We share a driveway with our immediate next-door neighbors. One of the things I like about this, as I’ve mentioned before, is that I get to sit at my dining room table and watch the quirkiness of their life together: the pit-bull-related dog, Emma, who is a ferocious-looking scaredy-cat, the three-year-old in his Batman costume, the elementary-age daughter with her clarinet, the baby of the family who scowls like a bruiser, and the parents, who are always entertaining company.
Since I’m often home during the day, I’ve gotten in the habit of pulling their trash can back to their garage after the garbage truck comes through on Monday mornings. It only takes an extra ten seconds to grab theirs, since I’m grabbing mine anyway, and it has never seemed like a hardship. (I try to get to the older woman’s trash can across the street, too, because it scares me a little as she totters out to retrieve hers, but she nearly always wins.)
Anyway, this morning was trash day, and I was tired and, quite frankly, didn’t feel like going out in the cold when I noticed that our trash can was still back by the shed. I considered the possibility that J had intentionally decided to leave it there as he walked to school this morning because, perhaps, we didn’t have much trash this week. Instead of going out and checking myself, I called him at work. Alas, he had simply forgotten this morning. Still, he was pretty sure we only had a bag or two this week, so he told me not to worry about it. Whew. I hung up.
And then I heard a rumble in the backyard. I paused for a second, filling up my teapot, and listened. The rumble moved around the side of the house, and down the driveway.
It was, of course, our garbage can, miraculously rolling to the curb.
Or maybe not miraculously.
Maybe that’s just what community is.