Monday, January 05, 2009


I don't know about Robert Frost's line about "Good fences make good neighbors." Between my neighbors to the west and me, there's a hurricane fence in the back and an open iron one in the front--neither are what you'd call privacy fences. To the east, my neighbor and I share adjoining driveways with no fence until you get pretty well down my driveway where I put in a fence to control dogs. But the fences don't seem to matter--we are all good neighbors, and I'm lucky to have these folks around me. Believe me, for years I endured much less desirable neighbors but that's a long story and I won't go there.
Jay and Susan live on the east in a wonderful, charming stucco house that they've redone with grace. They're there to stay. On the west is Sue, in a small brick rental that fits her and her two children perfectly. Except for deferred maintenance, she's very comfortable there, and I hope she stays a long time. Last night, Sue didn't have her kids, so we four adults had supper at my house. I am beginning to fear that when I invite them to supper, they'll wonder what leftovers I have to get rid of this time. Last night I fix scalloped potatoes with ham and melted cheese on the top. When I took it out of the oven, Jay said he recognized the aroma from his childhood--I sent all the leftovers home with him. But I really had to use that leftover ham from New Year's. Maybe next year I'll make Hoppin' John--my kids always called it Hoppin' Uncle John.
Jay is a good cook who enjoys it, and today he made beef stew, so I joined them and one of Susan's sisters, Cathy, who tried to teach Colin and Megan to swim some thirty-seven years ago. We had a great reunion and a lively dinnertime conversation--plus the stew was excellent. So I'm in the glow of good neighbors and grateful for them.
Today was the first day back at work after a two-week vacation. I admit I slept fitfully last night, probably aware of all that was on my plate and the fact that I had to get up at 6:30 instead of 8:30. I worried about getting Scoob up early and out but turned on the light about 7 a.m. so he'd know what's coming. Actually the day would have been fine if it weren't so cold and rainy. I got a lot done at the office and a lot more at home, but no, I didn't work on mysteries.
My next goal is to submit my first mystery to a small publisher that I've chosen, but tonight after dinner I came home to 35 emails, which took most of the evening. One day I'll get caught up.

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