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  • Writer's pictureMark Madonna

Hello Suburbia!

What an incredible (and incredibly busy) three weeks. We moved into our house on July 5th after a mad dash to get everything packed in the last week. We had moved most everything over since March but the last necessities we hung on to took a lot of effort to get packed and every day since then has been unpacking and turning this house into our home. Aching is the new normal from moving furniture, carrying boxes, reaching and stretching to get to or move something.

Since we got here there have been a few bumps. The air conditioning stopped working the first, and of course hottest week of they year. We had the HVAC system replaced. We got a new water heater and I was finally able to get the hall bathroom clean.

The people in this neighborhood are friendly. Some too friendly. One neighbor pulled her car up do our driveway as we were getting home one night. “Oh, it’s two men!” she exclaimed. As most of the new neighbors do she welcomed us and then she grilled us. “What’s your name, where do you come from, what kind of work do you do? Do you have kids?” John said we should print out neighborhood resumes to present upon request.

After twenty plus years in the city I don’t answer the door. If any friends or family popped by I imagine they would call to tell me they were at the front door if I didn’t answer. There was a knock on the front door last week. I didn’t answer. She came back the next evening just as Bella and I were getting back from a walk. It was Patti from across the street who came to bring us a loaf of pumpkin bread and welcome us to the neighborhood, now I really feel like the gay guys who moved into Wisteria Lane in season four of Desperate Housewives. This brings up a question I have, what is suburbia etiquette? When a neighbor comments on Bella should I stop to chat? I feel like they want to keep on their way as well and if I stop I’m holding them up.

Yes, we’ve been walking Bella a few times a day. We don’t have a fence yet which I am enjoying way more than I thought I would. We get to say hello to the friendly neighbors. We found a park that you can’t see from the street with a beautiful lake. And mornings like today feel like vacation. It’s so pleasantly cool. No one is out. The cicadas and birds sing. It just feels like something I wouldn’t normally treat myself to. I was also pleasantly surprised at the number of newspapers were neatly waiting right in the middle of the walkway of neighbors homes.

We are starting to get settled in and quieted down. We’re hanging pictures. Eventually we’ll get curtains on the bedroom window and not wake up at dawn. We’ll start leaving socks on the floor and dishes in the sink and getting that lived in look. But right now is that special time when we regularly discover something special about our new home and every day feels like we’re enjoying a strange new land.

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