“Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby…”

I don’t like fakeness in people, in automobiles, or anything else.

Because of regulations, environmental concerns, auto makers do more with less.

Smaller engines, with fewer cylinder configurations, abound.

More economical, with the same power as before. Eco-friendly, the sound not the same, as before when big hulking V8’s ruled the road.

What about electric vehicles? Electric vehicles make little noise. For pedestrian safety, some electric vehicles have artificially generated noise.

Certain automakers pipe fake engine noises through radio speakers. Is this because of manufacturer’s inferiority complexes? Economical engines made wimpy sounds? Was that what the public wanted?

What’s with large fake chrome exhaust tips? Powerful dual exhausts on everything. Some had tiny exhaust pipes in them, some were all show and no go.

When I grew up in the sixties, neighborhood bicyclists had “Mattel, Vroom, hot Rodder Engines” attached to their bike frames. Turning a knob increased the volume and tempo of motorcycle noises–until the batteries ran down. I carried on with playing cards in the spokes.

My bike sounded mean. Motorcycle noises increased to a loud “braaap” the faster I rode. I don’t think I fooled anyone. It was pure fantasy. Will there come a time when automobile engine sounds can be chosen? Like smart phone ring tones. Available at extra cost–of course.

A Little Night Music

After darkness fell, the music started. Was it someone from the neighborhood with outdoor speakers, serenading, others with their music collection?

It became apparent, the music came from a live band. There were too many improvisations. The music, was “greatest hits” from the eighties. My daughter and her boyfriend, grew up during that time period.

A challenge followed, to name songs, bands that popularized songs. I did quite well. I liked quite a lot of music during that time period–even though, as the step-father, it would have been most uncool to admit it.

I later found out, the music was performed by a local band, hired by someone in the neighborhood. It was an annual event, for everyone’s enjoyment, before the benefactor left to winter in the sunny south. I would like to thank this person, as it was quite enjoyable, and lasted till around eleven PM on a cool Saturday night.

Post-Relocation Reflections By Full Moonlight

What if the new owners decorated the walls with hunting trophies? It didn’t matter.

Business was business. Friendships were another matter. Negotiations sometimes made me want to scream.

During the first few years everybody seemed to get along.  Maybe it was because they had to.  It was a new subdivision.  Everyone was from somewhere else.

As properties changed hands, new people were added to the mix.   Some were outgoing and friendly, some not as much.  Neighborhood parties became less frequent.

When moving day came, true friendships shone through. Those that never cared to say goodbye will be forgotten.

There were some wonderful moments.  Some moments, terribly frightening.  Waiting out Hurricane Katrina, while winds howled all day.  The night it rained nearly 24 inches. Water lapped against the bottom of the sun room’s door, until it seeped in.

It hurt to dispose of material things. What couldn’t be given away or donated, wasn’t that important in the long run.

This is still true a few months later. With the added irony of Hurricane Sally’s arrival after our departure, on the sixteen year anniversary of Hurricane Ivan’s direct hit. Ivan struck shortly after we’d moved to the Gulf.

One Step Ahead

Plans were laid last December to sell our current home and relocate. We scoured home listings from three different towns in two states.

Then, our home was put on the market.  There were visitors hosted by selling agents for two-and-a-half weeks, then traffic stopped. No one wanted to risk being out with the virus scare.

We’d given up hope.  Surely nothing would happen for weeks, maybe months.  Then this past Friday, someone visited with their agent.  We watched them come and stay for over 30 minutes.  A good sign? 

Late Friday evening there was a call from our real estate agent.  Someone made an offer.  We made a counter offer, buyers accepted, and on Saturday morning, it was official.  We have until mid-May to vacate the property.  We have to find a place to reside.  The search begins in earnest.   


Give Me Shelter

This has been the strangest course of events, I’ve experienced in my lifetime. That’s taking into account, polio, and the associated fears of parents in the forties and fifties. Then, there was the AIDS epidemic. We made it through those events.

