Home Sweet Home: A Simple Way To Explain Where You Live, Just Cuz

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A rambling introduction then a simple question…

A friend and I were talking about where we each live now and how unexpected it’s been for us to find ourselves where we are.  In college we could never have imagined this.

She lives in an older home built in the ’40s in an affluent part of town in a community with a vibe that suggests social status.  It’s a desirable address, near a country club and fancy hospital and an upscale local grocery that’s all the rage.

Posh is the word for it.

I live in a 20 year old home in a quirky suburb with a bit of regional history that until a few years ago was considered to be the sticks by the people who live in affluent parts of town.  It’s an address that suggests good schools and unique local restaurants and outdoor activities.

Relaxed is the word for it.

To be clear, neither of us gives a flying fig through a donut hole about where the other one lives;  we’re not hung up on only befriending people who live exactly like we do.  Call us non-judgmental, I suppose.

Friendly, even.

No, the crux of our conversation was about how she’s ended up as an adult living close to where she grew up as a child while I’ve ended up as an adult living somewhere I knew nothing about as a child.

Without belaboring the point by getting pedantic with sociological terminology and geographic nuances, this is a simple | interesting | harmless way to divide people into two categories based on their subjective responses to the following question:

Do you consider where you live now to be your childhood hometown/region OR do you consider where you live now to be somewhere new you moved to along the way?

Discuss.

Talking About Gratitude: Micheal Miller Has Good Manners

Micheal Miller works for the dry cleaner/laundry service that we use.  He drives the van to pick up then return Z-D’s dress shirts once they are clean and pressed with light starch.  Nice guy, very reliable.

It’s my habit at the holidays to give a monetary tip to our laundry driver guy, who this year happens to be Micheal Miller.  Thus I did that two weeks ago.

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Growing up I was the child of older conservative parents and was taught that one must always send a written thank you note to the gift giver upon receipt of a gift.  This concept of proper behavior was ingrained in me to such a degree that for a few decades I judged people harshly who didn’t send a written thank you note.

It seemed like a slap in the face to me. Disrespectful, even.

Of course over the years society has morphed away from Emily Post expectations plus I’ve grown more forgiving.  I don’t hold myself or other people to the high standards of my childhood.  In fact, I’ve come to reevaluate what matters to me when I give a gift to anyone for whatever reason.

I’ve decided that I like the giving part more than the being thanked part.  I do what I do because I think it’s important to do so, not so I will receive a written thank you note.

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Still, when I found a written thank you note pinned to an empty laundry bag hanging from the hook by the door on our front stoop, I was pleased to see it and said out loud to myself: “Micheal Miller has good manners.”

It was a sincere spontaneous remark. A blessing even.

One that put me in a happy place for the rest of the day as I mused on what seemed to me to be a random act of kindness, a throwback to a different era when a written thank you note was the done thing.

Such as this handwritten message of gratitude scribbled on a piece of paper by an almost stranger.

Who I appreciate very much.

Bugged In The Burbs: 3 Things Of Note + My Astute Conclusions About Each

A garden rose with a bug on one petal. The perfect image to go with a post about small irritating things that have bugged me. N’est-ce pas?

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THE FIRST NOTABLE THING

I GOT A TEXT MESSAGE FROM SOMEONE UNKOWN to me.  The message said:

“Hi Jim

Now that the mortar has had time to cure we would like to finish the cleaning of the brick on Monday

Roger”

Being a conscientious person I replied:

“Not Jim here. Good luck with your project”

Roger, who knows how to write clearly as evidenced by his [what I assume to be] erroneous text message to me, has not responded to my succinct polite response.  Not even a one-word three-letter *thx* has Roger typed my way.

CONCLUSION? I do not like Roger who is a poopy head. He deserves dirty bricks.

THE SECOND NOTABLE THING

WHILE DRIVING DOWN OUR STREET TO HOME I realized that directly above me, hovering over my open car sunroof, was a medium-sized drone.

I quickly checked my rearview mirrors to see if I could figure who was controlling the drone.  I could not, so I did what I thought was best.  I looked up briefly, smiled, and waved hello to the drone operator.

I did not give the drone operator the finger, nor did I shut the sunroof.  I played along like a kind neighbor, in on the joke, whatever it was.

CONCLUSION? I am a good pre-old person who deserves more praise for such.

THE THIRD NOTABLE THING

AS I WAS WATCHING THE YOUNG CASHIER GUY ring up my order at Kroger, I noticed that he’d made a mistake.  He had charged me for .65 lbs of rutabagas instead .65 lbs of zucchinis.

