I walk with mace in one hand, and my keys positioned like a weapon in the other. It’s habit. I have my speed dial set to 911. So, when I turned down a quiet, back road the other day, questioning my decision as I high tailed it, arms pumping, an older woman pulled out of her driveway. Headed straight for her, if I were her, I would have been frightened and simply pulled away. Instead, she rolled down the window and said, “Well, hi! You must be a new neighbor I haven’t met yet. My name’s Sally. Where do you live?” As she drove away she hollered out the window, “Feel free to drop by any time.” I walked away smiling, and thinking, where am I?
Welcome to the south.
Three days ago, I came home from my walk and a bag full of beans were sitting on top of my car. I looked around. No note. No neighbor near by. I had no idea who or where they came from. Stuffed in a plastic Harvey’s super market bag, and caked with dried dirt, they looked like they’d arrived straight from the garden.
They weren’t by the front door, or on the step, they sat brazenly on the roof of my car. Considering we’ve been here barely two months, I feel I’ve gotten out of the house a great deal between the writing and unpacking. We’ve met folks at the community garden, I’ve joined the local Writer’s workshop, volunteered to help on a local city council campaign, and been invited to join the library book club. I’m just learning names and no one knows where I live, but my landlord. I have made a few friends at the community garden, but the fall gardening season is only just now starting. Everyone in the plots around me are planting, no one is harvesting yet. And, no one knows where I live. I’m not friends with anyone growing beans in their plot.
I checked my email, checked my phone. Nothing. No one has said to me in passing, “Did you get my beans?” It’s been three days!
Matt asked, “Are you sure you want to eat those?” Hell, yeah, I want to eat them. I shelled those suckers and filled three freezer bags full. We’ll have beans for a month. But in the back of my mind, I wonder, did they mean to put them on another neighbor’s car? Do I have a car that looks like someone else’s?
Impossible. Someone knows my car and knows I like to garden.
Welcome to the south where neighbors are friendly and hospitality is amazingly generous. Eventually, I’ll figure out who shared their harvest with me, and return the favor when we harvest. Maybe I’ll put it on the roof of their car and let them have their own mystery to solve! Yeah, that’d be a hoot, now wouldn’t it?
A HUGE thank you, whoever you are! (Wow, I feel like I’m writing to Batman or Spider Man.)
P.S. We HAVE NOT forgotten about the contest drawing. We got so sidetracked with editing and discussing the Norfolk Writer’s Conference Michelle just attended, we completely forgot during our Skype session. We will accomplish it next week. It’s number one on our list of things to discuss and do! Don’t forget to let us know if you’re following us on Twitter or on any of our other blogs! That’s the rule to get in the drawing. You have to tell us!!