Conversely, I do miss the uniqueness of our neighbourhood. For all of its problems, I miss the corner lot house we lived in. As you may or may not have heard I have boasted many times about our garden. I became a gardner in that yard. My sister, D. and I spent many hours working that garden, shaping it and re-shaping it until it developed into something we were quite proud of. We had a balance of perennials, trees, rocks and veggies that provided food and pleasure from spring to winter. I only wish I had more time to develop a pleasing winter garden as well, but i've only just learned about that.
One of the most flattering moments was when our neighbour's eldest child, whose bedroom window faced the alley and our garden and who was always fairly quiet and shy whenever we met, told me that she loved our garden and had always admired it. It didn't even occur to me that she was aware of it. Of course if my bedroom window looked down into a garden, I would spend much time looking at it too. So I'm glad we gave her a nice view for the years we were there.
At one point we talked about buying the house from my sister with those neighbours who wanted it as a rental property. Joe and I talked about how the other apartment could go to another artist and we'd have a little film community going between these two houses. Dreaming, we also talked about making that section of the alley pedestrian only and expanding our gardens out over the concrete. Robin wanted more rose bushes of course. She loves roses. We had a few cocktail parties with them either on our patio or up on my sister's deck which had a fabulous view and yet it felt so secluded up there.
Another neighbour had this great dog that I saw grow up from a puppy. He was the happiest dog and I think that reflected the attitude of our neighbour who was always friendly when we met. We often only met while going to and from, but occasionally we'd talk over the fence while one of us was picking raspberries or something. He always dressed up at Halloween as we did as well and we all sat out front and gave candy out to the kids who were completely unphased by our appearances for the most part. There was one year that my sister (remember she's an actor) was so frigtening as a vampire and our house was so scary looking because we had this gnarly vine all over the front (that later we took down) that the younger kids wouldn't come up the walkway. We'd have to shut off the music from the Shining and turn up the lights, putting on smiley faces to get the wee ones to meet us half way for candy. The next year my sister dressed up as a cowgirl so there were no problems with kids approaching that year. D. has this very real looking Frankenstein mask and does a great impression. The kids loved him. They weren't frightened at all. One girl waved to him as she walked away from the house and said "Bye Frankie." They had no idea that I was Bride of Frankenstein (too obscure at that age I guess).
That's only part of the fun.