We’ve lived in our house for 4.5 years. We live in Greek Town- The Danforth Village- in Toronto. More than half of our neighbors are Greek or Italian, eighty percent are elderly.
It’s a great neighborhood. Very safe, very friendly. The day we got the keys to our new home (June 28th, 2001) we met at least 20 of our neighbors. All within 30 minutes of arriving at our house. They were waiting for us. 🙂
All but a couple of our closest neighbors are elderly. They love us. We cut their grass in the summer, shovel their walkways, sidewalks and driveways in the winter. We also provide their daily entertainment value.
One neighbor, who passed away this past summer, used to always watch us. His name was Jim, but we called him the Policeman. He had to know what was going on and he had to be involved. I swear he must have been keeping an eye on both the front and the back of his house at all times.
The second day we owned our house we removed all the carpeting in preparation for re-finishing the floors. We also knocked down a few walls in our living room. We get busy FAST. Jim of course was always standing outside our house trying to see what we were up to, and at times, coming right inside the open doorway and just watching us work. He wouldn’t say a word … he just watched. That was a little creepy.
As we got to know our neighbors they would pop in on us when they knew we were home or when they saw us in the yard working. Jim was very good at sneaking up on us. Most of the time I heard him shuffling down our driveway, but sometimes he just seemed to appear. Always with the question “what are you doing?” “Why?” “you don’t need that!” “flowers- you have enough flowers, phfwwww”.
When friends came over to visit us or to pick us up to go somewhere, If Jim hadn’t seen us that day, he’d make it out of his house before we did and tell our visitors that we weren’t home. LOL
At least we knew the house was safe while we were at work or if we went out of town for a few days.
At times- along with our other neighbors being interested in what we were doing when we were outside- we got to the point where, if we’d see Jim in his backyard, or coming down our driveway, we’d sometimes duck down behind some of our garden plants so he couldn’t see us. We didn’t do it often, and we felt bad when we did it, but hey … sometimes you just want your privacy. Privacy is something that is greatly lacking in this neighborhood … at least if your names are Trish and Chris.
I miss Jim the Policeman. I miss hearing him shuffling down the driveway or complaining about other neighbors, or telling us that we don’t need to be doing whatever we are doing. You wouldn’t think I would miss that, but I do. I just wish there was a tiny bit less of it while he was alive.