Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life Stories

I’ve just recently gotten to know my neighbor. She has been a neighbor for 30 years. We both worked for many years and she is rightfully retired; I’m not working because . . . and I haven’t gotten excited about working since discovering how enjoyable it is to stay home, sew quilts, shop some time other than evenings or weekends, visit our daughter whenever I want, and get to know my neighbors (okay, one in particular).

We usually talk for long periods over the fence separating our two properties. Today we had brunch at a café we both like. She knows more people than I can possibly keep track of and has at least one story about each one. Today’s memories took us back to when her daughter was little. Becky was four when she started school and became quick friends with the next smallest girl; barely separable for bed time in their own homes.

Becky and her friend Marta both liked animals. Becky had a dog, fish, duck, any domesticated animal mom or dad would buy her (are ducks considered domesticated?). Marta had only a dog, but liked to look at magazines of exotic animals. She filled out a card from one of these magazines. Sometime later, a call came to her home from the airport.

“Your monkey is out of quarantine, please come and pick him up,” was the unexpected message from the airport. Dad was not happy. Dad went to the airport. Dad came home with a spider monkey, which had no place to climb as they had not one tree in the back yard. So, dad bought a cage and the monkey lived in there when not free in the house, wearing a diaper Marta’s mom made. It seems that Marta, in first or second grade at the time, ordered the monkey by writing dad’s credit card number on the postage-paid card from the magazine and sending it off.

Now, how many neighbors can top a story like that?

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