The other day, after swim lessons, the boys and I saw that our neighbor was outside. Hilda and her husband Walt Sr. live two doors down. They are in their ‘70’s and put more work into their backyard than anyone I know. The yard is tricked out with 20 gas Tiki torches, a three-tier terraced garden complete with wooden foot bridge and small café table. This entire oasis, this sanctuary of garden glee, can be enjoyed with the added benefit of the constant babbling and gentle rumbling of their three tier, waterfall and, of course, coy-filled pond.
Hilda is sadly suffering the consequences of fifty years of smoking. She’s done all the Chemo that she can, but it appears her Lung Cancer is beyond help at this point. In October, they gave her less than a year. She now stays in most of the time, venturing out rarely – even to enjoy their pride-and-joy backyard. When the weather is nice enough she occasionally gets outside. She usually only makes it as far as the driveway, where she sits in her electric wheelchair, bald head glinting in the sun, watching their son Walt Jr. work on a car engine or do yard work.
This was what she was doing when we walked over to visit. There was a younger woman with Hilda who, as we approached, disappeared into the house. The boys were a little shy, but did offer Walt Jr. the use of their construction cone to put out in the street since he was working. (The cone goes out when we’re riding bikes …that and Matthew’s police officer stance and arm stretched out signally ‘stop’ usually works well in slowing the occasional car that goes by).
The woman who had disappeared into the house, I learned was Hilda’s daughter Pauline. The moment that Hilda saw that we were going to stop by for a visit she sent Pauline into the house to fetch candy for the boys! She had a huge Hershey bar and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups for each of them. So nice. Matthew immediately said a nice and loud, “Thank you” to Hilda for which I was very grateful. Zach decided to be super shy all of a sudden (rare for that one), and he refused to say ‘thank you.’
But you know what he did say when he was ready to talk?!
Referring to the wrapped Reece’s PB Cups, he all of a sudden said, “My mommy will eat the orange ones.” Dude. Totally blew my cover. The ladies thought that was quite funny.
Zachary. What a charmer! The sweetheart knows how to flirt, how to lay on thick compliments, but yet also knows how to say it like it is.
Today, Zachary was sitting at the table while I made eggs for breakfast. “Mommy,” he said, “You’re a hot girl.” Um, excuse me? Well, yes, it’s true, and I’m so flattered but… “’Cuz,” he continued, “You do hot stuff like cooking on the stove.” Well, so much for that compliment.