On My Walk: Six Sisters No More

Six Sisters
The Lovely Girls

I’ve lived in the same neighborhood with the same walking path on the same streets with the same houses and the same daily joys for 17 years. For the most part, only the children have changed, and of course that’s a lovely thing — growing and learning and blossoming and becoming. I have issues with change, but I do my best to handle it gracefully.

Sometimes though, it hurts to the core.

Sometimes it’s murderous.

You may not remember my first post on the sisters shown above, but oh they were magnificent. Huge lovelies planted together like sisters indeed, filled to the brim with boughs and acorns and leaves shimmering with every passing breeze. Every single day, they were the highlight of my walk, and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the meeting as much as I did.

One day last week, I noticed some trimming in progress, which isn’t unusual with trees. But then the next day they were missing — gone — a HUGE empty space surrounded by sawdust and loss. They had not only been cut to the ground, but their very roots dug out, tossed into trucks, and hauled off as if they had never existed.

Who does these things?

In this case, new owners moved in, ripped out the old and planted spindly screening trees. They could be considered cute enough, but they’ll never be majestic or live lifetimes or serve as the protectors and watchers of the neighborhood.

Change sucks. People say it isn’t true and I know they’re right in some sense, but in my world, change can really suck. Sigh.

Good Neighbors

Chalk Drawings

Good Neighbors:

Put your newspaper on the porch if it looks like rain.

Don’t let their dogs sit on your flowers.

Offer to run to the store when you have the flu AND small children.

Use the back door.

Sit on the porch with you and watch the world go by after a long day.

Smile and wave when you’ve invited three friends and six toddlers and a couple of dogs to set up kiddie pools and hoses on the “beach” you’ve made in your shared driveway.

Leave fresh fruit or veggies or flowers by your door sometimes without even a note, because a gift is a gift and they’re not in it for the recognition.

Leave sweet hellos and chalk drawings “just because.”

Walk your dog when it’s raining because they’re walking theirs anyway and they’re already wet.

Don’t look at you with the sad pity face when they hear you have cancer or have lost a job, but walk right over with a bottle of prosecco and a funny movie and say “Get on the couch, we’re gonna laugh for a while.”

Thank you for planting and pruning and weeding and making the neighborhood all homey and happy, and order a pine straw delivery as a thank you.

Notice when they haven’t seen you in a few days and knock on the door to make sure you’re okay.

Don’t call the police when you really need to blast out Earth, Wind and Fire and DANCE for just one song.

Love it when your kids knock on their door and ask for a popsicle.

Will laugh and claim they were awake anyway when your alarm accidentally goes off at 3 AM two nights in a row.

Share cuttings of Aunt Myrtle’s heirloom perennials.

Always wave. Because nothing beats acknowledging the existence and validity and humanity of those we live among, and we all very simply need that.