Monday, April 19, 2004

Signs it is time to move
Perhaps readers will want to share any wacky stories they have to add to a list of signs that it is time to pack up and move to a new neighborhood.

If you read my earlier post today, you have probably gathered that I am at Mom's house. I have encouraged my mom and stepdad to consider moving to a new home for some time now. Today I saw another sign in this simple and rather quiet neighborhood that renews my opinion it is time to move. As I turned the corner from Mom's house, my peripheral vision caught something on the porch of an elderly neighbor's house. This neighbor has always been a rather colorful character.

I can still recall my first encounter with him when my family moved into our home. I was eight years old and I was introducing my dachshund puppy to his new and rather large backyard. Unbeknownst to any of us, a calico cat had given birth to a litter of kittens in the center of a large iris patch in the yard. As my puppy amused himself by hunting around in the iris patch, I suddenly heard this nasty hissing sound and my pup began barking wildly. After some time, I put the cat and her kittens in a box and let them stay in the garage. My dog was not happy and kept barking and barking. I am sure it was very obnoxious. That's when I met the old man. He came walking across the street and without so much as a word of introduction or a welcome to the new neighbor, he lodged a rather stern complaint and told me to shut the dog up. I can't recall for certain, but I think he may have even made the suggestion that if I didn't find a way to shut the dog up, he would.

After a little while, the man became a bit more friendly. It could even be said that for a few years he sort of looked out for us and was perhaps slightly protective of us.

Sadly, recent events are confirming that he is probably experiencing some senility. After a female neighbor moved, the old man showed up on our porch and said some very unflattering things to my mom about the former neighbor. As my mom recounts that event, you would think from the obscenities that peppered his words, that our porch is a dock where sailors come to and fro. We were all stunned.

And today, another confirmation. What did my peripheral vision capture on that man's porch? I saw a figure. So, I turned to see who it was. There was the old neighbor, standing just outside of his door, trying to collect the mail from his box. He stood there in night shirt from the waist up and from the waist down -- NOTHING! Yep, except for the shirt, buck naked on his front porch, facing a street that is a significant thoroughfare. So, that's my sign that it may be time to consider changing neighborhoods. It also will help us understand any future bizarre encounters we may have with this man. His mental faculties must be seriously diminished.

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