You drive past

We arrived early April with a three year old and a two week old. It was our first house and our first time living out of the city in suburbia. My new next door neighbour also had two kids and welcomed me warmly. It wasn’t later than month’s end that she had invited me to my first Tupperware party.

Her name was Jamie and she went on to tell me how much I would love living in the village and how warm and kind everyone is. She said, in fact, that one early morning during her first week, as she drove down the street on her way to work, all of her new neighbours waved at her. People she hadn’t been introduced to yet stopped as they put down their garbage cans or climbed into their cars to wave. She couldn’t believe her luck to move into such a great neighborhood.

At the end of the block she braked at the stop sign before turning toward the highway when her cat slid off the roof, and down the front window, to land in a star fish shaped heap on the hood of her car. Unharmed but, as you can imagine, unhappy.

We have a lot of new arrivals to the island these days and with their arrival comes the saying goodbye to those departing. Our next door neighbours leave this week. For eight years we have shared countless gourmet dinners, copious bottles of wine and an unusual amount of laughter. They have been the kindest and most generous of friends.

When we didn’t have a bunkie and they were out of town and our kids were coming for Thanksgiving, they let them use their house. Our dogs soon discovered they would get a cookie if they went up at bedtime to say goodnight to the Mrs. Our sweetest dog, long gone now, Bacardi, always knew when they were bbquing sausages and would plant herself at their door.

They introduced me to the joys of Prosseco and told me where their wine was hidden when I ran out one stormy winter night. Our doors were always open to each other and spontaneous evenings of good conversation and sunsets were frequent. During Covid they have kept our supplies stocked with emergency rations. We will miss them.

Although, thank god, our social gatherings on this island lean more towards dinners, bonfires, and bridge than Tupperware parties, islanders make every effort to be kind and helpful to newcomers. Living off grid has its challenges and everyone needs help at some point as they get settled. By and large any of them would lend a hand or offer advice. More than likely they will also tell you if your cat is on the roof of your car as

you drive past

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