Neighbors are like relatives--you don't get to choose them. But I've been as lucky with neighbors (recently) as I am with relatives. For several years I had college students living to the east--some were really nice and friendly, others were a pain. On the other side was an elderly and eccentric man who was so lonely he loved to talk. I felt most guilty that I didn't encourage him but I didn't want to take him to adopt.
Two good things happened--Jay and Susan bought the house to the west and comletely redid it. It's wonderful, and they're great neighbors. Then Sue moved in on the other side, and when I heard about it I thought, "Oh dear, a single mom with two children who will probably be noisy." Not at all. The children are a delight, and Sue became a good friend. She moved last March, and I miss her still.
But Brannon and Meredith Latimer have moved into her house with two-year-old Abby. They're expecting baby two in March and just found out it's a boy.
Meredith came over for coffee on the porch this morning--a lovely sunny morning with the temperature just right. We chatted immediately, found lots in common, and the forty-year age gap between us disappeared. We swapped stories--mine about granchildren, and hers about her child, then on to family, background, etc. An hour passed before we knew it, and it was time for her to pick up Abby. A most pleasant break in the morning, and I welcome them to the neighborhood, hope they'll stay a while.
November is Nanowrimo Month, a project that urges amateur and professional writers to put together a novel in 30 days--I didn't sign up. I don't need more pressure in my life. After all, that's why I'm retired. But today I wrote slightly over 2,000 words--if I did that every day for 30 days, I'd be darn close to a finished cozy. With my upcoming schedule, I won't get that done, but it was a good feeling, and I intend to keep after the novel now that I'm back to it. No more distractions.
Tonight was my memoir writing class. What a classy group of ladies! We laugh, we look at ourselves, we explore, and, best of all, we share. There are some hard times shared but somehow we always see the good in life. Tonight in addition to presentations, we read our exercises in telling a story in six sentences. (There's a blog where you can do that: http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/.) Lots of fun. I cheated and condensed one of my short stories into six sentences, but some of the others were really good, and one gave me the chills. The beginning of a good mystery short story.
I am so grateful for all these different threads in my life. They tie together well, but I have the feeling I'll be harried and hurried from now through Christmas.