Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Since I started working from home full time about a year ago, I’ve been going for a walk every morning in lieu of a morning commute. (I’ll usually practice music in lieu of an evening commute.) Since the pandemic started, alot of other people in my neighborhood have been going for walks too, so I’ve been getting to know my neighbors past my block better than before, although we’ve lived here for many years.

I’m not the only one on my block who’s doing home improvements these days. The guy across the street is putting in a new deck, and the people two houses down are putting in a new patio too, although theirs is made of paving blocks not bluestone flagstones. My next next door neighbor Jose is rebuilding his front porch.

Over the weekend Jose helped my transplant my hydrangea shrub. You’ll recall that I tried to dig it out and basically gave up because I couldn’t get any leverage underneath to pry it loose. Jose is a professional landscaper, which is great cuz his yard always looks fantastic, plus he’s got alot of tools and knowledge. He had a couple shovels with extra long handles, which made it much easier to get underneath and pry the rootball from the earth. One we got it out, Jose had the idea that we could split the plant in half and have two of them. We planted one in the new spot I had picked out, and the other we put back close to where it came out, but about a foot further from the house and two feet further away from the patio, so it has room to grow.

Meanwhile things have been busy with work and various projects. I was on at least one zoom call eight days in a row. About half of these are recurring weekly meetings. While the circle of people I talk to face to face has grown extremely local, the circle of people I’m in social contact with has grown very wide indeed. In just the last week or two it includes people in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Long Island, New Jersey, Buffalo, Victor, Westerlo, Saranac Lake, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, Vermont, The Netherlands, Saugerties and Fredonia. Very 21st century.

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