Hidy Ho Neighbor! Disjointed impressions of my new neighborhood

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by Parker J. Cole

“Welcome to the neighborhood.” 

No one said that to me as I unlocked the door to my new house. The street is mostly silent. A few cars spread apart but no one came out to see my husband and I as we began the arduous task of moving all our things out of storage. 

No one came and gave us a wave of welcome. 

No one came and wondered if we needed a little help. 

No one came with a cup of sugar and an apple pie. 

Did I really expect that? No, I didn’t. But I thought surely that someone would be curious about the new person moving in.  

You know who does speak more to me? The dogs! The dogs make more noise than the people. Every time I walk down the neighborhood, there are dogs everywhere – Great Danes, giant black Labradors, vicious little dogs that think they’re lions. Then, of course, there are those dogs who used to work for the CIA. Behind the weather-beaten wooden fences, they peer at you through the slats, just watching you. They don’t bark or give any sign that they’re there until you get near the fence. 

Then they scare the daylights out of you with a sharp bark that zings through your head, and you lose your footing and fall headfirst into a pile of wet and dry crackly leaves with who knows what sliming up your hands.  

I saw that happen to a girl once. 

It bothers me that only the dogs speak to me but it’s just the new reality. There is no ‘hidy ho neighbor.’ No Winston to peer over the fence with some sage advice to help with life’s ups and downs. No Tim to come over and see how you’re doing.  

Just the scary gray pit bull who knows your routine. Who peers at your dog through the slats of the fence like a piece of meat and you thank God every day that the neighbor you never see much of has a fence that’s well over six feet tall. With sharp points. 

When I walk down the street, I see two dogs most days in one spacious yard. I’ve never seen the owner of these two dogs. They race to the fence and stare. I tried to get Sarah to talk to them once. She looked at them. They barked at her. Her hackles rose and we moved on. 

Or, I can tell you about the dog chained to the side of house who is only stopped by that chain. It lunges at us as we walk by like what I imagine a dragon would do. 

Then there’s the cat…the one that just stares out the window of one house as we walk by.  

Growing up, I remember living in a neighborhood where people said hello. Where people at least knew some things about you. And they visited you.  

I guess in this new day and age – where suspicion of everyone is rampant. Distrust of everyone is on the rise, it’s good to know that at least the dogs ahave the wherewithal to say hello.  

Or maybe, it’s just the dogs saying, in their own way, “Hidy ho neighbor!”

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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