Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Neighborly Visit

We are used to living a pretty much private lifestyle. When we lived in Ft. Collins, we had limited contact with our neighbors, i.e. when we were out in yard and they were out in their yard we chatted over the fence. Otherwise, we hardly ever saw them or spoke to them. People, even those we knew, just never stopped by spontaneously. So far, we’ve had three neighbors come by and introduce themselves. The first one was Terry, who lives at the beginning of our street [we live one house away from the end of the cul-de-sac]. We were out walking around our backyard and she came up to our fence with her dog, Maverick. Maverick used to play with the two dogs owned by the previous owners of our house. Mav is a pit bull, so his owner wanted to be sure and introduce us to him knowing the reputation that pit bulls have. He was a sweetie! It was nice of her to stop by and chat for awhile. The second neighbor was the one directly next to us at the very end of the cul-de-sac: Aileen. She works at the Botanical Garden in Ringwood [not far from here] and is a Master Gardener, her husband is a contractor. She came to apologize that her husband likes to play with his tractor toys and she hoped that it didn’t disturb us. We told her that we hoped the dogs didn’t disturb her. She promised when she’s done with her project at City Hall that she’ll have me over for tea or something.

Last night we were sitting on our our back deck having a glass of wine and just starting to fire up our new gas grill in anticipation of roasted corn-on-the-cob and hamburgers, when we heard the doorbell. Hmm..the only people so far to ring our doorbell has been the UPS man, the mailman, and a teenager at the end of the street soliciting funds for a school project. It turned out to be our neighbors across the street from us: Kim and Mark. Kim was carrying a plate of wonderful chocolate-and-white-chocolate-dipped strawberries. The note read “Welcome to the Ponderosa” with their name and phone number. Rick invited them in and we had to scramble to get the dogs IN and the people OUT onto the deck. They didn’t seem to have a problem with seven rowdy, barking dogs and we managed just fine. We sat on the deck and had a glass of wine together [or a bottle of beer in Rick and Mark’s case] and got to know a little bit about each other.

One of the first questions they asked [after asking where we had moved from] was, had we seen a bear yet?  This seems to be the most common question asked by people around here. They told us that they had moved into their house in December [a year and a half ago] and their dog would not stop barking when it went outside by their deck. Sure enough, the dog had something pretty exciting to bark about: a bear was all curled up, fast asleep in hibernation under their deck! What a shock! They obviously couldn’t leave it there, so they called the State and they said they would come out when they could. In the meantime, a fellow came out to do work on their house and just happened to be a member of “Friends of Bears,” [ a humane group that believes bears can co-exist with people without harming the bears] and he wanted them to let him take care of their problem. Kim said fine, whoever gets here first gets the bear. Word spread that they had a bear under their deck and people came from all over just to view the slumbering bear and take photos of it. All this was getting pretty old, and finally the Friends of Bears arrived to wake him up. Kim said it looked like a crew from Ghostbusters or something because they had water guns and umbrellas they would open and shut, hopping around and making all kinds of noise. The bear did indeed vacate his little “deck den” and ambled off into the woods. They told them that he shouldn’t be back, because when you disturb them and keep them out for 3 or 4 days, the bear finds another place with less going on. He hasn’t been back, but Kim and Mark say they have seen the same bear in this area. They can tell it’s him because his fur looks oily on his back.

They’ve only lived in this house for a year and a half, but have lived in the area for 20 some years, so they were a great source of information on the area, local restaurants, etc. We found out that Mark and Rick both love to cook and that they are the “gourmets” of the family. Kim and I just do the normal day-to-day grunt work type of cooking. We learned a lot about the area and where to go for good food; both for eating out and for buying and cooking at home.

We’re invited over to their house tomorrow for a Memorial Day BBQ where they will serve “local” food, as in All the Way Hot Dogs  [? I’m sure it’s not like is sounds!] and a type of Hamburger Plate that features a New Jersey ham, Taylor Ham, or is it “Tailor?”  that everyone raves about. So, the learning experience continues. More after we know exactly what All the Way Hot Dogs are and the secret behind the Taylor Ham craze. Should be fun!


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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