This is the way the dining room looks now. I've taken several pictures of the house since I moved in, but I'll have to post them one at a time since I can't figure out how to put more than one picture at a time on my blog. Above is the hall, and below are two views of the living room. I am begining to feel like this is where I live, but I still can't shake the feeling that I don't quite belong here. The house is big and I feel like there is too much space around me. It is a real house, not an apartment and not a funny little house like I lived in before. It's a house where a family probably lived, a working class family. The neighborhood is a family neighborhood where a schoolbus stops and kids with backpacks walk. There are cats roaming free, and flower gardens, and trash cans at the curb on thursday nights. It reminds me very much of where I grew up. Kids are always playing in the street, which is a hill like Boynton St. was. My friends and I played in the street, too, but then it was a soapbox derby we drove instead of the go-kart the children next door use. We played badminton, and they play football. Still, the sounds they make are the same sounds. Their laughing and yelling sounds like we must have sounded. I am old enough now to enjoy those sounds, smiling my old-lady's smile like the more indulgent adults did when I was little. Now I am the one slowing down as they bound out of the way of my approaching car. I am the one who carries groceries into the house as they streak past me after a loose ball. I am the one who watches with concern from the porch as they tackle each other and wrestle, wondering if they have hurt themselves. Because of them, these children, I have become somebody I hardly recognize, someone I have not been before.
In this neighborhood I am the woman next door, the one with the dogs.