The house we’re staying in is situated in a neighborhood full of old people. I say this with great affection, not condescension, because I’m convinced these people are the most wonderful neighbors in the world.
In my time here, I’ve observed that residents in this neighborhood are the sort who walk their dogs three to seven times daily, mostly golden retrievers, overweight bulldogs, and meticulously groomed poodles.
They often water their lawns by hand at dusk, moments after their automatic sprinkler systems have turned off. You just can’t be too sure, you know? And if you want something done right, you better do it yourself.
On national holidays, most neighbors pay for the boy scouts to anchor huge American flags in the center of their lush, green lawns. It looks like a parade of patriotism down the street, star spangled banners waving in the wind beside driveways occupied with large SUVs. It would seem that not only are these neighbors exceptional stewards of their landscaping, they also love America very, very much.
I have been waved at by many of them, as waving seems to be the neighborhood passion and talent. When I walk out to the mailbox with my mom or load a child into the car, several white-haired retirees are usually around to pursue meaningful eye contact with me, paired with a sincere smile and heartfelt wave. It is truly wonderful, as if I get a welcoming committee each time I go outside. I think Molly assumes she has acquired a dozen or so new grandparents.
Occasionally, I’ve been waved at with the sternness of a disconcerted parent. This only happens while I’m driving. Concerned citizens wave their hands up and down and mouth the words “SLOW DOWN!!”… as I drive past at a raging speed of 19mph in a 25mph zone.