this class requires a notebook

When we moved into this house, the majority of our neighbors were senior citizens.  Slowly, they are vanishing and I know that it will always be like that.  I’m grateful for everyone that is still here:  Mr. and Mrs. Frey, who work so hard in their garden and, I suspect, have always been eco-friendly; Mrs. Dickerson, whose son died four years ago, now lives alone, although you’d never know it because family visits her throughout the day; Mrs. Schwartz tells us to pick as many grapes as we want because she doesn’t know what to do with them since Mr. Schwartz is no longer alive to make wine; and Mrs. Meyers, who bakes us treats and borrows my husband when she can’t lift or reach something. 

There is an elderly man who lives about two blocks from me.  For years, he regularly drove by on his bicycle and he’d have his little dog in the basket.  It was the cutest thing ever, and I was always hoping to photograph or shoot a video of him going by like that.  Two years ago, he started leaving his dog at home.  Last summer, he didn’t ride the bike at all, but I’d see him walking the little dog near his house.  Now, I just see the old man when I drive or walk by his home.  He stands on the corner of the sidewalk with his silver metal walker.  He involves himself in the business of those going by, throwing out curt words and impolite stares. 

There’s no point to this story, no clever ending or a photo of him on his bike.  I just want to remember this neighborhood as it once was and as it is now. 

© JODI ANDERSON. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

20 comments to this class requires a notebook

  • But I liked this post so much. It was like a lovely short film! :)

  • Brian

    Sounds like a great neighborhood.

  • I love your story!! I saw it before me when I read. I like to read about your life and all that small things what´s so important. Thanks! I know you now a little bit more!And by the way I love it to , to make my one style with fashion. I think that as every woman dressed herself just as she be, and not be afraid for herself and her body than we can make the world a lot happier and we can be a inspiration for each other and for our selves. But woman are so much in pain and shame for our selves…including me sometimes. Now I learn that is not important how my body is ..I just can be myself and wear my clothes with dignity ..hope I can inspire other womans!! I love colours I love shapes…I love inspiration!

  • Ann

    I live in an old house in PDS, and for years most of the neighbors were elderly and I worried about my kid blasting guitar music from the hay loft of the garage.
    But now everything is switched around. Our kids grew up and moved away and we’re the elderly people who are startled by the sound of the one child in the neighborhood playing and shouting for his dad.
    The change was fast, and it was slow, too.

  • Thank you so much, Shokoofeh. I love learning about your life through your posts too. The internet is so good for bring people together from all over the world.

  • I do like it quite a lot, Brian. Everyone is so nice and, if they aren’t, they seem to keep to themselves. There is a rental nearby and sometimes we get troublesome tenants there. The druggie-thief just moved out; I’m looking forward to a new neighbor.
    There is a small home for sale across the street from us too. I’m anxious for it to sell; I like houses to have life in them. :)
    Hrm, I’m chatty tonight. :D

  • Thank you, Merel!! It goes both ways … I like to read about your life as well. We live so far apart, yet I think we’d make great neighbors. :)
    I agree with your thoughts on fashion. Your comment is quite motivational too. It reminds me that I shouldn’t put off style until a day when I think that I look better, which I sometimes tend to do.

  • Aw, thanks, Nic. So often I think of things that I want to share, but then I forget. (This is one of those things.) I’ve got to get myself back into the habit of jotting my thoughts into a notebook. (I always have one with me.)

  • Oh, Ann, you nailed it with that last line. Our daughter turns 18 next month. I feel like I’m in a bit of a limbo, caught between the I-have-a-child world and the I-have-an-adult-child world. Time is a weird thing.
    Thanks so much for commenting. Getting to know local folks via the internet seems to be the best way to make friends these days!

  • Cindy

    A lovely story, reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in. We are the new kids on our block. The house next to us is emtpy, but finally starting to be shown a bit.

  • I enjoyed this story and imagined it while I was reading. I was particularly touched by the elderly man taking is dog for a bike ride and his progression from bike to walker. It must be hard for someone who was once so active to be grounded in such a way.
    Erin :)

  • i know exactly what you mean. growing up, our neighborhood was very similar. my brother and i didn’t have too many neighbors to play with. it has changed so much over the last sixteen years. our elderly neighbor passed away a couple years ago, and the man across the street who walks his dog howard has been out less and less. makes me think about the passage of time in a significant way.
    xo Alison

  • I think so too, Erin. He used to keep a large garden and spend a lot of time in the backyard. When I drove by yesterday, there was a huge dumpster in his driveway that was full of stuff from the yard, garage, and house. Even more changes! I hope that they aren’t preparing to send him to the nursing home.

  • What a great post full of wonderful observations.
    Darla

  • I was glad when we weren’t the new people on the block anymore. I hope that you get nice neighbors in the place next door. I get really excited when people look at the house across the street.

  • Aw, it sounds like you have a similar situation wtih your elderly neighbor.
    I grew up in the country and we had no close neighbors, but after moving away from home, someone parceled off a lot of land that bordered my mom’s property. Before she eventually sold the home, a lot of people had built homes in this once remote area. It was so sad for me to see homes where I once hiked the prairies and woods.
    Change can be so hard.

  • Thank you, Darla. I’m really trying to jot down more stuff that is floating around in my mind. I used to do that a lot more often on my blog. I view this as a virtual diary or scrapbook, so what better place to keep my memories?! :)

  • Hi Jodi. Thanks for visiting & commenting on my blog. Glad you found something that made you laugh. :) You have a fantastic blog over here & I’ve added it to my reader. Thanks for sharing this story about your neighbor– it’s one of those little pictures that sticks in your mind. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • It was my pleasure, Michelle. I added you to my reader too. :)

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