Monday, April 27, 2009

Of Rolling Rock, Mr. Rogers, Prarie Dogs & Friends

It's been like I've been picked up and dropped in another state. Or world, even. Since Friday, we've had unbelievably wonderful weather. So sunny and hot, as a matter of fact, we had to turn on the AC. It was 80 degrees in the house on Saturday night, and for a woman like me going through the change, that's just too damned hot, even if it is momentary.

Yesterday at the home improvement store, it looked like they were having a fire sale or a riot where people simply crash in and steal stuff off the shelves then race off with their contraband. I can't remember the last time I saw that many people coming and going or milling about on a Sunday. Oh wait, it must have been last spring when the weather broke and life returned to the neighborhood!

I live just around a country corner from Latrobe, PA. Or, if you grew up in these parts, Lay-trobe. For those of you who don't know, that's the hometown of Arnold Palmer. And, Fred Rogers. If you don't recognize that name, how about, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood? Yeah, I thought you might. If you have kids or were one, that's a name you'll recognize and a question that was always asked, "Won't you be my neighbor?"

And, up until a year or so ago, Latrobe was also the loving home of Rolling Rock beer. A point of interest for those of you who hit the earth as a big kid, no growing up required.

Both Rolling Rock and Mr. Rogers are gone now. And the neighborhood is a little less important due to their passing. But, for most of the inhabitants, the legacy lives on, so it's still a pretty friendly spot on this earth, which is a good thing.

This busy weekend, at one point or another, I had the good fortune to chat with all of my immediate neighbors. Absolutely a sign that warmer weather has come creeping to the Laurel Highlands of Western PA. When the neighbors finally emerge from their houses after a long winter, on those first warm days, I can't help it...

They remind me of the prairie dogs popping in and out of their holes to have a look about and be social before retreating back in once the evenings get chilly.

I won't get my hopes up for this Neighbor Fest to continue because this week, the temps are supposed to drop back into the more usual for this time of years, 50s. All but the bravest of us will pop back in our holes until it warms up again.

But, for today it's still warm sun. I'm thinking about how amazing it is that it only takes a few hours to change the little green garden nubs, just visible in the earth, into rockets jetting up to the light. On Friday, I could barely tell where the hosta were living subterranean and today, several of the really intrepid ones are unfurling into the chartreuse banners of new plants.

There's an awful lot for me to get accomplished here at Casa de Frock...the back deck and patio need to be reclaimed from the winter detritus. I have to admit, they look a bit like unsavory squatters came and took up residence while we were hibernating inside. It's the same every year; in the bitter cold, you simply drop things outside near the door instead of making the effort to put things away.

I need to pull them into their artistical and welcoming state sooner than later. And the pressure is on because I heard from friend, Coke last night who says he and his gal-pal, Lou from Germany are coming this weekend for a visit. That will be a great deal of fun. We haven't seen Lou for over five years, so it will be her first visit with us here.

But, even in its current shabbiness, we did take the time to sit and enjoy some cold, cold beers on a hot afternoon with our neighbors. A break from all the doin' so we could just be a-bein'. A great way to celebrate the momentary climate change with two wonderful people Al & Cindy, who are the other half of our duplex.

And, last evening, another neighbor popped by for a chit chat while we were on the deck grilling our dinner. Later, Michael and I sat in the glow of evening and had our first al fresco meal of the season. Lovely. And simple. Nothing to get excited about; I mean, how exciting is chicken? But, a very rewarding way to end a weekend that was unusually gorgeous.

This weekend really was a gift in many ways. But, even more so for my neighbor/friend Judy who turned 60 on Saturday. And, her hubby and three girls worked like Trojans to surprise her with a party. Which actually turned out to be a surprise! The highlight of the night was a slide show of Judy and her life. We watched her get to 60 in 60 seconds! Well, not quite, but you get the idea. Very clever. What an act of love shared by a great family. Many happy returns of your day, girlfriend!

And, as this work week starts, I would be really remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to say to my pal, Opie- Happy, happy birthday to you, Dear One! You've been gifted another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I hope it brings you many moments of joy, just as we get from having you in our lives. You are a true gift to all of us!

Namaste' Till Next Time,


cinner said...

Man sounds like you had a busy weekend, it my friend was snowing and rainy here, sun is shining today. hope to get into the yard soon. Have a good day.

Opie said...

Thank you Holly. And I have to say, I love that you write such kind words about me under such a classy picture of me. lol

Holly said...

Hey, when I think of you, I think darling, fun, and wild. I'm thinking that picture expresses all three of the virtues!

judy said...

Thanks for the nice words, Holly. Sometimes we tend to take our family for granted...their efforts to make my day a special one meant a lot to me.

beth said...

you know what?
I think I want to sum up your post by bringing up the obvious... it's other human beings that breathe life into us !


Holly said...

Amen, Ms. Beth, Amen!

Samantha said...

Your weekend sounded great. Really, I am so jealous. Spring in England is a long, blustery affair ~ even when the sun shines. And yesterday it just rained.
I'm starting up my old mantra of "I wanna move somewhere hot". With your post, and Cam's about sunburn and being on a boat, I'm about to start packing right now.

Love & Blessings

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