I've mentioned in this journal how crowded and hemmed-in I feel sometimes, living here. Although we're in the country and own 43 acres, there are neighbors on all sides except to the north. I thought when Cliff fixed my cabin up for me, I'd be guaranteed privacy there. It turned out not to be so; neighbor boys appear out of nowhere sometimes, when I'm back there.
If I grab my cabin-sack in spring or summer and head out the door, there are usually half a dozen kids gathered outside, either around Cliff's shop with him, or in our renters' yard; and one of them is sure to say, "Cabin time? You goin' to the cabin?"
I know it's selfish, but I resent having to report in. I resent people knowing when I'm heading to the cabin and inquiring where I'm going.
But that isn't what this entry is about. As you know, my neighbor to the west, Marvin, had a tragedy; his family of six watched helplessly as their house was destroyed by fire.
I spend a lot of time at the kitchen sink, since I don't have a dishwasher; and because I love to cook, there are lots of dishes to be washed around here. The window over the kitchen sink looks out toward Marvin's place.
I didn't realize how much I unconsciously watched the goings-on next door as I washed dishes. Their pickup coming and going. Visitors pulling in their drive. The kids playing. Marvin heading out to feed the horses, or puttering in his garage. The four children running to meet the bus every morning.
Now, except for the times they come to check on things or feed their horses, there's only the lifeless, burned-out shell of a house there, the reminder of a terrible event.
Even at night when everyone was in bed at Marvin's, there must have been some sort of light over there, because now when I go to the sink early in the morning to make coffee, I'm stunned by the absence of anything to the west; I have a gaping black hole in the night to look at.
Maybe I'm not so much a hermit as I thought.
At least their dog, Buddy is here. I told Roxanna that I've been feeding him, and will continue to do so. He'd never make it confined in town, imprisoned by a leash law, even for the few months it'll take them to rebuild.