Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Last night I took Montana for an hour-long walk. Since we have already explored most of our immediate neighborhood I opted to check out the neighborhood on the other side of the main street that divides the two.

It was like stepping onto a movie set. Every house was gorgeous, perfectly maintained, and huge. Every lawn was immaculately landscaped. The streets were silent except for birds chirping. I walked by a house whose owners were clearly throwing a party, judging by the catering van in their driveway and plethora of cars parked outside. As I got closer, I realized that every single car there cost more than a year at a private university. Both sides of the street were crammed with Mercedes, Lexuses, Acuras, BMWs, and Range Rovers. I can only imagine how many carats of diamonds must have been adorning the female guests inside that house.

It was beautiful, especially some of the landscaping arrangements. But it also made me realize that even if we could have afforded a house in a neighborhood like that, I wouldn't have wanted it. It was the kind of neighborhood where I'd be worried to ever let my kids draw with sidewalk chalk, or run half-naked through the sprinklers where other people could see. It was the kind of neighborhood where I could imagine someone coming out and shouting at me for letting my dog poop--even though I always scoop her poop.

Our neighborhood is a bit more of a mixed bag. The houses were all built in the 1960s, and they're all lovely and have lots of potential, but some of them are better maintained than others. Some people have fresh paint and professionally maintained lawns--and others don't. The street has a few potholes, and at the end of it are a few multi-unit rental buildings.

And I like it that way. It's just a bit more eclectic and it feels more natural, more homegrown. I feel like ours is a neighborhood where, if kids played kick-the-can anymore, they could do it in the street and the neighbors would all smile indulgently.

Still, the other neighborhood was definitely breathtaking, and I foresee many more walks there with the dog--and hopefully the husband, once he comes back--in the future.

And speaking of the husband being away, can I just say that I am so impressed with how thoughtful my family and friends are about checking in on me? They know I'm alone and they are calling, emailing, and gchatting constantly to make sure I'm feeling OK and not getting lonely. I almost feel guilty about how good and sweet everyone is being--I mean, it's not like my husband has gone off to war. He's just on a business trip and he'll be back in a few days.

But I do miss him, and I really love feeling like everyone I love is reaching out and taking care of me, even though they all live far away.

Also? Torsten and I have discovered the beauty of Skype video calls for staying in touch while we're apart, and they are great. It is so nice to be able to see his facial expression while we're talking. I feel very lucky to be living in the age of technology.

Tonight, to distract myself, I'm going to get a pedicure, and then I'm having dinner with Rosie. We've been meaning to get together since I moved to town, but I am ashamed to say that it took almost four months and a week of being alone to get me to actually nail down concrete plans with her. But hey, better late than never, and I am super excited. It's going to be great.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


  1. I would pick your neighborhood as well. I want to be able to live not worry about keeping up appearances.

  2. I adore Rosie. Hope the two of you hit it off!

  3. I definitely prefer the sound of your neighborhood. I'm hoping that my new neighborhood is like that.

  4. Facial expressions do make a huge difference to conversations. Emoticons simply can't enough to fully express what we are feeling.

  5. I think you're totally right in picking the neighborhood. We had a choice between two neighborhoods when we bought our home 3 years ago, similar to what you've described. I was pregnant with our first child and thought, hey maybe it would be better to live in a truly kid friendly neighborhood with a nearby park than in the fancy one with the manicured lawns. Definitely the right decision. We would never have fit in there.

  6. I love, LOVE, strolling through storybook neighborhoods. And yet, I don't want to live there. I want to live in a well worn neighborhood where neighbors talk to each other and kids play in the front yard.

  7. while i can definitely appreciate the beauty of those manicured neighborhoods, they always strike me as a bit... soul-less. i want more personality from my house and neighborhood. (...says the girl living in a community of identical condos)

  8. I'd like your neighborhood better too.

  9. I've been out of the loop for a while. So glad you're doing well and able to go on long strolls with the puppy these days. Our neighborhood is comfy like yours and because it's not a through-street, it's quiet. I think we both lucked out on location!

  10. Was great meeting you tonite :-)

    Check out :

    See you soon!

    Kath :-)

  11. I totally agree with your preference of neighbourhood type. My boyfriend are about to start househunting and a lot of people have asked us why we're not considering getting a smaller place in one of the really "nice" neighbourhoods in this city. The answer is not so much that we'd get a lot less house for our money (though that's obviously true) but that those neighbourhoods just aren' We prefer a mixed bag of races, professions, ages, etc. Those areas seem more friendly and welcoming. Plus I want our children to get to interact with a real mix of people. You know, one day in the future when we have children :)