What have your neighbors done for you when you needed help? Do you play that role with any neighbors?
What helps you when you’re in a bad mood?
Every morning my husband and I get ready for our walk around 5 a.m. to avoid the heat. We don’t make it out the door for at least 30 minutes, needing clothes, clean teeth and coffee!
Consistently, we see one other couple out early. We say “Good morning!” “What a beautiful day,” and usually walk on.
During the weekend, my husband stopped to ask about their granddaughters who are swimmers. They told us their oldest signed with Northwestern and their youngest is getting calls across the country at top colleges. They talked about how they did at CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) where swimmers compete for their high school teams and how they were top finalists.
“Our daughter was a multiple CIF Champion,” my husband mentioned. Yes, she was. That’s a memory I’ll look back on with pride.
Our neighbors talked about a meet they just returned from in Northern California, the George Haines International Swim Meet. Yes, we’ve been to that meet, too. It’s filled with top swimmers including Olympians from the USA, Europe and Mexico.
Here’s a video I took of warm up from the George Haines International meet in 2017:
The conversation with our neighbors brought back so many memories from the days our kids swam. Busy days traveling to meets, staying in hotels, sitting with favorite parents on the stands. Each morning we wondered what the day would bring.
I felt a little sad and melancholy after talking to our neighbors. I’m glad we were a swim family. But there’s no going back to those days. On a sad note, the team our kids swam with from kindergarten through high school folded a few weeks ago after more than 50 years. I couldn’t count the hours we spent volunteering and supporting our team.
My daughter celebrating with her relay team at the end of a swim meet.
What memories from days past do you think about in a happy or melancholy way?
We saw two mule deer on our morning walk.
Unfortunately our nest of quail eggs did not hatch. It makes me sad, because I was looking forward to our own hatchlings. We do have a couple families of quail visit our backyard. I also was thrilled to see deer yesterday morning.
I’m not sure what to do with the nest of eggs. I’m leaving it alone for the time being, but think I should throw them away?
I never get tired of the wildlife in our neighborhood. Across the street we have the McDowell Nature Preserve with more than 130 miles of hiking trails. That’s probably why we get deer, coyotes, javelina and bobcats waltzing through our backyards and streets. There’s so much building going on in Arizona, it’s reassuring to know the 30,580 acres of Sonoran Desert across the street will not be developed.
Another deer in a neighbor’s yard.
What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
A cup of lemonade I bought on our morning walk. I did take one sip, before I took the photo. I have to say it wasn’t a generous serving!
We have friendly neighbors who apparently have an abundance of fresh lemons. Note to self: I need to plant a lemon tree! In Palm Springs we had 15 citrus trees and we have none here.
On our morning walk, we passed the friendly neighbor’s house spotting a young boy sitting outside, alone at a folding table, with a hand painted sign, “Lemonade.”
We asked how long he’d be there and he said another hour and a half. It was 6:30 a.m. I wonder how early he set up his stand?
“We’ll be back after our walk,” my husband promised.
This is a grandchild of our neighbors. We first met them when their grandkids were visiting at Christmas the year we moved in. They had a lemonade stand then, and we thought it was so sweet. It brought back memories of my childhood when we had a Kool-aid stand.
We haven’t seen these neighbors since December 2020 until sometime in April this year when we were out for a walk. We stopped and talked and talked about our kids, who all live in California. They told us about their grandkids and asked if we wanted to go to church with them. The husband promised us his homemade limoncello.
Again we haven’t seen them around. I believe the husband works a lot throughout the country and is rarely home.
Then last week, the day before we left for Mexico, we saw him in his garage.
He said, “Wait!”
He ran to get us two bottles of limoncello. We declined, but he said, “Please take them. I don’t drink, but I like to make it.”
This morning after our walk, I returned to the lemonade stand.
“You’re certainly out early,” I said.
“I try to do my best,” the young boy answered.
“What are you going to do with all this money?” I asked.
“Half goes to charity. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the rest.”
I gave him money for two lemonades. He asked what color cups I wanted and poured me a few inches of lemonade in each cup.
It gave me a bit of joy to see a child working his lemonade stand. It’s a rare sight indeed.
What are your memories of lemonade stands growing up? Do you see them today?
