Take A Picture- It’ll Last Longer

We love our home. I’m pretty sure I have talked about it a few times in my blog. Since moving in we have made many changes to its curb appeal. I’m happy with our final result. I am also happy with our Halloween and Christmas decorations that we put out. Changing our lights to white was a huge improvement over the colored lights we had our first year at Christmas.

A photo of someone taking a photo of our home.

We have had many people in the neighborhood compliment us on our changes. Even strangers walking by have noticed. At Halloween, I overheard children talking about our Freddy vs Jason banners and at Christmas people pointed out our six foot nutcracker statue. We see them from our windows stopping to look. Today, someone decided to stop in the middle of the street and take a picture of our home while on their walk.

That’s a weird, yet awesome feeling. Thank you stranger for appreciating our hard work. Perhaps they took the photo for inspiration in their yard. Maybe they are stalking our house. It could be they want to come back and sell us some window washing in the spring. Whatever it may be- thanks for taking the time to make our day as we are curious as to why you paused.

Contracting My Broken Day Sleep

After working my first night shift of the week, I will usually get a good sleep throughout the day. Not today. Today my neighborhood was loud.

Our next door neighbors have been getting a patio and pool installed for over a year now. With very little progress being made. Their backyard has been useless for two full summers now. Their yard has been mounds of dirt and no fence between them and their other neighbor. And no stairs from their back deck. Speaking with them, they have shared a lot of frustration about their contractor.

Today, two cement trucks arrived in our neighborhood to pour the foundation. Granted, it was a nice day to do the work. They probably only inconvenienced me anyways. But it was loud and there was far too many people making noise in their backyard.

Perhaps by next summer they will have a pool. I’m not holding my breathe that the work will be done this fall since I have seen the progress going at a snail’s pace. All I need now is to get the name of their contractor so I know who not to use.

Continuing Cosplay

Years ago we introduced our children to the world of cosplay. They loved the idea of being able to be a character from a show or video game. My wife enjoyed making their costumes. I enjoyed acting out the characters with the family. We all really enjoyed showing off at Comic Cons.

Pokémon Trainers and a wild Pikachu!

For me, that felt like a lifetime ago. We haven’t dressed up for conventions in years. Halloween was a wash for me last year, as I didn’t dress up. I did my Obi-Wan for May 4th, so I was happy there. The love of dressing up in cosplay is still rampant with our 18 year old. That also makes me happy- even if I don’t know the characters they are doing.

Out of the blue, our middle went to our next door neighbor yesterday and asked if they would come over to help with some cosplay photos. After living in our home for almost one year, this was the first interaction the two of them had. It was a positive one. Our neighbor, who is 16, has been interested in doing cosplay but was unsure where to start.

Good thing we moved in next door! Now our middle will have someone to teach the joy of cosplay to. I am really happy that my wife and I encouraged this activity years prior. It has helped with our kids expressing themselves through fandoms. Now that expression is being shared from our teens to others.

That’s pretty cool.

Goodbye Neighbor Bob

As I mentioned a couple of months back in my blog titled A Year Ago, our former neighbor Bob was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Even though they had sold their home back in December, it seemed Bob’s intuition was correct- he would die in that house.

My wife received the phone call from his wife yesterday informing us of the loss of Bob. He passed away at the start of the weekend. I am truly heartbroken by this news even though I knew it was coming. Bob was like family. When you hear the term “Mighty Neighborly” that was him.

We always saw Bob’s house from the kitchen window.

He was always there to lend a hand when needed. There was never a time that we didn’t appreciate his assistance around our old neighborhood. He would take his small tractor out in winter and help clear the roads and driveways. When a bad storm would pass through he was there to help clean up the carnage.

Many a day we would stop and chat. He shared with me numerous stories about the neighborhood and the families that lived there. He wasn’t a nosy neighbor, but rather the type that observed his surroundings. They were like an extra set of grandparents for our children while they grew up in that area.

Bob knew he would die in that house. I think he was a bit heartbroken to have sold it when he found out he had a few months left to live. But he was doing what was best for his wife. He always put others first. He was a great man and will be missed. Thank you Bob for being there for us all.

That Old Guy Didn’t Tell Me To Get Off His Lawn

Last night I stepped over a fence into my neighbor’s yard. Only on occasion have I gone over to talk with him. We wave at one another and have brief conversations. But yesterday I saw him sitting alone and decided to go over for a talk.

Last weekend he lay some concrete, put up a gazebo to the side of his yard and set up a standing swing inside. Turns out my building of the Front Porch a few weeks back inspired his wife to want a swing and a place to relax as well. Sorry Bob.

So I sat down and we shared stories. He told me about his career as a pilot. How he flew in a plane that broke the sound barrier, not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions. He’d worked on movies and even landed on icebergs to do measurements. But he was more interested in my job working with trains.

As the night went on, he told me of buying the land and building his home in 1972. The same time my father-in-law was building his house- the one we now live in. And he told me about my wife growing up. My wife was two years old when the house was first built.

I’ve mentioned Bob and how extremely neighbourly he is: Donating Wood and how he can be regimented in his routines: Determination. What I like about Bob is that he is genuine. For an 87 year old, he is also very active and busy.

That’s what I want to be like when I grow up.

Mighty Neighborly

Yesterday we received a good dumping of snow that School was cancelled. Our side street is always neglected by the snow plows which sucks. Driving in or out of our home is tough. But our neighbor across the street is always Determined to plow the snow every year in order to get out of his driveway for breakfast. He saw my kids shoveling our driveway and decided to come over and use his tractor to clean up our driveway a bit faster. This made my kids happy.

Later in the day, our daughter took it upon herself to make him a thank you card. She also included a couple of packets of hot chocolate for him. She wasn’t asked to do this. Which means that my wife and I have instilled a great set of values on our children.

Kindness and compassion are paramount when it comes to being a good person. Doing it without cause or applause is a much greater feeling as well. (Chances are my kids won’t read today’s blog). I think we’ve done a pretty bang up job as parents that’s for sure. I’m also really happy that our neighbors are such kind people as well.

I love my community.