August 7th, 2006



Memories of my childhood street are filled with sweet faces. The ones I climbed trees with, leaped off (lower voice and emphasize death or you won’t do it justice) The Wall of Death with, shared secrets with, explored the woods with, and skinned knees with, for what I thought was going to be forever. This morning, however, my thoughts skipped past the laughter, whispers, and war hoops over to another familiar cast of characters. My childhood street moms.

Come meet them.

Delicate Mrs. H who turned uh huh into a real art and clinched the title of World’s Longest Phone Chatter. Sleek-bunned Mrs. W and her stylish wave vrooming by in her silver land yacht on her way to teach ballet. Tan Mrs. D in her store-bought clothes swaying to the radio while snipping flowers in her garden. Muumuu-wearing Mrs. R who everyone gravitated to because of her bright flame and award-winning lemon meringue pie. Shiny white-haired Mrs. B who could finish a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle in two days and stop a bird with one swing of a broom. (Note: Said bird was only stunned and not harmed in this memory.) The other Mrs. B who was never spotted outside of her home, but met you at the door with a tray of the most amazing caramel popcorn balls every Halloween. Keeper of The Wall of Death (hope you said that right) and wearer of sparkly jewelry, Mrs. L with the tall red hair, who smelled like vanilla. Ditzy, but kind Mrs. P who always ran short on eggs, sugar, or soap and her sad-eyed Saint Bernard that left drool puddles on our front porch. There were more, but I guess I’ll end with old Mrs. T, the street’s snoop and card-carrying busybody who kept a permanent nose smudge on her living room window.

Fast forward to the present.

I’ve lived here on my grownup street for many years and sadly, I’m not sure I could even tell you the name of the people who live three houses up and over. If pressed, I might be able to tell you what color the cars are in some of the driveways. I do exchange a word or two with the family across the street that has been away on vacation. Today, I realized I missed them. I also noticed I hadn’t raised the shade behind my computer since they’ve been gone. GASP! I’ve been watching them live their life from out of my den window. Could this mean what I think it means? Am I the old Mrs. T of my grownup street? And what’s that mark on the glass?

Excuse me. I need to get the window cleaner.

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