Bryce and I moved right before Thanksgiving last year. With the holidays and then being out of town for New Year’s in Japan, things were pretty hectic and we were not home a lot.
By mid-January, we were still not fully unpacked. We had met two neighbors. I remember asking Bryce if we needed to go door to door and introduce ourselves to everyone else in close proximity to us. I wasn’t sure how this all worked. I had never been a homeowner before. (We opted not to go door to door and to just meet our neighbors naturally).
We had met our next-door neighbor in passing a few times. I knew his name and where he worked, that he and his wife had two small children. And I met another neighbor across the street when we were checking our mail at the same time. But, other than that, we didn’t really know anyone else on our street.
I guess this is how it is in Seattle. Everyone just keeps to themselves, right?
Sort of. Or, sort of not.
Now during quarantine, I am actually meeting new people.
The lost dog
While on a walk one evening, a black and white corgi came running up to me out of nowhere. The dog was super excited and kept jumping up and down on me. I told him (her?) to stay down and s/he sort of listened.
Barking and wagging its tail, the dog kept following me.
“Where is your owner?” I repeatedly asked the dog. I was hoping that the dog’s owner would appear around the corner.
No one did.
Then I hoped that the dog would bark loud enough that the owner would hear him/her and come running outside of one of the houses.
That didn’t happen either.
I was standing in the middle of my street. My house was about six or seven houses away. I felt like I couldn’t just abandon this dog. I also didn’t want to leave the poor thing be and have someone come along and steal her (him?)
After what seemed like 10 minutes, but was probably only five, a woman and her dog came walking down the street towards my new dog friend and me.
I waved toward this stranger and yelled, “Do you know whose dog this is?”
“Mochi!” she yelled back. “That’s Mochi!”
Thank goodness, I am so glad she knows this dog.
It turned out that she is next door neighbors to Mochi.
Mochi kept wanting to jump up on the woman’s dog. She pointed to the house that Mochi belonged to.
I returned the dog to his home in an awkward ringing of the door bell and then standing as far away as possible from the door. A woman answered the door and Mochi ran into the house. I quickly muttered something like “Hi! I found your dog, OK, bye!”
I didn’t want to linger. She yelled a “thank you” as I ran away from her house.
I’ll properly introduce myself to her when the pandemic is over.
The funny thing in all of this is that now I see the woman who helped me identify Mochi’s home “all the time.” She lives on a corner and now more often than not, when I am on a walk or run, she is doing yard work or is coming or going from a walk with her dog. How had I gone four months with never seeing her and now I feel like I see her all the time?
The other night, she joked with me and Bryce from over the fence as we walked by.
I guess we are close enough that we are on joking terms now. I’ll take that. I’m fine with being on friendly and joking terms with my neighbors.
More new faces
Since meeting the woman on the corner, I have also met four other new neighbors. I guess it’s because we are all outside more often than ever before.
I got to chatting with one neighbor and learned that one of his kids goes to my high school alma mater.
I have had a few exchanges with our next door neighbors — finally meeting the man’s wife — where they have said they hope quarantine is over soon so we can all actually get together and hang out. I’d like that. For now, we just learn bits and pieces about each other from brief stops in passing during our daily walks.
All while six feet apart.