Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Ahhhh, I have to admit, that g-mail or hot-mail or fan-mail or whatever-the-hell-mail servers you guys are talking about sounds like what I should have done. Too bad I wasn’t bright enough to do it BEFORE I lost all my e-mails. Unfortunately, “a day late and a dollar short” seems to be my middle name sometimes. (PS Did I mention that I just found out the reason my cell phone -- the cell phone I have had less than a year -- is on permanent roam and shoots everyone to immediate voice mail is because they don’t have Verizon within a hundred miles of here? So looks like a new cell phone is in my future, as well. Consequently, if anyone couldn’t reach me by e-mail the past two weeks, so then tried to call me and also got no response --- I promise I’m not avoiding you -- I’m just technologically jinxed. And I have a cell-phone sized paper weight I can give you in apology.) But thanks for the heads up --- I’ll certainly handle things more efficiently if we ever move again.

Which, by the way, TOTALLY isn’t happening. Because Blaine caught a stomach bug on Thanksgiving. Then caught a head cold two days later. Then pulled a muscle in his back yesterday morning trying to move a piece of furniture. Which means, in case you haven’t figured it out, that I am unpacking every single solitary box by myself. He is alternately laying on the sofa taking muscle relaxers for his back, shivering cold, covered in blankets, then sweating to death, then getting up to blow his nose, then running for the bathroom to be sick, then complaining after he runs that his back hurts worse. (Shhhhh, don’t tell him, but I’m such a control freak that I actually prefer to open all the boxes myself. However, I want *him* to think he owes me big-time for this, so let’s keep it our little secret, all right? Thanks.)

I did, however, want to share with you something that happened Monday morning that I found quite humorous.

Blaine and I walked the kids to school for their first day, then walked back home** by 8am. The moving van was waiting in front of our house when we returned, and the movers got started right away unloading our stuff.

About 8:30, my front doorbell rang. When I opened it, I saw a lady standing there with a plate of home-made banana nut bread and a card. I have to admit I was a little surprised. While neighborhood hospitality is certainly nice, I definitely didn’t expect someone to ring my bell the first hour we lived here.

I opened the door, and this is the conversation that ensued:

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Neighborhood Lady, with a very nice smile: “Good morning, this is for the people who live here” and she handed me the plate.

Me: “Oh, how nice! That’s so sweet of you!” {then I extended my hand to her} “I’m Kristie.”

And she said, “Hi, I’m Pam” and then sort of looked at me, waiting for something.

I stood there, wondering if I should invite her in, despite the fact none of our chairs or furniture or anything to sit on had been unloaded yet.

Then Neighborhood Lady paused, and turned back to look at the 18-wheeler unloading furniture and boxes in front of my house. Then she turned back to look at me.

Neighborhood Lady, obviously realizing something is not quite right here: “Oh ….. are you moving IN? I mean, have the Smiths (named changed to protect the previous owners) already moved out?”

Me, suddenly realizing that the banana nut bread wasn’t for me after all: “Um, yeah, they moved out on Saturday. But if this is for them, I can totally get it to them. It’s no problem.” And I self-consciously gestured to the plate, realizing I was holding a gift intended for someone else, that I had simply ASSUMED was for me. And I LOVE banana nut bread. Mentally, I had already poured myself a glass of milk and was preparing to feast.

I don’t know why *I* felt embarrassed, but I did. Like maybe she thought I was trying to bamboozle her out of a plate of home-made banana nut bread that was NOT meant for me.

But then she did pretty much the nicest thing she could have done, in my opinion. She just looked at me and said, “No, you keep it. Instead of a good-bye gift for them, now it’s a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift for you.”

So seriously, that was really kind, wasn’t it? Even if I did totally weasel myself some banana nut bread with a card that reads “Best of Luck! We’ll miss you!!”

Then, a few hours later, my best girlfriend from Junior High named Marla, the one I discovered boys with, and spent countless nights at her house sleeping over and scaring ourselves to death watching creepy movies like Halloween and The Brood (seriously -- have you ever seen The Brood?!?) and whose parents even took me on vacation to Missouri with them and didn’t get mad when I got carsick in their station wagon, stopped by on her lunch break to say hi and tell me she was bringing dinner over.

Then about an hour after that my best male friend (male, but not gay, but friends in a completely platonic way, which I feel obliged to mention every time I tell people one of my best friends is a guy and they look at me funny and then inevitably ask, “And Blaine is ok with that?” and I have to say, “Yes, as is his wife” like it’s such a bizarre thing for a man and a woman to be friends --- but I have digressed) Louis stopped by after that on *his* lunch break to say hi.

Then the wife of the elementary school principal came over to introduce herself and brought us a cake she had baked.

Small towns ROCK!

Now, I'm off to unpack a few decillion more boxes.***


**We are so close to the school that when I stand on my front porch, I can hear the kids playing outside for recess. How cool is that?

***A decillion is a one with 33 zeros after it. I know this because it is the word Kellen will be portraying in Friday's Vocabulary Parade. Although what kind of costume we're supposed to put together, I have no earthly idea.


Cathy Morrisey said...

Glad you are getting unpacked. I hope Blaines back/nose/tummy/head etc gets to feeling better! I think it is too funny that you got a cake from the principals this the same principal who wanted the house you moved in to?? If so you are right....small towns ROCK!!!
ps..have you found a Sonic yet?

Connie F-G said...

Since moving here, I've been reminded why I love small towns too. Sunday night, Santa cruised through the neighborhood with a police and fire truck escort. The motorcycle police were wearing reindeer antlers on their helmets. It's the little things.

