I have the best neighbors. I just got back from a walk with the dog -- it's been a busy day, but I had to get the walk in before the storm (which I've been awaiting all the live-long day) hits -- and along the way, I picked up a neighbor lady. Because she was along, both Mickey and I ended up walking around the block a couple times more than usual -- which is GREAT!
I used to get up early a few mornings a week to go walking with this neighbor -- I recall that she still had one of five in a stroller at the time who often joined us -- so it was kind of nice to walk with her and catch up. We used to hit the road at about the time I now get up to get ready for work -- I don't even want to think about what time I'd have to get up in order to fit in a morning walk. I will admit that lately, I've been thinking that I really should think about it and come up with a number and maybe I could get used to the idea. Anyway, she lives around the corner and a couple blocks down and I almost always go by her house when I walk the dog, and I told her that I think about knocking on the door sometimes to see if she'd like to tag along and she said, "Do it!" It's so much nicer when there's someone to do it with. Yay!
I invited her to come see/sit in the pergola for a bit and she complimented the pea-growing and offered up some of her surplus tomatoes, particularly for when the peas have finished, or perhaps to plant in pots as I did last year. She said that one of her daughters started way too many seeds and she doesn't keep a garden plot in the country anymore and, really, I'd be doing her a favor. How many would I like? She'll send them over...
A very short while later (such service!), the doorbell rang and it was Nefertiti at the door, bearing tomatoes...
You see, this child (when she was a child -- now she's a teenager) figures into my most favorite Halloween memory (there aren't many because it isn't my most favorite "holiday") and it pleases me to remember it whenever I can...
"Trick-or-Treat!!" I opened the door to find a 7-year-old astronaut and his Egyptian-looking sister, along with another two or three sisters, at the door. I chit-chatted and doled out the goodies and when I came to the astronaut, he turned his back on me, instructing me to deposit said goodies into the "air pack" on his back. I was utterly speechless at the cleverness of those paper-wrapped and bound Pringles containers, an integral part of the costume which (this is the best part) also featured hands-free candy collection!! I could tell that his sister, the Egyptian one, wasn't too impressed with the astronaut stuff -- actually, she just wanted some attention for her very clever costume and she's the sweetest thing you'd ever meet, so, in the interest of equality and not begrudging at all, I asked about her. She stood up very tall and looked me, with her big brown eyes, straight in the eye, and with just the slightest toss of the head, in the sweetest, most regal voice a 7-year-old can muster (if you can imagine it -- she really pulled it off), she said, "I am Queen Nefertiti."
Nefertiti did not bring me any old sad-sack tomatoes -- she has bestowed on me two Black From Tula (a Russian heirloom), an Amish Paste (another heirloom), and a Miracle Sweet. I am so happy!! (And I love how "Black From Tula" rolls off the tongue, not to mention "Nefertiti.")
So, it's 7:30 p.m. and other than some on-and-off wind, a few rolls of thunder, and 30 seconds of rain... not much for a storm. Not that I want a storm... well, actually, yes I do. I love a good thunderstorm. The storm watches and warnings are effective statewide, I hear, until midnight. Every high school graduation in the area that was to take place tonight -- and there were many -- has been postponed. Katie just called to say that she picked up an extra few hours on Saturday because now all the high school kids are scrambling to rearrange their work schedules so they don't have to a) work during graduation or b) work during graduation parties or c) work too early on the morning after graduation and those parties.
In other news, I have completely caught up -- re-entering all the data lost in my Quicken files since the last good backup which was in early October! I didn't get dressed until 2:00 this afternoon to do it, but it's done!