[I don’t know how anyone could confuse zucchini for rutabaga, but he did.]

Now considering the last time I got into a conversation with a young cashier guy about produce and how my pear purchase peeved him [READ FULL STORY HERE], I chose not to say a word about the rutabaga/zucchini mistake.

You understand.

However I realize that rutabagas were $.99/ lb while zucchini were $1.49/ lb meaning that I may owe Kroger $.33 for the zucchini that were more expensive than the rutabagas.

CONCLUSION? I will not lose sleep over this, but wonder how often I get charged the wrong amount for something?

I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows;  2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows;  and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

Rambling Thoughts That’ll Light No One’s Way, Yet Here They Are

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE LONG WEEKS when I’ve been doing things, but haven’t felt very good.  My stomach kind of hurts, no specific reason.  My ancient old knees hurt, no specific reason.

My head hurts, courtesy of seasonal allergies.  My eyes are an itchy mess because of those same allergies.  And I’ve been sneezing.

Sneezing so loudly, in fact, that while I was outside on the deck when I sneezed a neighbor, who I’ve never met, who lives on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine behind our house yelled “God bless you” towards me.  I shouted “thank you” back across the forest primeval/ravine, thus ending the longest conversation I’ve ever had with any neighbor on the other side of the forest primeval/ravine.

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AND THEY SAY THE SUBURBS ARE SOULLESS. Ha!  We’re not soulless here, we just live far enough apart to not know each other personally while being midwestern polite to a fault.  And aren’t good manners part and parcel of having a soul?

Me thinks so.

And on that note of profundity [?], I shall end this post.  You know I try to be here at least once a week because I made a commitment to myself and to you, my gentle readers, to do so, thus I am here.

It would be bad manners to not show up.

However some weeks it takes all I’ve got just to find a photo [enhanced by Waterlogue app], plop it on this virtual page, and then write the words.  In this case Muse is here with me, but my Energy Level isn’t up to snuff.

‘Ya know what I mean?

Overheard: Winning Big At The Grocery Store

BUSY WEEK HERE but of course I’ve been to the grocery store, source of all excitement.

Once there having collected what I wanted to buy, I found myself standing in the checkout lane with a family of four, soon to be five, directly in front of me.

Mom was holding the coupons while Dad and 2 boys, ages 5 & 7, were putting the groceries on the moving conveyor belt so that the cashier could ring up the items.

AS THEY DID THIS Dad occasionally pointed out to the boys that something was on sale, or that Mom had a coupon for this particular item.

He was, I believe, trying to instill a sense of frugality in his sons.

When all the items had been rung up the total was over $200.00.  Mom handed the coupons to the cashier then she went to sit down on a nearby chair.

This left Dad to pay for the groceries while the boys watched him.  Again, I do believe, that his intention was that this be another learning experience in money management.

ALL THREE MALES stared at the computer screen as the cashier swiped each coupon into the scanner.  The screen showed coupon savings while simultaneously the computer made a bell-like ringing-dinging sound with each subtraction from the total.

Apparently this sound reminded the boys of a video game adding up points.  The sound was so reminiscent of a game that the older boy, thoroughly impressed with his father’s game skillz, said:

“Wow, Dad. You did great. You got a really high score.” 

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The HOA Is Asking Us To Decide Something Morally Murky

Seeing clearly? Antique lenses used by eye doctor to determine the prescription for your spectacles.

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When I saw the lawyer’s return address on the letter in our mailbox I knew something was up with the Home Owners Association [HOA].

I opened the envelope and began to read the letter + the attachments, written in legalese, describing what the HOA wants us, the homeowners, to decide about changing our by-laws.

I like our HOA.  The people on it do a good job of informing us in a timely manner about break-ins and coyotes and streets under repair and pool closures. Things like that, plus they do a great job of keeping the entrances looking spiffy.

They earn their keep;  however I find this proposed addition to the by-laws to be a dicey issue.

We are being asked as a group to decide if a registered sex offender [in any state] can buy or rent a house in this large subdivision.

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer to this proposed addition to the by-laws because while it may be legal, this is a morally murky area.

I mean, if someone has done their time for their crime do we have the right to not let him or her live here? Or is this a high-handed way to snoop inside the lives of other people?

And further, what about domestic violence perpetrators with a police record? Or drunk drivers with multiple arrests?  Do we refuse to allow them to live here?  They worry me as much as, if not more than, registered sex offenders.

Like I said, no clear answer here– but a great topic of conversation. What say you to this? Comments are open below.