We got a flyer in our mailbox — it is nice to have a mailbox rather than picking up your mail from a scattered pile on the floor of the front hall; but the amount of coupons we receive is astounding. The flyer was for a block party being held down the street. Drinks, grills and condiments would be provided. We were invited to bring meat, sides, dessert, chairs. While it feels now, closing in on the first year anniversary of our move, that we have been here a while, we are new to the block.

Because everyone drives everywhere and there is nowhere to walk to we have little chance of meeting the neighbors. Although as we take the dog for longer walks we may see the other dog people, and in fact, on the morning of the party, as we push the dog to challenge himself, this happened.

The neighbors seem nice. There are other children on the street and the people hosting the party have a tennis court and a big lawn where the kids will gather. As conversation flowed from snakes in laundry rooms to doctors to professors, someone whose friend, in a different neighborhood, lived near “that crazy Amy Bishop” remarked how relieved she had been that she hadn’t called the city about the state of the Bishops’ lawn.

Now our lawn is not a splendid thing. Readers will know that we have a pile of sawdust where the tree was, but that very morning we had been to the garden center and bought a new tree, some grass seed to fill in the bald patches, some flower seeds and a shovel.

The next day we start to dig, but it is hard work. There is a network of roots beneath the surface and the soil is packed down tightly between them. We are 3 or 4 inches down with another 8 to go. We may have to Call Someone. Time will tell which seeds will take and how lush our lawn can be but we are walking the dog further and further, going to puppy class and getting to grips with yard work. As summer takes hold we will start our second year and see where that takes us.


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