Oddly, the house next door to us has been empty almost since we moved in nine years ago. Supposedly someone from D.C. owns it as an investment property, although I’d prefer a more colorful story — a dark stranger who sneaks up in the dead of night to bury mysterious objects in the yard. (And by the way, there are big grassy mounds in the back yard. I’m just saying.)

Lately, the house has been crawling with people! Clean up crews, electricians, plumbers, carpenters. I hear sawing, nailing, sanding and every other construction-related noise I can think of, and that’s actually good news. I’m hoping it’s getting fixed up so that someone will move in. I like the neighborly-ness of living where I live, and the more neighbors, the better.

Obviously, we’d love to have someone friendly, fun, and easy to get along with. Thinking more specifically about it, I would like to order up some or all of the following:

1) Someone who is super-handy and does not like to see a project go unfinished (like my dad and Mr. DeMartini). Because I’ve got a lot of unfinished projects that are a big deal to me but would be a very small deal to someone more capable than me. Maybe this new neighbor will be retired and will want to offer up in his or her time just for the joy of a job well done.

2) Someone who gardens, growing so many wonderful fruits and vegies that he or she is looking to give away the surplus all summer. I’ve heard how annoying it can be to have too many tomatoes and too much lettuce. Taking some of that surplus would be the least I could do to welcome these people to the street. Along those same lines: someone who bakes would also be appreciated.

3) Someone with an almost six year old boy. We’ve got a lot of kids on the street, but the boys skew a little older than John and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. It would be nice to have someone next door who was in the same place as him.

4) Maybe there could also be a teenager about 15 or 16 years old. The teenager should be nice, but also a little nerdy. I’d like him or her to have some kind of expensive habit. Not drugs, obviously. Something like model-making or star-gazing. I need someone around who has no social life and needs the extra cash that they’ll get from doing a lot of babysitting.

5) A musician would be nice. I’d like to learn to play the piano and I’d like John to learn to play, so if we could have a piano teacher next door, that would be convenient.

6) A nice big golden retriever would be great. I don’t have the time or energy to have and walk and care for a dog (especially when it’s ten below outside) but I would love to have a neighbor dog who would come visit me and give me kisses and let me throw the tennis ball for him. And then he would go home and shed in his own house.

Is this too much to ask? The house (as far as I know) isn’t even for sale. Or isn’t for sale yet. But a girl can dream.

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