Anchorage almost every weekend when my T-Mobile minutes are free. We talk about her new neighbors - the ones who have my old house (she hates them), the old neighbors (she never did like but one of them), and my new neighbors.

I've been so lucky. I have nice neighbors here. I think I told y'all about Doug and Linda, who live right next door to my left. They are an older-than-me (50/60-ish) couple. She is hilarious & reminds me of the women from the south. She can talk about someone under her breath while they are standing 3 feet away, cracking me up while she never makes a face. He is a Suns fan, but I dig him anyway. When some strange company van showed up the other day and two guys started digging up my yard "to lay cable," I went & got Doug to come and find out what the deal really was. Not because I am a helpless female or thought the guys were lying to me, but because I wanted them to know that I am close enough to my neighbors that should they try anything, someone would be watching. Doug was great. He ascertained that the guys were legit (he knew of the company they represented), and he made sure they planned to put my yard back right when they were finished with their work. They did. I think they even added a couple of plants!

This morning, I got a call from the moving company that's bringing my stuff in from Anchorage. So happens I'm home alone. Everyone else is at church. I stayed home in case the movers did show up today. When they called to say they were just several miles out, I realized I was going to be parading around the house alone directing them on where to place boxes. Normally, I'd feel safe enough, but Doug and Linda are out of town & I'm keeping an eye out on their empty house. Hmmm... Now might be a good time to meet my other neighbors. The lady across the street (who came and introduced herself one day & told my sister about the drama of her life as wife of a man with several outside-the-marriage children...) was not home. Maybe she and her hubby are on one of his parental visits? So... I went to the neighbor on the other side of Doug and Linda's. I've seen and waved to this man - older gentleman with Memorial Day flags flying everywhere. He walks around the yard, tanned and shirtless, so I admire his toughness already. I tiptoe through an immaculate yard with some of the most beautiful plants and shrubbery I've ever seen. More American flags on the door columns, and a doormat with a Marine's logo. The doorbell plays a few strains of the "National Anthem." Yeah. This guy is all right with me. I'm from a family of military men. Any soldier, sailor, airmen or marine is up one in my book from the get-go.

Russ answered the door & when I introduced myself, I got the story of his retirement from the Marines, how he and his wife spend their days, and a bio of at least five other neighbors. Cool dude. He assured me that he would wander down and keep an eye out for me with all those male movers going in and out of my house. He already knew I was from Anchorage because he'd met my brother when Joe was fixing up the house for me to move in. Russ is a man, remember, and Joe drives a really cool car. Men and cars. I'm talking to Russ in a tank top and shorts - half-naked by Alaska standards - but I bet he remembers more about the features on Joe's car than he does about the clothes I was wearing. Men. Cars.

Anyway. I have nice neighbors. I'm thinking I should have my niece send me a couple of Ulus - which are Native Alaskan knives, used for everything from skinning animal hides to food prep. I want to gift them to my neighbors because I realize I could've ended up with mean, spiteful people who never speak or acknowledge my presence. I could have ended up with neighbors who leave nasty notes in my mailbox.

Poor Liz, my old snoop-buddy... I bet she won't be sending any gift baskets across the road to the "Poops." This is what she nicknamed the neighbors after the Episode of the Nasty Note. I can't wait until she can visit me here. After we hit Olive Garden and Ulta Cosmetics to pick up some lotion and sunscreen, I'm going to take her over to meet Doug, Linda, and Russ. Maybe we can all have a little backyard bbq? Maybe I can talk her into moving here. There's a cute little house for sale just about eight doors down from me...


"Good neighbors share more than property lines!"

I don't know. I told y'all I been slacking off.


The State Farm song keeps running through my head and blocking any other coherent thoughts, but maybe that Gladys Knight/Elton John/Dionne Warwick song about friends???