Olive has discovered a fun game to play while I make the bed. She jumps on the bed and hides under the covers. Her crazy polydactyl claws get stuck .
Last Thursday, I had a dental appointment to get my teeth cleaned. An hour before my appointment the power went out.
I checked my iphone and the power company predicted power would be restored in four hours. They didn’t give the cause.
I called the dental office to let them know I couldn’t get my car out of the garage because the power was out.
The receptionist told me to pull the red cord and then I could manually lift the garage door. I hung up, pulled the red cord, but couldn’t lift the garage door. So I asked my husband to try.
“No. I’m not going to mess with the garage door,” he said. He wanted to leave well enough alone and wait for the power to go on. “Just call them and reschedule,” he said.
The dentist was able to swap my appointment with somebody on Monday morning. It was all good.
A neighbor called us and said she was at the hair dresser and would we please go to her house and invite her husband over. He had been walking their dog when the power went out. He was sitting freezing in the back yard with their dog. He had exited the locked house through the garage and without power, the buttons to open the garage door were worthless.
The wife said she asked him to come over to our house, but he didn’t want to be a bother. My husband returned with our neighbor and Rascal, a poodle bichon, a few minutes later.
The power was restored a few hours earlier than predicted and life was good.
But then Friday morning came. We had an electrician over to see why a few outlets inside and lights outside don’t work. My husband clicked to open the garage door for the electrician. The motor went on but the door didn’t open!
I saw a sticker with the garage door company name and number. I quickly called them in a panic. After all our dishwasher AND garbage disposal already quit working earlier. I was worried everything was going wrong in our “new” house all at once.
The garage door repair man came a few hours later. I told him we had had a power outage the day before and I didn’t know if that had anything to do with the double-sized garage door not opening.
“Did anyone pull on the red cord and manually open and close the garage door?” he asked.
“No, absolutely not,” my husband said. “We didn’t want to do that for the exact reason that we could hurt something.”
I was standing slightly behind my husband and sheepishly raised my hand. “I did,” I said.
The garage door man climbed a ladder under the garage motor, pressed a lever and presto! The garage door worked. The price tag: $230.
“Why didn’t you tell me you pulled the red cord?” my husband asked.
“You didn’t ask and the dentist told me to,” I explained. My husband shook his head and walked away.
The garage door man said he’d service our garage door and he also fixed the buttons outside which have never worked. So, now we can also get locked out of our house if the power goes out while we’re on a walk.
What embarrassing things have you done that compare with me pulling the red cord?
The holiday light display, previously staged at Kenny Irwin’s home on Granvia Valmonte in Palm Springs, had been open to the public for more than 30 years. But it became the subject of litigation regarding neighbor complaints about trash, crowds and traffic.https://www.desertsun.com/story/life/2021/11/18/another-year-without-robolights-artist-planning-pop-up-exhibition-february/8672519002/
We used to go to Robolights a few blocks from our house as a Christmas tradition. Once we took the senior group from our swim team. The last time we went, we took our current Christmas Crew. It’s a very different type of Christmas display made with recycled goods to aliens, microwaved microwaves and a carousal of toilets. The highlight in my opinion is touring the one-acre lot with millions of white lights dazzling above.
Someone moved across the street from Robolights and complained to the city. I heard they even stole some of the million lights that were in storage bins. The city decided it was a fire hazard and shut down Robolights.
This year we walked during the daylight to Robolights and I took photos of the sculptures around the perimeter of the estate.
Irwin and the City of Palm Springs reached an agreement in November 2018, ending a two-year legal fight. Irwin agreed to move the exhibit to a commercial location, and the city agreed to provide $125,000 to help cover the move.
In 2019, Irwin purchased two parcels of land— one 7.5 acres and another 2.5 acres — in Desert Hot Springs behind Cabot’s Pueblo Museum off Miracle Hill Road for $350,000 and hoped to begin developing the site. At present, the land is home to an abandoned structure and the road leading up to it is blocked to the public.
The cost to begin development is estimated at $1.5 million, including $300,000 for the first phase of planning and there is no projected opening date.
Photos from our walk around Robolights.
What are your thoughts of moving into a neighborhood with a 30-year-nationally known exhibit and complaining to the city to shut it down?