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April 15, 2005

"The Neighborhood"

Every spring I'm astounded by how much the kids in our neighborhood have grown over the winter. It's like someone through a switch on the Miracle Grow milk replacer between October and April.

Yikes! Now I know I'm married to someone who works for Monolithic Peoples Dairy Co-Operative, I just used the term "milk replacer".

We saw some of the neighbors the other day when we walked over to see The King and Priscilla's new puppy. (Their two kids were in the thick of a throng of children that had descended on their swingset, sandbox, slide, etc.) The King and I traded notes on how much the slide/swing cost and I cringed when I realized how soon we would be writing that check. (I also vowed then to build Jack a frontier fort so he could get a decent game of cowboys and indians going.)

The kids in our neighborhood all fuss over Jack when he's out. Every last one of them call him "Baby Jack" and I told Fabulous Babe the other day he's going to be the tag along kid in a few years. (Younger than most but still trying to keep up with the older kids.) I'm sure he and Kate will be in cahoots though.

I've not heard what this years spontaneous neighborhood improvement project (SNIP) is going to be for everyone. Last year it was a spontaneous eruption of pools, which we opted out of when we chose the "baby" option instead. Previous spontaneous neighborhood improvement projects have been decks and sprinkler systems. I'm guessing it will be landscaping. I doubt we'll start seeing lawn jockeys but maybe we'll get a couple of those weird reflective balls on a pedestal. (Which have been around forever. I have a picture of one in the yard next to my grandfather from 1926.)

We have a new set of neighbors who moved here from Illinois. They're childless so the ladies have begun pumping their house full of the "have a baby" gas that worked so well for us. Time will tell. She hosted a home party a couple of weeks ago and Fabulous Babe tells me they're nice.

Sometimes I think it's a little dull in the 'burbs and then there are other times, like when I read a story about a Minneapolis street gang dragging a 13 year old kid off of bus to beat and rob him in broad daylight, that I'm glad we live where we live. Cities have a lot to offer but need to be safe if they expect people to live in them.

Now if only we can get rid of the mosquitos. I swear I'm hitting every standing pool of water I can find with chlorine tablets.

Posted by Jim at April 15, 2005 01:05 AM


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