Mike and I went up to the school today. We intended to work from 7 until 10, but when Kate's out of town, life happens for Mike, and we ended up taking the dogs up to the school to eat cat poop, roll in dog poop, splash through mud and frolic with the other dogs.
Oh, and let Liza run around.
I managed to forget each and every Annie toy, but three golden retrievers made up for my lack of dog-saavy by chasing her around and around and around. Surprising, Bella didn't do her usual walk along the perimeter, howl at squirrel tracks about three days old and poop in the tall ivy. Instead, she ran around the middle of the field, ate sewage and splashed in the mud.
I had given her a bath only the day before last. Dog.
As we were leaving, the owner of one of the retrievers said hello. She introduced herself as a neighbor with the McDonald's munchkins in her front yard. I asked if she were the person who walks the dog while reading a book (note the correct use of the subjective in that sentence fragment). She said no, then started telling us about our neighbors, their pets, the new construction on the block, who lived where and what they did.
Her description of the neighborhood was quite entertaining when she pointed to Mike and said, "You recently had a baby. I see your wife with your kids every once in a while. I haven't seen her recently. You own a red station wagon." It then turned uncomfortable when she turned to me and continued, "You drive a sports car, and just planted your Christmas tree in your front yard."
Mike's Christmas tree, but close enough.
She knew everything. Well, almost everything. What she didn't know, I could fill in the gaps, like the two kids across the street from us (they're building a second story), or our neighbors to the north or south. She knew about the construction going on along the block (same construction company), as well as the Corridor-of-Death™.
Part of me was uncomfortable with all that she knew, but the other part of me realized that, well, she didn't know more than I knew just by observing the neighborhood. If I went on the walks with Kris, I'd be up on all the block happenings, too.
As we were leaving, she suggested a block party this summer. I remember block parties from when I was a kid, and am so excited by the thought. I'm happy to have met Debbie, and will need to go knock on her door sometime soon to get that block party happening.