Monday, May 7, 2007
You can ring my bell
Saturday night. Shish-ka-bobs cooking on the grill (which a great meal to cook with kids, by the way). We heard the doorbell ringing just as dinner was about to hit the table. We all assumed it was my neighbor Nancy, because Nancy always rings the bell to tell us news, or see what us "chickens" are up to, or to return a toy one of the kids left out front.

I sent John to answer so I could finish cooking when I heard him saying "Holy cow! LOOK who it is! How the hell ARE you?" Then much laughing and commotion. My husband isn't a commotion kind of guy and I couldn't fathom at this point who it was so I went out into the hall myself to see who was at the door.

Even I was shocked. It was a neighbor who lived on the top floor 10 years ago who just happened to be in the neighborhood visiting his sister.

This is what I love about Brooklyn. Move away and come back 10 years later? Sure enough, someone you know will remember you, welcome you in even if you have your sister, two kids (in sombreros for Cinquo de Mayo no less), your sister's boyfriend and your mother in tow. Then we did what New Yorkers do best: catching up.

Just like us, they have 2 kids and lots going on all the time. We covered who's working where, what are the kids into, and how there's never enough time to do much. Then we started reminiscing. We remembered the 28" snow storm when the entire city was shut down in '96 and we watched movies up in their apartment. We remembered watching a Superbowl with them. We remembered how, after buying vast amounts of groceries, they had an electrical problem and we ran an extension cord from their apartment 2 flights down into ours. We kept their refrigerator running and their food fresh until an electrician showed up. And we recalled how little their twin girls were when they were first born. Their girls are now 10 and I was floored when Angelo said they were 10 because I was prepared for 8 or even 9 but certainly not 10. The girls are so sweet and they didn't complain when I said repeatedly "I can't believe how you've grown! You were both this small!" Did I mention the sombreros? Because I loved that they wore sombreros on Cinquo de Mayo in Brooklyn.

Over the years we've kept in touch but only through Christmas cards. About two years ago the girl's mom Kathy sent me a nice note. She told me she was writing out the cards while watching snow fall and how that reminded her of the aforementioned snowstorm. You just don't get handwritten notes like that anymore. They were such nice neighbors to have and when we first moved into the building they made us feel very welcome. I was so glad they took a chance and rang our bell.


Blogger Andie said...

yes, it is always nice to catch up with "OLD NEIGHBORS" (get the hint)

love ya

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