Last week’s unrelenting cold and rain has retreated, in the face of the weather that makes autumn. Heavy fog in the valley yesterday morning smelled simply wonderful. The sun burnt it all away, and the afternoons this week have been sharp, crisp. I’ve made excuses to be outdoors.
This evening after supper, sitting in the living room, knitting, a gang of young boys tore up and down between my trailer and Mr. Next Door, yelling like wild young boys. It reminded me of my childhood, and children running and yelling in the evenings, between homes on forty foot lots.
The evening news was still on, dusk closing in fast, and there was a knock at the door. I opened it, and startled several youngsters. “Can Laura come out?” queried the biggest boy. “I’ll ask,” I replied, swallowing my amusement over the sweat streaked face and muddy sneakers on my porch, and Miss Teen America in the next room.
I went to ask and heard she must be in the shower, so I told my Norman Rockwell worthy young fellow, “No, not now.” In my absence, the rest of the gang had collapsed on my porch, three on the bench, one on the steps, one still in the drive. “Who can I say called?” I asked, and I thought I heard “Jay” among the syllables.
“A young man named, I think, Jay,” called for you, I told Laura a few minutes later. “J-J?” “I really don’t know.” “Like, twelve years old!?” “That’s close.”
“We’ll just see about that!” Wet hair snapped behind her, out the door and down the steps, five feet one of indignation.
An inch of knitting later, she was back, on the sofa, in charge of the TV controls. “Well, he won’t do that again!” “Do what?” “Ding, dong, ditch!” “What?” “Ding, dong ditch. Ring the bell and run.”
“But, he asked for you.”
“That’s because you scared ding, dong ditch right out of him when you answered the door.”