It’s not necessary to enumerate the bad behaviors of some. There are ways to cope–even with that. Sheltering in place: It’s not the staying at home part that’s difficult. Just knowing, for health reasons it’s advisable, is enough.

We couldn’t have picked a worse time to put our home up for sale. The first two weeks there were plenty of visitors. The well has since dried up. Social distancing shouldn’t be a problem in this neighborhood. A cold chill has blown through since the “for sale” sign went up in the front yard.

In Limbo Land

It’s an unusual place to be. In the market for a new home in another state, but, our present home has to sell first.

No doubt some of the neighbors were shocked, when the for sale sign appeared on the front lawn. Most of the neighbors are personable, with a couple that are difficult at times.

That’s the same in every neighborhood. Keeping the house spiffy for potential buyers is a challenge. At least when realtors bring visitors, we have a place to hang out in the interim.

Max the dog enjoys visiting the lady across the street and her dog Noah.. He sits at the end of the neighbor’s driveway, watching realtors and clients entering and leaving our house.  He probably wonders why strangers are in his house.

Neighborhood 12 Days Of Christmas

One free 2019 calendar
from a local merchant
Two telephone directories
that nobody wanted
Three hungry chickadees
Four front yard holes
from the utility company
where no holes used to be
Five overflowing trash bins
Six strings of colorful lights
on an artificial tree with
genuine, life-like pine boughs
Seven, white-tailed deer
emerged from the woods
Eight deflated snowmen
Arose magically at dusk
Nine feral cats yowled
somewhere in the night
Ten neighbors scowled
taxes were way too high
Eleven empty beer cans
gleamed from the roadside
Twelve discarded cardboard boxes
rain-soaked by curbside


Tempus Fugit

Nothing bad to say on this last day of July. When this is published it will be the first of August.

Offered to take Maggie on a walk today–with her new harness.  Two houses down the street, she would go no further.  I didn’t press the issue.  Except, she didn’t want to go in the direction toward home, either.

Walked through the neighborhood for the first time in a month.  Nothing much had changed.  Two new housing starts around the corner.

Today, is my six-month dental check up. Why did I hate going to doctors and dentists so much? Maybe, because of what they might find?  All turned out well.

The next three days are predicted to be rainy, with thunderstorms.  Such are the vagaries of hot, humid, summers in the coastal Southeast.

On One Particularly Beautiful Day

A beautiful day in the neighborhood. A good day to do just about anything.

Beginning with a long walk along the bay, watching fish jump for entertainment. Or, whatever fish jumped for–catching prey, impressing fish of the opposite sex–who knew?

Breaking for witty banter with some of the neighbors. Wasn’t traffic near the newly-opened amusement park beginning to snarl?

The pooches had a friendly get-together. There were no canine disagreements. What kind of dog was a Feist? Nobody
knew exactly.

“It was a small hunting dog.” “It was the same as a rat terrier?” “A Jack Russell?” “Must have been from Germany–the name sounded Germanic.”

Business was closed without any new business. The consensus was to wait-and-see on the Feist dog. One of the neighbors was acquiring a new pup.

Wasn’t Ready For “IT”

Humidity was stifling. “IT” had rained nearly every day or night.  Was this the way aging crept up on us?  The same conditions year-after-year, our ability to cope decreased proportionately.

Why was the word ‘IT’ given so much importance?  Weren’t there other, two-letter words of equal value?  “Well, ‘IT’ happened.” “That was the way ‘IT’ came and went.” Sometimes I wished “IT” would go away.

My front porch, purple New Guinea impatiens, succumbed from lack of water during my absence.  Three plastic jugs of water left–no more than two feet away.

Watering instructions left with a neighbor, were all for naught.  Don’t know why “IT” happened.  My rebellious nature suggested bright orange and yellow, dollar store replacements.  The irony of “IT” would likely be wasted.  “IT” was, what “IT” was.  Just stop “IT!”