Senior Moments: Days of wine and rovers in our little neighborhood

What would you do if you saw a group of nicely dressed people walking up your block, each carrying a wine glass?

My response was to grab the nearest stemmed glass and join them.

The yearly progressive dinner is a classic on the street where I live. Ensconced in small huddles, we are a roving band waving our empty glasses seeking refills at our next stop. Except for a brief pause during the Covid lockdown, we have been doing this for many many years, the exact number varies on which one of us you ask.

Faces have changed. Families have expanded and families have gotten smaller. Houses have grown second stories. Manicured lawns have evolved into drought-tolerant landscapes with grass being replaced by plants that smile multicolored succulent flowers. New families have moved in.

And yet the essence of the people who live on this block, with mountains as our backdrop, has remained. It is as though the good energy of the house embraces its next inhabitants.

When I am taking an evening walk, if a coyote decides to befriend me and then becomes less friendly, I know I can ring the doorbell of the closest house and welcome refuge awaits me.

Individuals who were once strangers now hang together like the Bougainvillea vines on our fences. Separate families have joined together as one big communal family. Culinary successes and Iris bulbs are shared. Someone recently even graciously pointed out that I had parked my car more on my front lawn than my driveway.

“Want me to back that up for you?”

“Oh, thanks. My car seems to be listing to the left lately.”

“I understand.”

Like most families, we have helped each other through tough times. Earthquakes that shattered our tranquility. Menacing fires that ringed around our foothill community. Wind storms brought trees crashing down through front yard fences.

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“Here, let me help you move those branches that are blocking the way to your car.”

And then there were the neighbors who moved the furniture in my house to make room for the hospice bed being delivered on the day I brought my husband home from the hospital for the last time.

I love clinking glasses with these folks.

Email Patricia Bunin at Follow her on Twitter at PatriciaBunin.

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