Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friday evening walk about

Wink is calm
Wink has been with us for about a year. After an evening walk through our neighborhood last night, I commented to AdRi how nice it is to know so many of our neighbors now. The dialogue also included her perennial question "Why did we wait so long to get a dog?" and my perennial answer "Because you told me no for 10 years honey." But I'm getting off topic...

It's true about getting to know our neighborhood better since Wink has come to live with us. We now know two really sweet kids down the street who oohed and aaaahed over Wink for months, running to see us on every walk, and then showed up not so long ago at our doorstep with their very own little dog named King King. Sometimes we meet up for walks and talk about soccer, school, and just stuff: they're from Mexico and just recently learned AdRi's family is also from Mexico ("I thought you were English!").

Then there's the older gentleman down the street AdRi calls her friend. He's been recuperating from an illness, often taking in the sights from his front porch, and she'll stop and talk a spell with him. Mainly about the weather, neighborhood, how he's feeling, and of course he loves Wink. Last night a great neighbor, also a bit older, was standing out front with his little dog, Cleo. He always has a treat in his pocket and Wink knows this and just wiggles non stop. His american flag hat and suspenders make me like him even more, and our little chit chat about the dogs ended with talk of Halloween*. He said he hoped it would rain. Ha! Crankypants! AdRi and I just laughed to ourselves as we continued on.

In our walk-about, the diversity of our neighborhood is apparent: newly arrived immigrants including Hmong and Mexican, young couples with dogs like us, the scary overgrown house where I've never seen a person yet, the big old historic houses being remodeled, the 1990's infill house and the older folks who've lived here for years. A classic working class neighborhood in North Portland like this ranges from a crack house boarded up down on the corner, to the house whose owner has incredibly designed fountains and flower beds and other yard accoutrements.

Towards the end of our walk we passed a house where an elderly woman lives. Meticulously kept yard and house, I never see anyone come or go. Sometimes I see her in her window and I'll wave even though we've never met or spoken. Saw her last night and waved. She waved back. And then she came to her front steps. She wasn't sure if she knew who we were, and said "I don't know anyone in the neighborhood anymore!" Her name is Hazel and she has lived here for 50 years. I told her where we lived "Oh the one with all of those flowers?" and I nodded yes, that's us. I asked her if the neighborhood has changed, and of course it has. She went back inside and we met up with King King and his young owner and together, we walked back towards home. A simple, nice moment of community. Thanks, Wink.
...
*Regarding Halloween, yes, Wink has a costume. Yes, there will be photos. Yes, yes and yes. Just hold onto your pantalones.

9 comments:

Rozanne said...

Excellent post!

I love to walk around my neighborhood (and other PDX neighborhoods). Not so many people do that anymore.

I love to stop and talk to people who are out working in their yards or walking their dogs. And I know all the neighborhood cats, so it's worth it just for that. My favorite is this roly-poly orange tomcat named Amber. He is unbelieveably friendly and sweet.

So, yeah, keep making the rounds. Mr. Rogers would approve.

Syd said...

Despite the fact that I live in Bumfuck, partly because I don't like neighbors, I do understand the importance of community.

This was a beautiful post.

Zoe said...

That is so true about knowing the neighbors through walking the dog. Having an alley is nice too, ours is a congregating place.

Lynne said...

I could not even finish this post because it gave me pains.
I totally agree. I have met so many neighbors through Layla my lab. We all gather in the field across the street. However, we haven't gathered in a about a month because Layla has a partially torn CCl and has been ordered not to play with others. I t is hell. Poor baby doesn't know why she can't play. Poor me because I have to control her on the leash when other dogs are in view.
Anyways, don't mean to be downer. I just miss the good times...

purpletwinkie said...

Nice post. Makes me wish I knew my neighbors other than the ones on each side of me... oh yeah... and Mrs. Cranky Bitches.

Lee said...

great post lelo...have you dared each other to run up and touch the scary house? dogs are the best :)

Recovering Straight Girl said...

Ah, Winky. She's the best, ever. Truly, she and Ginger are so great!

patti_cake said...

I can't wait until we move and I have a "neighborhood" again! Loved this post. It just made me feel so nostalgic! Wink is darling.
Reilly is going to be a vampire for Halloween ;) I'll try to take pics.

witchtrivets said...

That is why I moved to Portland -- to find a real neighborhood. I'm happy for you that you have found this.