I am a widow who lives alone… except for two pet squirrels and two dogs. Recently, I had (I am from Texas) a new neighbor move in down the block. He is from New York. His first introduction to my house is another story altogether. Let’s just say it was a rough start. I was in the hospital the first time he came here. It was even rougher when he tried to kill Oscar, my pet squirrel.
Most of my followers know Oscar now so I won’t go into his story. Let’s just say Oscar and his wife Grammy live in a small cat tree on the top of my dryer in the laundry room. My new neighbor’s name is George. He is a retired New York policeman. He and Oscar have become friends now. Oscar loves cats and George has one. George, (please don’t laugh), walks his cat on a leash. Right out in front for everyone to see. He can’t believe the dogs’ bark… really! Poor guy. He just does not understand Southern dogs… they gossip about everything. I feel sorry for New York dogs who are used to seeing cats on a leash.
Anyway, Oscar got into George’s house by way of an open window and started playing with George’s cat. Christmas day George and his cat sang under the tree with Oscar and Grammy dancing on a branch above them. This is why I invited George to bring Bertha, (the cat), over to bring in the New Year.
George is surrounded by several widows who now know he too is single. He hides over here. He knows he is safe here. I don’t have a gun but right now he still thinks I am harmless. George and Bertha showed up just as dark came sneaking in and we could see the first twinkling of stars. I had prepared cheese, summer sausage, crackers, and wine for snacks. I thought I would scare him a little. “I thought we would start in the bedroom George.” He suddenly jumped up from his chair, I could see he was rubbing his forehead and twitching trying to decide if he should just scream or run out the door all at once. “The TV is in there and we can set up to watch the different celebrations. I think they are still going to have the ball drop in New York even if no one will be there.” He exhaled, took a gulp of his coffee, and actually laughed a bit.
“I sure appreciate this, Jane. The other girls in the neighborhood have brought me so many things to eat I won’t need to go to the grocery for a month. I did not know there were so many when I moved into the neighborhood. They all want to know what I need. I have listened to all sorts of things they need. You would not believe me.”
“I do understand you, George. You can’t do something just cause someone needs it. Heck, a gator needs to eat but that doesn’t mean you gotta jump into his mouth. Right?” “Oh, you are so right.” George relaxed a bit and laughed. We both went into the bedroom and he saw where I had set up a card table with a lazy boy on one side and the bed on another. The big-screen TV was set up with remote control to the ready. I motioned for him to take the lazy-boy. The minute he sat down, I knew things were not going to go smoothly.
Bertha jumped on the lazy-boy, Sweet Pea (150-pound greyhound) licked her from nose to tail end, Bella (40-pound lab mix) grabbed her by the neck and ran through the house like Bertha was a new toy. Bertha is screaming, Geoge is yelling, Sweet Pea is barking and I am waving my arms just enough to throw the chocolate dip all over George’s shirt. George stopped the minute the hot chocolate dip hit his skin. I dropped my donut holes and toothpicks. I grabbed George by the shoulder. “Just sit and watch… please.” He did. He sat down with the towel I had thrown him and started trying to wipe his shirt.
We watched as Bella carried Bertha to a soft bed just beside my head pillows on the bed. Oscar and Grammy were there. Oscar started stroking Bertha. Grammy nudged her with her nose. Bertha started purring. Sweet Pea kissed Bella. Sweet Pea could not reach the spot in the bed and is too old to jump but she did cry just a little as she watched the squirrels work their magic. I tossed George one of my oversized throws to put around him. He gave me his shirt and I put it in the washer. I plugged in the throw so he was warm as well. We all had a good laugh at the event.
I had more dip and lobster forks. I had cheddar cheese dip, chocolate dip, swiss cheese dip, spinach, and sour cream dip, and salsa dip. George was puzzled until I used the lobster fork to pick up a piece of popcorn, dip it, and pop it into my mouth. I then brought in a bowl of ham cubes, and donut holes. He grinned. “This looks like fun.” George had never had such a thing. Pour guy…
You would think that was the end of all the excitement. George and I were watching a leftover Christmas movie when suddenly we looked up and the chief of police and “the town gossip” were standing in the doorway looking at us. There was George (without a shirt) and me sitting on the bed playing with squirrels. “Hi chief, were we too loud?”
“No, your neighbor said she thought you might be having problems and asked me to come to check.” The look on her face told me my reputation at the grocery store would be changed by morning. That is okay, heck she has everyone thinking I am a psycho anyway. That is another story.
I started to explain, “George got dip on his shirt so I am washing it, he brought Bertha over to play with Oscar…”
“You don’t have to explain a thing. You all have a good evening.”
The chief turned red in the face and then took the mouth opened, staring, town gossip, by the arm and lead her to the front door. Before they disappeared through the door I heard the chief tell her, “Little lady, if I hear anything about this tomorrow, you will be in trouble. Jane has every right to have as much or as little company as she wants.”
“George, that was the town gossip. You will be a playboy by ten tomorrow morning.” The look on his face made me laugh out loud.
“I guess I won’t be getting any more food from the neighborhood.” George laughed. He knows nothing about Southern women. I just realized exactly what it meant. It also means he will be coming here to hide more. Yikes! I gotta get him to the senior center to meet with some domino playing old goats who used to be squirrels.
George’s shirt got cleaned and dried. We had popcorn dipped in all the dips. We watched movies, watch 2020 go out in several areas of the world. We talked about all the things the world had learned about this year. Everyone had learned about the importance of priorities. I told George I thought every single person on the earth changed at least one priority in 2020. We learned more about the world we live in as well.
At midnight Bertha, Oscar, Grammy, and both dogs were all sleeping together. When the fireworks started outside… Sweet Pea got up (disturbing all who had found softness in her fur) and put her head under the bed. They all settled back down into her fur. George and I laughed. I also learned that even someone from New York could be good company on a quiet New Years’ Eve.Recommended2 recommendationsPublished in