Community: I has it

My readers have been clamoring for a new post (translation: one person emailed me once), so here it is.

I’ve been living in my house for two years and a few months now. The neighborhood is pleasant and neighborly; people wave when I’m out walking the dogs, we recognize each other at the grocery store and chat even if we’re not sure of each other’s actual names — that sort of thing. I haven’t enjoyed this level of neighborhood belonging since leaving my hometown at 18. Well, the three or four years ex-hubby and I lived in a duplex in Reno’s Old Southwest area was close, but people in the midwest are just *a bit* more friendly in general than westerners. Anyway, it’s a neat feeling.

Neighborliness met mystery last week when I walked up my driveway and noticed two chunks of broken clay pipe deliberately left on the stone edging of my new rock garden, right where I’d be sure to find them:

What’s the big deal about broken tile, you ask? (Go ahead and ask; I’ll wait.) You see, I’ve been using broken terracotta pipe in the garden because I love the color and because rocks are so darn hard to come by in every-inch-is-farmed Iowa. Below, you can see the terracotta edging a planting of chives and also being used bed edging:

What this means is some unidentified neighbor came across a couple of broken tiles, maybe while cleaning their garage or doing yard work, and thought I might like them for my garden. How cool is that? Plus, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the two neighbors I associate with the most, because either of them would have used the gift as an excuse to have some coffee (the older couple) or a beer (the younger folk who helped with my fence). So yeah, I live in a very nifty neighborhood!

Oh, here are the gifted tiles in my garden, hiding an ugly rock:

A friend noted that the mystery tiles gift marks my integration into Storm Lake and Iowa and that I must now stop explaining that I’m really from Nevada when I meet new folks. I think she’s right.

And what does Ricky think of this neighborhood mystery? He says “wake me when they leave food.”

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