Our neighborhood has enjoyed population growth lately. A lot of houses that were empty are now full. There are children passing back and forth on the sidewalk. These seem to be a lot of younger families. I notice more gatherings of guys with beers around the ends of driveways. The curbs and yards are lined with cars. There seem to be an endless stream of garage sales on the weekends. Collected crap travels from one house to another in a neverending circle around the blocks until it ends up at the dump.
To our left is a giant RV and a desert tortoise. I think I can guess which one will spend more time on this earth. To our right is the family trying to do it the right way, Grandma, Mom and Dad and daughter. He works hard and keeps up the house. I know that it is not always easy, but they always smile.
Across the street is a Harley Davidson. They are popular here. The roads are fun to ride on, and the national historic district of Virginia City is right up the hill, with bars that cater to the bikers.
In this world it is easy to go to the garage, and get in the car, and press the garage door opener, and drive off to work, maybe rolling a window down to get some fresh air. Work all day, come home, pull in the garage, put the garage door down, go inside, work on the computer, watch some television. If there is yardwork to be done it can be done by automatic waterers. Lawns can be cut by a crew with a flatbed trailer.
I like to go out and stand in the middle of the yard with the hose going full blast, the way men used to. Glaring around at the neighborhood, looking for cars driving too fast down the road. When teenagers go by I wave at them or say hello. Kitty corner is the neighbor who does the same thing. He takes it to another level, with a lawn chair and a beer while he waters with the hose balanced on his knee. Maybe someday we’ll share a beer and more than a hello. I don’t know, but I do know what he’s doing. If you’re not out front, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on, and there is a lot going on, even if it’s only sunflowers getting ready to grow up over the fence.