Cows in the neighborhood?

When I don’t have my nose to whatever grindstone is currently in my life and actually think about where I live here on the Planet Ann Arbor, I get just a wee little bit of a deja vu feeling when I am driving north on North Maple, toward my home. When I was a kid and we visited cousins here on the planet, at a certain point, the area freeway system was built up enough that if you wanted to go north from the west side of the planet, to get on the freeway you drove up North Maple past the shopping center that (I think) had an A&P grocery store in it in those days (but now has my fave Plum Market). As a teenager, I remember sitting in the back of Grandroobly’s car as we turned right off Jackson onto N. Maple and sighing because I knew that I had to leave the city that I loved to go back to the northern outpost that I didn’t *think* I loved (but that’s a whole ‘nother blahg entry). Little did I know that we would soon pass my future home, now known as the Landfill. Where I would bring up my children, hang around at the neighborhood school, and walk through the woods.

I was kvetching the other day about not having regular access to the obituaries but wouldn’t you know, today when I read our twice-weekly newspaper, I saw Vicki’s obit. Not my Haisley Mafia friend Vicki who once painted her whole living room royal purple while her husband and boys were off on a boy scout trip. (You know that is a whole ‘nother story, roight?) The Vicki in the obit lived down the street from me. She was 84. That’s five years younger than The Commander. I was friendly with Vicki and her husband but, alas, I am not the kind of neighbor who drops in (Yoo-hoo!) and chit-chats at any moment. I am meeeee and I am not good at that kind of thing. My life would probably be more, well, I dunno, instristing (intentionally misspelled) or better or whatever if I were. But my experience is that whenever I knock on someone’s door unexpectedly (or even expectedly), I interrupt something (i.e., “sorry it took me so long to get to the door and sorry the dog was so upset, uh, I was, uh, in the bathroom”), so… (sigh)

There are two things I remember the most about Vicki. One is that a few weeks after Mouse was born, I was power-walking down the sidewalk and Vicki asked how things were going with Lizard Breath (2-1/2 years then). I told her that LB was just fine and so was our new baby. She was taken aback. “YOU gave birth???” Well, yeah. I dunno. I am a saggy old baggy old bag these days but I did not gain tons of weight during either of my pregnancies. *I* thought I looked pregnant but others didn’t always catch on to it. (And *that* would be a whole ‘nother blahg entry and not one that I’ll get to any time soon.) More importantly, Vicki always said that when she and her husband moved in to their house, there were cows pastured across N. Maple. I think that was before my family took the N. Maple route out of town when I was a kid. By the time we were doing that, there were ticky-tacky houses (like mine) across N. Maple.

We live in a strange little back-water kind of neighborhood, nice but not fancy. Not a lot of turnover. People tend to stay around for a while. It may change as the old folks die off. Or maybe we will take over as the old folks… I’m not ready to die yet. Godspeed Vicki.

2 Responses to “Cows in the neighborhood?”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Where I live now used to be a rock quarry when I was growing up! You should have seen my husband and a couple of friends trying to put in fence posts when we moved in-ha ha. They had to rent an augur(sp?) and it was still awful. I just stayed in the house and put things away, whew. I didn’t gain much weight while pregnant and got back into shape pretty quickly. It was mainly those non-existent stomach muscles that needed to be dealt with. 🙂

  2. laurie Says:

    we are definitely taking over as the old folks. it feels so strange. i used to be younger than everyone. now i’m older than everyone. the worst is when i tell people my age they no longer gasp and say, “really? you’re kidding!” they just sort of nod.