Conal and I trekked into the Big City Across the River today to go to the food co-op. Whenever I head over to our old hometown — whether to go to the co-op, a meeting, a doctor’s appointment, whatever — I feel a little wistful. In some ways, I miss the city. I miss being able to walk to the Stewart’s on the corner. I miss crazy Marge shouting “Hey! Hey! Hey! Lady!” at me from her house across the street.

But, then there are days like today. I started out with the same misty water-colored memories as I dodged the jay-walking girls on Central Ave. and repeatedly swerved to avoid hitting the cars that just stop. In the middle of road. Nowhere near a traffic light. For no apparent reason. Just stop.

Anyway —

After stocking up on 8.5lbs of organic oats (no lie), fiddleheads and some jasmine rice, Conal and I drove back over the bridge to our local library. There, we ran into two good friends: Janis and Stacey were there with their daughters, and had just finished up with story time. In the library, one of the librarians remarked that she hadn’t seen us in a while and that Conal was really getting big. Later in the afternoon, I took Conal for a walk around the neighborhood and we chatted with another walker and a neighbor who was out weeding in her flower beds.

These little interactions — especially unexpectedly running into friends, which is starting to happen more and more — make me feel like we’re part of a community here. And that is what I have wanted for Conal and what I was afraid we might not get when we moved out to this suburb. In the city, houses were close together and not everyone could park in their garage so you saw your neighbors going in and out. You were kinda in each other’s business. Here, the houses are pretty far apart and people drive into the garage, close the door and then get out of the car. You rarely see anyone. You have to make an effort. I’ve made an effort to be friendly, wave and chat with the people in my neighborhood as I walk or run around it. And it is paying off. People are friendly in return. Now, we have this whole friendly-waving-chatting thing going on. And I see my friends out and about in the community and there is great comfort in that. It is a real community and we are part of it. I love that.

So, that was today.

Yesterday, as you know, was Mother’s Day. And I took some pics of the little jobber outside, enjoying the warm weather:

I do wonder what’s going on here. He seems a bit nonplussed. Perhaps one of the cats was talkin’ trash through the screen? I wouldn’t put it past them, especially that Mo.

Um, yeah. That is a gas can. We don’t normally have gas cans just hanging out on the lawn. It’s just — I don’t know. I don’t know why it was there. It was. And, I didn’t notice it. Was I blinded by those tall teeth? I may have been.

But it wasn’t all a wash. I did catch this cutie:

Conal seems happy, enjoying the great outdoors. I love living here. Maybe I’ve put those wistful feelings behind me for real.