Our little street on Widdershins Island has about 20 houses on it. Some are summer cottages, (filling up fast now Summer has finally arrived) some are weekenders, and the remainder are occupied all year round.
As with all small communities, news travels faster than light, faster than a Higgs Boson! And when new folks move in, details are shared amongst the residents in the time it takes for someone to walk from one front yard to the next. (or on the way down to the lake, which is shining so beautifully right now)
It takes a bit longer for these tidbits to be confirmed, by various means – devious and blatant – with the newbies themselves.
The other day our landlord finally replaced our rusty old stove. He trundled the new one in to the kitchen and proceeded to disconnect the old one. (Widder cat and I waved farewell as it sailed off into the ‘large appliance recycling depot’ sunset)
But … Lo and behold, he discovered the new stove needed to be wired up differently. After much pondering the situation and a series of gentle and then not-so-subtle hints from me, (I was trying to write) he decided that an electrician was needed. (just as I’d mentioned earlier – much earlier – in the day)
Off up the road he trundled (trundling is his preferred form of locomotion – he’s four-score years and ten, if he’s a day) to his friend, and neighbourhood resident, the Electrician (retired) … who promptly arrived on our doorstep and threw himself behind the stove to wire doo-hickies and thingamajigs with an impressive assortment of electrician-y tools. (ya gotta have the right tool for the right job)
Prior to this evening, I’d only had a polite nod-and- “nice day” passing acquaintance with our Electrician neighbour.
Electrician neighbour finished the re-wiring efficiently, and as he walked out the door, (it’s now 10pm – I gave up writing anything meaningful hours ago) he turned to me and said, … “So, you’re the author then?”
I nodded and replied that I was indeed, ‘the author’.
He nodded carefully in return, as though I’d passed some sort of provisional ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ test, and wandered off into the night.
Our nods-in-passing are friendlier now. Sometimes we exchange more than weather reports … on the days we’re inclined to chat.
This is how ‘community’ grows – one small interaction at a time.
“Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier” – Mae West, 1893 – 1980 Actress, playwright, screenwriter.
Here’s a few more of her wonderful one-liners