Garbage day is tomorrow….

….and still we have no can. The city was supposed to come by and replace it after someone swiped ours last week. I’ve called four different times since ‘the incident’, as it shall be called, and still we have yet to put our accumulating rubbish into a new bin. Our recycling is piling up too because we still don’t have a bin for that either.

We’ll see if the bins even come by this week’s garbage pick up. A friend suggested, while her tongue was firmly planted in her cheek, that we dump the rubbish on the street.  I’m sure she isn’t familiar with where we live. One thing I’ve noticed about living in the Hilltop is that you really do have to respond in the opposite emotion here. It can get the job done, albeit slowly, but it can also move you into a state of not being as afraid or as overpowered. Some things here really are beyond my control, like the teenagers who walk in front of our house at night yelling and cussing. I’m not really about to poke my head out and say, “Hey guys, can you keep it down a bit?” If they were actually fighting that would be different.

Take our neighbors for example. A few have actually surprised me. A woman who looks like a ‘stereotypical tomboy’ and a pretty tough one at that lit up when I said hello. She is actually really sweet, she just looks mad and mean. I say hi to her and I USE HER NAME when I see her (that one is huge for softening people). I use all of my neighbor’s names when I see them. It’s funny how much it turns them into real people again, not just loud neighbors. It puts me back in a place of ownership rather than powerlessness, it’s two people communicating instead of me and this stranger.  It makes a huge difference. So does smiling at people when you’re walking around your street instead of avoiding eye contact. This area has such a painful history where this was a very high crime and very violent place. I think there were a lot of intimidated people walking around living in fear. I’m really trying to respond differently to that. My kids are a great asset in this. They say hello to everyone and talk to all kinds of strangers. Their innocence is delightful and inspiring to me. They don’t seem at all afraid of this area and they actually seem to enjoy the freedom of having a new home. The neighbor’s pit bull is just an added bonus to them. Good times!


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