April 15, 2008

Mah 'hood.

I really love my neighborhood. Everyone complains about how far out it is, but it's pretty quiet and safe; it's close to the ocean, Golden Gate Park, and I can see the Golden Gate Bridge everyday (and I never tire of looking at it); plus, I can hear the foghorns at night.

I've also gotten to know lots of people in the neighborhood that make me smile.

There is the guy at my local wine shop who always remembers what I was serving when I bought my last bottle. "How did that Chardonnay pair up with those spicy Thai peanut noodles?" he'll ask as I come in the door.

There's the little Indian guy at the convenience store (I've mentioned several times before) who is always trying to get me to take the day off and go to the beach with him, meet him for coffee in the morning, or run away with him. Today he marveled that we were wearing the same color shirt and said for the thousandth time, "Have you had your coffee yet today? We can run across the street and grab a cup!" Upon my polite decline, he shook his head and said, "Some day we will go together."

There's the Chinese lady at my Walgreen's pharmacy who always rings up my purchases. This afternoon I had on a hat and sunglasses, and before getting my prescription, she asked for my last name. When I said, "Ashcraft," she laughed and said, "Oh! I didn't recognize you today! You're in disguise. Plus, you're earlier than usual!" This made me smile.

And then there is my elderly Chinese neighbor whom I watch every morning doing her Tai Chi moves in the backyard. This afternoon I was outside right next to my open window where I could hear my bird Cricket unceremoniously flinging her expensive bird pellets all over the floor. (To my ears, it sounds like quarters hitting the floor.) "I'm going to pick you up by your tail feathers and smack you around a bit," I threatened her, thinking that I was alone outside. My neighbor cautiously peered at me over the back fence. "Oh, sorry!" I cried, "Not you!"

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