I've only known my neighbor, Allie, for about five years. I met her when I first started dating Pup. She is friendly, funny, sassy, opinionated, hard-working, lovely.
She wears leggings and tunic tops. Rakes her leaves even when her children beg her not to. Rides her bike even in the winter. Works for the Star Tribune hoisting newspapers onto a conveyer belt. Gives you presents of elaborate, birded Christmas wreaths. Reminds you of the city ordinances when you forget (do NOT leave your garbage can out until Saturday).
She colors her hair, wears eyeliner and mascara and lipstick every day, looks lovely and put together.
She is also 87 years old.
Pup told me a story about Allie that happened just before I moved in. Allie lives on one side of us and on the other side is a rental property with about 25 people living there (yes, a slight exaggeration). Very messy people. Their crap continuously would blow around our yard and ultimately into Allie's.
One day she had enough. She gathered up tons of the crap, marched over to the renter's house, opened up the front door (it was warm out and only the screen door was closed), and threw the trash in their door!
God, I howled for days after hearing that one.
When Barnabee (Barney, my dad, and Momma Bee) stayed with us during the month of June, he would move his Honda out onto the street to sit under a tree. Allie gently reminded him a couple of days in a row that cars were only allowed on the street for 12 hours (or whatever the time - I don't even know!) and he needed to get it back in our driveway.
Again - one day she had enough of my dad's shenanigans and left a firmly worded note on Barnabee's Honda. I love that woman. She is the Gladys Kravitz of the neighborhood.
My office faces the street and every day, when Allie would get home from her newspaper-hoisting job, I would see her don her bike helmet and go for a ride.
I chatted with her many times when I was out walking George. She loved dogs and has a bossy cat of her own that she had named "Butthead" from Beavis and . . . She would beg me to let her walk my dog. I never let her because George weighs 75 pounds and I've seen him knock over 200 pound men. She never let me forget that. Couldn't understand why I was being so selfish!
Allie died last week. Suddenly. We are so sad. She will be missed just terribly in this neighborhood. They don't make them like Allie anymore.
I will do my part by picking up her Gladys Kravitz torch and stick my nose into everyone's business. I've been training with Allie's guidance for years.
Miss you Allie. Keep everyone straight up there will you? I count on it.