I have never been a numbers person.
But if you had driven by our cul-de-sac around dusk last night you would have witnessed some beautiful math.
It has been years since I have seen those kinds of lawn chairs. The kind from my childhood. You remember the ones...metal arms, stiff, poly material strips woven together to form an uncomfortable seat, and if you are unlucky enough to be wearing shorts, scratch your legs on all the exposed edges. These are the kind of old fashioned chairs that remind you of easy summers as a child at grandma’s house or in my case—my mother.
My Mother was an antique dealer, a “junker,” if you will. She would drag my Sweet Daddy all around town looking for treasures like the ones we sat in last night.
Rusty old watering cans, wheel barrows, pie safes with peeling paint, red wooden benches with hidden stories from times past...these were the things she found.
Oh, and anything garden. She had quite the green thumb.
So when she happened upon metal patio chairs from the fifties and sixties in good condition, my Daddy knew his job was to load them up in their white cargo van while she made the deal happen with the seller.
I sat there, under the stars last night, in a large circle of about twenty folding chairs, some old, some new, some folding, some even rocking, but all of them filled with a unique soul, and I remembered her.
It is funny how a simple chair can stir up memories.
I did not know any of these people. And they did not know me. We are new to the neighborhood.
But just like a colony of ants, every person who lives on our block descended onto the driveway of our neighbor. Each of us bringing a covered dish and, yes, a lawn chair.
But we also brought more.
Twenty neighbors. Twenty opinions. Twenty professions. Twenty mindsets. Twenty religions. Twenty political parties. Twenty life philosophies. Twenty people with pasts and futures. Twenty people with histories of divorce, spouse deaths, successful careers, failed businesses, triumphs and defeats. Twenty people who have survived cancer, the death of a child, the rejection of a child. Twenty people who have been touched by suicide, failing bodies, disease. Twenty people who either drink or abstain. Twenty people who are either for CNN or Fox. Twenty people who either support same-sex marriage or not. Twenty people who love meat or think it is murder. Twenty people who think bell bottom pants should make a come back or think they should stay in the vault.
Twenty people sitting in a circle.
Twenty people with paper plates full of green chili rice, cheese grits, pasta salad, grilled German sausage, baked beans, cantaloupe salad, hummus and broccoli, chocolate cake, and Mexican cornbread.
Twenty artists, professors, ministers, dairy owners, decorators, architects, authors, painters, sculptors, counselors.
One hour turned to two. And two hours turned to three.
One glass of wine turned to two. And when the red ran out, the white was just as good.
Rich. I felt rich last night. Sitting in my hot pink camping chair, on what felt like the perfect West Texas evening, I was surrounded by the cream of the crop.
Our common denominator was our private neighborhood block. Our uncommon denominator was our uniqueness.
Our answer to the long division was love.
PJ (9-28-19 and as she writes this, she smiles as she sees her bell-bottom pants😉)
HUMOR-IST (is that a word?) I can find and expel (the word expel makes me think of passing gas) humor in most moments of life