Having done the raking by hand, it goes without saying that the snow removal would be with a shovel.  I like to fool myself into believing it is because I prefer the exercise that comes with it.  It is more than that; it is also that I detest the smell of gasoline that saturates your clothing and body when you use a snow blower.  At least that is my experience.

I also have my sons who do snow removal, mainly only one of them now.  I am obviously the last on the list and being the person I am, I don’t even like to have to deal with the snow removal when the tire tracks have packed down the snow.  I don’t like it as well when the complete apron of the driveway isn’t done and it is harder getting out of the driveway.  When you forget to remove some snow or think there isn’t enough to remove, it freezes and creates more removal problems.  Therefore, I remove the snow as promptly as possible.

The other issue is one that perhaps should bother me because of my reasoning or lack thereof, it is my neighbor and his ultimate fixation with his power tools, mainly his snow blower.  When I think of how many times we had to deal with his early autumn revving up of his snow blower, what seemed like hours on end where we had to endure the endless drone of his machine.  Then, to see him with the puffy, angry face out there in the cold moving the snow from one spot to another; that is a sight to be seen!  That, in itself, is enough to make me dislike using that blasted machine to remove snow.  Come to think of it, he really likes to create bothersome noise overall.  In the summer, there is the nightly bug zapper.  The music he plays when he works is always loud and obtrusive.  Mind you, if I were to do what he does, the whole town I live in would hear about it!

This all makes me realize the strange collection of neighbors I currently have.  I am hoping you don’t think it is me, honestly, it isn’t.

Across the street we have the people who are very unlike the rest of the people in the community I live in.  They only say “hello” when they need to.  If they were to get locked out (which they have in the past) or have some reason to talk, they do.   Otherwise, they pretend not to see us.  Mary Kay amused me to no end when their children would come to the door selling things.  Our family policy is that when kids come by having to sell things, we buy.  We so appreciate when people did that for our kids.  Well, the kids from across the street would come over and without even saying hello or introducing themselves  would say “Do you want to buy such and such?”  Mary Kay would say, “Do I know you?  Who exactly are you?  Don’t you know you should introduce yourself?  Let’s start over.”  And so they would.  The didactic Koerners were at it again.

Their Dad amuses us to no end by his jogging technique, unlike anything we have ever seen.  Perhaps we have missed something, but for years he would come out in his jogging regalia and do some very professional stretches. They were quite impressive, frankly.  Then he would go for his jog.  Around the block he would go, coming back within minutes, another jogging session completed.

The other thing he does that really “grosses out my boys” is his morning trip to get the newspaper from the end of the driveway.  He wears his usual white terry cloth bathrobe and generally has nothing on his feet.  It is unclear as to what might be under his bathrobe and we hope never to discover the truth he is hiding.

This isn’t to say there aren’t “normal” people among my collection of neighbors, we have wonderful people who are there for you and speak to you whenever you see them.  We even have Richie’s “adoptive parents,” a lovely couple down the street.  Richie was always good at adopting people as parents or grandparents and here he chose very wisely.  Whenever he would get upset in his younger days, he might be found down the street talking to them.  They are wonderful, calm, relaxed in demeanor people who have helped us “rear” our children in more ways than one.  Their input was invaluable and truly serves as an example of “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

No matter what, neighbors are sometimes just more entertaining than TV!


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