I love the friendliness of small towns and didn't realize how much I missed that until I moved back to one...and it's 5 times bigger here than the size I grew up in!

We still have a garage full of boxes so feel free to come on up and help us unpack when you get done at your house. Maybe you can find the salad forks and shelves for my desk! Yes, this is our Christmas vacation project. We also need to find ski gear for the church trip in January...maybe the soccer ball is in there too...

Feel better soon Blaine!


Anonymous said...

Dress him up as a one and attach 33 zeros to him.. or like a chain of 33 zero's.. just an idea. Your way more creative.

Grandma J said...

Isn't Verizon the one where the whole network (50 zillion IT geeks) follows that guy around no matter where he goes? Like to the moon and back?
Poor Blaine! When will he catch a break?
If you can hear the kids playing on the playground, then you can hear the school bell ring between classes and recess all day?
Glad you are settling in...

lizinsumner said...

My idea for Kellen's costume: "000etc.".....well, at least it would make for a more manageable costume, right???!! Oh, and I'm sorry - but the idea that my cell phone carrier has never seen fit to install cell phones in the middle of nowhere (or, Oklahoma as we on the west coast refer to it!!) really amused me! I hope, also, that would mean that they wouldn't charge you to leave your contract early so that you can sign with someone else....(and I'm just teasing about OK being the middle of nowhere, but you gotta admit that from up here where I am, it really does look like it is!!)......hope Blaine gets better soon!

olsen7945 said...

I am so glad you are getting settled. I totally laughed about the banana nut bread:) I am glad that you got back online.....I LOVE to read your blog.....always makes my day. Hope Blaine feels better soon......and I really MUST know if you were happy Helio took the trophy.....I sure was:) Best of luck with those decillion boxes.


Dana said...

Um... I know you just moved and all and of course you've been super duper busy and it's not a really big deal in any way to most likely every one else other than me but, uh when you have a chance, and there's no pressure coming from me, could you please change where it says you're a 'misplaced Okie currently living in Georgia'? Oh my word! At this point you are probably cursing whoever in the hell I am and 'What!? I've never even seen this woman's name before and she's pulling out request... and cut me some slack I have more important things to do than to worry about what bothers you' but it's like having dark carpet and vaccuming and then, out of the corner of your eye, seeing that one freaking little piece of white fuzzy crap just lying there taunting you. Like I said no rush on that yeah.. whatever no rush.

Anonymous said...

Did you move to the 50's? I envy your new life!

Dixie in CA

The Running Girl said...

Glad to see the computer is unpacked and running and I'm glad the electricity is on and things seem to be going well. I hope the kids are enjoying their new school.

Jenny said...

Gmail! Gmail! Gmail!

You can chat on it and call your friends for FREE on it (so long as you have a headset (only $15.00 at Wal-mart) and your friends do too). Seriously, D.D. and I talk on it ALL the time!!

Glad you're starting to settle in. Small towns do ROCK!!

Hope Blaine gets to feeing better!

Mrs. Who said...

Wow. I have NEVER had someone come over and bring me banana bread when I moved in. Dang.

Of course, I have never brought anyone else banana bread, either. So I guess it serves me right.

Anonymous said...

You're right, small towns rock! When we moved across town (8 years ago) one of the neighborhood families (dad & 2 college age sons) came over & asked if they could help unload the truck (we didn't hire movers since it was just across town). The next night the dad came back with a pan of lasagne, garlic bread & brownies. Then a few months later he came over & said "My wife baked a few too many apple pies, will you eat this?" I had just given birth a few days before, of course I would eat it (and I probably didn't share either). Another neighbor brought a pan of brownies about a month after we moved in. We can also hear the elementary school bell & kids at recess from our front yard. The school is about 3 blocks away. Since it's an elementary school the bell only rings twice in the am & once at the end of the day. A downside of living here (the 3rd largest city in ND), no Sonic for miles & miles & miles!

Trans-siberian orchestra is coming here soon, did see them yet? How was it?

Happy settling in!

Rachel from Grand Forks, ND

Anonymous said...

When I moved into my home, I had a neighbor come to the door seconds after I had walked in for the first time. She also brought "goodies" which was very nice. However I found out later that she bad mouthed me to other neighbors because I didn't invite her in for a visit. I'm not sure where she expected to sit since my moving truck hadn't even arrived yet. small towns......hhhmmmmmmm

Andrea said...

Have Kellen dress up as that Fruit of the Loom Grapes costume and call the grapes the zeroes.

Good luck getting settled! Except for the technology woes, it sounds like things are running along fairly smoothly!

sandie in mn said...

I always wanted to live in a small town (all those country songs make it sound so fun). I am a wee bit anal, so will you be changing your section about being misplaced soon? Just checking:)

Sandie In MN said...

oops! Meant to write "displaced" not "misplaced"..

Chris M. said...

Hee, hee, hee. It is the small things that crack me up. Remember my techno-geek husband? He works for Verizon.

I SWEAR they mess with us on purpose. (But I never said that, because I am loyal and supportive and would never CONSIDER changing my network to one that doesn't drop my calls every freakin' time I pass Cliff Road...)

Caroline said...

I am SOOO with you on the "I don't want you to help me unpack because I have to do it my way since my way is so much better but you need to feel bad that you're not helping me." When my boyfriend and I first moved in together I used to go back and reload the dishwasher after he did it because my way was SO better. That didn't last long. But I struggle with letting him clean, cause he doesn't do it right!

Natalie said...

I agree! Small towns rock! Ours will really rock when we have the Santa parade--just like in A Christmas Story. Ahhhhhh! Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

You could glue Cheerios all over his outfit.

Langhorne PA