Peaches Prattlings

{December 22, 2020}   Social calls and gatherings sure have changed.

Times are different. Covid to start, but even more so with the times we live in.

Do you remember a time when you would walk to a neighbor’s house, knock on the door just to say hello, maybe even stay for a cup of coffee or tea? If you’re under a certain age, you’re probably thinking, ‘no, I can’t even imagine!’. And you’d be right.

There was a time, way back when, when people would stop by a neighbor’s house just for a cuppa and a chat. I remember when I was a kid and I would go to my grandmother’s house in Brooklyn and if I couldn’t find her, she’d be down the street at AL’s house. They didn’t make plans, it just worked out that way, they’d be hanging out having a cup of something and usually playing cards.

When I lived in my last neighborhood in GA, the one I lived in when you and I started talking, it was that kind of neighborhood. We could walk to each other’s homes without calling first, just to say hello. I remember when it all started…I went on a cruise with some neighbors. We spent 7 days together, eating, drinking, shopping, exploring, touring. Well, they were drinking, I was the ASP, Always Sober Person. I had to know everyone’s cabin number and when the ship was sailing. I enjoyed the responsibility, it was fun and they were funny, win-win.

Same thing when I take a trip with my family. We spend 7-10 days together and then we go our separate ways. What? All that time spent together and now I wake up and no breakfast with my nieces? No lunch with my sister? No dinner with my dad? No more exploring with ACS, LaLa, not fair!

So…what to do? FaceTime? Zoom? Skype? All great options, but not the same. Also…when I took the cruise with my neighbors, there was no Zoom! So, with the family, great options, but with the neighbors, greater option…walk down the street and pop in for a chat and a cuppa.

Well, times being what they are…not so much dropping by. People can’t really invite you in or they won’t, which is completely understandable. We have to let someone know we’re coming and wave from the street. Or you don’t let them know you’re coming and leave something on the porch. Ring the bell and step back? Ring the bell and run away? If it’s a surprise anyway, but…with times being what they are…do you want that kind of surpirse?

These days, gatherings are a little different. We make a date to meet and then hang out in the driveway! If you know the people, maybe the backyard. What’s funny is that we’ve been doing that unintentionally for years! You happen to be outside watching your kids playing and a neighbor comes walking by or comes home from wherever, gets out of the car and walks over to your house. My sister’s neighborhood is like that, they make dates to hang in the front yard or in the driveway.

For Halloween, our neighbor invited us to sit in the driveway, socially distant of course, around a metal fire pit, roast marshmallows, have a bowl of chili and chill. It was a lot of fun! Tonight, a co-worker of PSM’s invited us over so the wives, me being one of them, could meet. They have two small kids, so the kids were playing in the yard, we set up our foldable/portable chairs, brought out the drinks, and stood around and talked for a few hours. The sun started to dip down and it was time for the kids to get some grub.

It was fun. Got to meet some new people, chat, compare stories, and…they actually met on O’ahu when she was in grad school and he was there working for the same company PSM works for. Actually, he had the job PSM took in Hawai’i, before PSM had it. That was the really fun part, talking about O’ahu and someone, or two someone’s, know exactly where you’re talking about! Especially the stuff locals know about, you know, daily life in a city. And…not being from there, working on pronouncing the places we went and saw.

This seems to becoming the new norm, it’s not so bad, we still get to socialize a little, just a little farther apart from each other than normal. We value the relationships we have and that we’re building. I wish there was an easy way for me to do that with my family and friends back in NY and GA.

When things open back up, who knows, I may be knocking on your door for a chat and a cuppa. Ooh, maybe even inside the house! Oh my!


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