Downsize Reason #A

I am happy to start this post without any obligatory self-recrimination, because the time between this post and the last one is really pretty short. Hot dog!

This morning my teething one year old had me awake at 3 AM. And then we never went back to sleep. After fussing for an hour and a half to get her back to sleep I gave up, and at 4:30 I shuffled into the kitchen with her to make coffee. Then I ended up making breakfast for the hubs, watering the plants out front, mowing the front yard, replanting some Dianthus and Sedum in the grassy little strip between the street and the sidewalk that neverrrrr wants to stay green in the summer, sweeping the sidewalk and driveway, taking a shower, and coming to town to help out in the shop. Whew. In all that time Eleonora managed to stay awake but she finally gave up too and fell asleep on the drive to the shop. Something about the car seat vibration must be hypnotic.

We had a quiet 4th of July this year. One of the things I did yesterday was get up early (also before sunrise, thank you Eleonora) and bake two loaves of soft, fluffy, white bread. I took one to my adopted grandma in Hobbs and my son and I ate lunch with her. The other loaf I reserved for dinner with Travis’s grandma that evening. No fireworks and an early bedtime made this morning’s wakeup call at stupid o’clock endurable. It isn’t the first time I’ve baked bread for a friend or a neighbor or a family member. I love to bake bread. One of the things I want to do that I “feel” like I never have time for is to bake fresh bread, write a thoughtful little note, and go deliver it to a neighbor. Just ring the doorbell and leave it on the doorstep maybe. I don’t know. I say “feel” because it is a thought and a feeling combined, and I’m not sure it isn’t all between my ears that I don’t have time. Perhaps I have plenty and because I feel enslaved to technology I just think that I don’t. But anyway…I want to be more neighborly.

Thus reason #A to downsize my life is so that I can be more neighborly. Right next door is a widow in her 90’s. On the other side of us is a retired teacher in her 50’s. Caddy corner across the street is an elderly lady, her daughter (50’s maybe?), and her daughter too. I don’t know what they do, but it’s just the three of them.  Directly across the street there’s a cute little family with a son just the right age to be a playmate for my son. And next to them is another single, retired teacher in her 50’s. Down the street are more families with young kids and retired teachers, bankers, etc. I’m pretty sure my hubs knows about 40% of everyone in our neighborhood, which cracks me up because it is so small-town America and I love it.

There is a house up the street a ways and it faces the sun the same way ours does. So whoever lives there and keeps up those flowerbeds does amazing and I always eyeball it when I drive by and admire it. And ooooh and aaaah. And I tell Travis every time that I want to go stick a card in her mailbox and ask her what flowers are these and those and that one and pay her a compliment!l (Why do I assume it’s a woman? Sexist, phht) Maybe I could bake her some bread too. Is that creepy? In this day and age to just randomly receive food from someone?

Ahh! I think that’s a shame!!! Why does it have to be weird when someone just wants to be nice and neighborly!? I can just imagine someone finding a random loaf of bread on their porch though, and thinking, “What on earth? I’m not eating that with a 10′ pole, I don’t know where that came from!!!” But, maybe it wouldn’t be weird and I’m just trippin’. Only one way to find out.

In spite of all the connection – we have two tv’s, two iPad’s, two kindles, two Apple tv’s, two Playstations, a Wii U, two cell phones, two lap tops, and WiFi to connect those 15 devices to the internet and the world wide world (I know that isn’t what it stands for) – I feel so disconnected. I want to downsize so that I can feel more connected to the world that is right here in front of my face. And I do of course, because my family surrounds me and I’m taking care of them every day. Yet sometimes I think about people all the time and I totally could call them, but I don’t. My cell phone is like a time warp, or a black hole, and I can’t hardly touch it without something trying to jump off the screen and steal my attention. And then of course the minute I stop thinking about calling them, they call me first and I feel like a douche.  I really am thinking about my peeps, all the time!

Anyway, I figure one of the ways to grow roots is by building my community, being neighborly, taking the time to write a note and say hi the old fashioned way. Forget texting, man. I know my dad would say “and go to church.” Yes, and going to church is important too.

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