Meeting the Neighbors

Morning dog walks are usually the time that I use to wake up.  I stumble out of bed, throw on something semi-decent, and let Peanut drag me out the door for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. I eventually find myself awake and ready to face the day.  It’s a happy routine.

The “something semi-decent” part is what gets me into trouble though.  This morning was par for the course.  I was wearing a polka dot tank top, an especially bad ponytail, my best sleepy face, and the ultimate pair of shorts.  They’re actually my brother’s soccer shorts from when he was in seventh or eighth grade.  I was in fourth or fifth grade then.  They’re one good-looking pair of shorts.

So naturally, I met a new neighbor this morning.  He was walking his small dog, ready for work with his badge on and everything.  I was on the home stretch of the walk and thinking mostly about the cereal that would be in front of me in moments.

I was planning to ignore him.  Not very neighborly, I know, but I don’t know him, and my teeth weren’t even brushed.

Fluffy Poo came up to Peanut, and there wasn’t anything to do but say hi.  To which he responded, “I hear that you’re Hannah.”

What?

From whom did you gather this information?  I don’t know you.  I don’t know your wife or twelve children.  This is the first time that Fluffy Poo and Peanut have met, so they didn’t share juicy details about their owners.  Even then, does Peanut know my name?

I smiled and said a few friendly things to Jim, then made a beeline for my cereal bowl.  And the take-away message from the morning is that my neighbors probably describe me to new neighbors as “the one who sleepwalks in pajamas all the time.”  It would be accurate and would also put me dangerously close to the cat lady category.

Time to take 2 extra minutes in the morning, I think.

A Drizzly Dog Walk and the Case of the Lone Tennis Ball

It’s still rainy.*  On our morning walk today, Peanut and I made futile attempts to stay dry.  My tactic was to wear a raincoat, his was to walk on the sidewalk to avoid rubbing his belly through wet grass.  He lasted about 5 seconds before something in the grass smelled irresistible.

Anyway, we were walking along, no big deal, and there it was in the middle of the road.  (Not a dead skunk, but if you haven’t heard that song, I fully intend to serenade you with it sometime… classic.)  A lonely tennis ball in the grassy median.

I know a tennis ball in a neighborhood full of kids might not spell sadness in your mind.  It had me a little concerned though.  See, there’s a standard poodle who walks through the neighborhood with his small dog buddy on a similar schedule to ours, and he and his friend are great.

The poodle wags and sniffs happily, and without fail, he carries a grimy tennis ball in his mouth.  When you pet him, he grins back at you around the tennis ball.  I’ve never seen him without it.  So seeing what appeared to be a slimy, dirty tennis ball in the median made me wonder about our friend.  What made him drop the ball?  Did he know where it was?  Did he have a shiny new replacement tennis ball?

I quickly realized how ridiculous it was to worry about that, but seeing it there made me think about all of things that stack up to make a neighborhood what it is.  I love those things.

*I wrote this yesterday and didn’t get around to posting it, so the rainy factor was true then, not now.