We may not be everyone's idea of the perfect neighbors, what with the woodstove and granite sink and stack of windows and assorted what-not in our yard. We have one neighbor in particular whose property value is probably suffering because of us. She lives in the house everyone comments on when they come visit us - it looks like something Edward Hopper would have painted. I am always a little nervous when I see her.
So today I come home and I'm looking for the chickens. I start calling them and I hear them call me back: "Susan?" I look up to see the lilacs moving and then I see my neighbor. I ask if the chickens have been looting her pantry while she wasn't looking. She tells me they've been having a nice afternoon behind the toolshed (not doing drugs or swearing or attracting unsavory characters). She also told me she carried one back to the coop because she was worried they wouldn't find their way back. She likes the chickens.
She likes the chickens! She likes seeing them in her garden. She likes how they dig in the leaves and dash around like little old ladies holding their hoop skirts. She is not, it seems, at all concerned about her property value.
I hope she also likes eggs, because there were five today.
Enough about chickens, yes?
On to parties. If we get sitters for all the parties we want to go to, we will have to wear name tags when we next see our children. Our children are generally invited to parties, but sometimes they probably shouldn't be. They will eat the tuna sashimi and all the fois gras without even looking up to see you scowling at them. They respond when poked with pickle forks, but will probably just mosey on over to the raw bar. They have the tenacity of seagulls.
And let's face it, as much as one adores one's delightful offspring, it is SO NICE to settle into a pillow-strewn couch and have a chat with a like-minded soul without having to pause and say "sweetie, you can use the bathroom by yourself. Yes, I'm sure it locks. Yes, I'll watch to make sure. Yes, the dog is lying in front of the door. Yes, his tail might hit you when you walk past. No, it's not necessary for me to carry you. Yes, it's a brown dog.... oh for crying out loud will you please just go already!" And the person you were talking to is gone and all is lost.
Instead maybe we'll have a party here, so we can just put them to bed when they hit the wall. I think all that decorating and baking and inviting and cleaning and wassail-brewing would be refreshingly simple compared to wrestling the last bacon wrapped scallop from Studley's iron grip.