Deja vu

When we first moved into this swampy old landfill in 1984, Lizard Breath was on the way and the Burkes lived next door. At that time, I think the Burkes were probably about our age now. The Burkes were fun party people and so are we but I believe we are just a wee bit less flamboyant than they were. They had a lot of interesting structures (including Burke’s Erection), flowers, lights, and other stuff in their beautiful back yard. Including a Russian flag. I am not known for having any kind of grasp on historical facts and dates and things but I believe this was before glasnost had taken hold. (Go ahead and correct me, I won’t be offended.) It always cracked me up when people would say things like, “Hey Kayak Woman, did you know that your neighbor has a Russian flag in his back yard?” I would think something like, “So what?” The truth was that Burke was a wrestling coach (among other things) and was involved in an exchange program of sorts with a Russian youth wrestling organization. They had traveled to Russia and hosted young Russian wrestlers in their home.

When the Drs. Burke came home from their public school teaching jobs each day, they would hang out on the old erection having cocktails. Sooometiiiimes they would have just a weeee leeeetle bit more fun than others and interesting things would occur. Like Burke might be spotted out on the Erection in the middle of the night with, uh, um, *nothing* on. And then there were the faaarrrworks. In the early years of our life here, Burke and the GG would have faaarrrworks wars on the 4th of July or New Years Eve or just whenever they felt like it. It wasn’t until after Burke died and I walked out my front door one day to see the Sterling Heights Bomb Squad in the street that we knew he had dynamite in his basement. “Enough dynamite to blow up the house and the two houses on either side of it,” said the nice state policeman. Yeah, one of those houses was MINE! He had purchased the dynamite at Schlenker Hardware back in the 1970s.

They have both been dead for a few years now and a young couple bought their house a couple summers ago. They are nice young folks and we are not unfriendly but we are busy and I have not talked to them a whole lot. Last night, the GG disappeared outside for a while and it turned out that he was talking to the husband, who was BORN IN 1984!!! Because in October 1984, we were outside with *our* newborn baby and the GG dumped our loverly little munchkin over the fence into Burke’s arms. Burke was freaked out! “Take her back, take her back!” The guy who was not afraid to handle dynamite was terrified to hold a newborn baby (and yes, they did have their own children). I actually understood. I was “afraid” of babies before I had my own.

And so I am trying to process the fact that the people who have bought the house next door to the Landfill were infants at the same time as my first daughter. For all I know, we could’ve encountered Joe and his mom at the Westgate Kroger all those years ago. At any rate, they are fine neighbors. I am not the best. I am not unfriendly but I am busy with the whole job & elder management thing and KW needs a lot of KW-alone time. Not sure if that’s a good thing or bad or maybe even sorta temporary. I do care about people. I just can’t always show it.

At this point, I am drifting off toward the maudlin, so good night!

One Response to “Deja vu”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Born in 1984?? I had already been teaching for 4 years by then. I was getting married and two years away from my first baby. LONG time ago.