The kids next door have moved out. No longer will those long-haired young men receive visits from the Convertible Cotillion, their groupies of long, blond hair, short skirts and small, yappy lap dogs. I could never figure out what a bunch of marginally employed twenty-something boys had that appealed to the spoiled rich girls. The boys were either really good in bed or gave the girls pot. Or maybe some combination of the two.
So,they're gone. No longer will we have to listen to the Grateful Dead being played at full volume through the missing windows of a Jeep. No longer will we smell the sweet scent of the ganja drifting over from their backyard. No longer will we have to wonder whose car will be next door in the morning.
The duplex next door is a rental. One half is now occupied by a family with a child a little older than the little angel. It's been something of a revolving door in the four years we've lived here. Our favorite neighbor was the one who was there when we arrived, a firefighter who couldn't fight fires due to back trouble, and her hippie girlfriend. The firefighter was damn good with power tools, and she stopped by to comment on the goings on in our backyard while we ripped out a huge flower bed and a chain link fence, laid down fourteen tons of river rock with a shovel and a wheelbarrow (one of my greatest athletic achievements to date) and built a sunroom where a leaking screen porch used to be. It is my only regret that she didn't get to watch us build The Retaining Wall That Almost Claimed Our Marriage - she would've really enjoyed the ride-on earth mover that we rented during the rain for that experience.
I wonder who will be next? I can guess. I doubt the duplex rents for too much, but it's enough that it doesn't attract the absolute dregs of society. I'm hoping for another little family with small child. Maybe we can get enough in the neighborhood to start a cricket team.