The Two Js

by Bella Rum

IMG_9731H is playing golf with my brother-in-law today. It’s a beautiful day for it. It’s 12:30 pm and it’s only 81º. It’s only supposed to get up to 89º, but I’m thinking it may not make it. I’ll take it. The heat and humidity have been overwhelming here. I guess I’ve mentioned that a couple of times.

My new neighbors are slowly revealing themselves. Remember when H met Jimmy when he was mowing the lawn next door, his grandmother’s lawn? He is twenty-one or two, and lives with his parents at the end of the cup-de-sac. He told H not to be surprised to see his mother at our door with a coffee cake.

Yesterday, after we got back from our barbecue run, H took a nap. I was making like a limp dish rag on the sofa, ceiling fan whirring, sans bra, sipping ice water and watching something about those escaped prisoners when the doorbell rang. You should have seen me scamper. H had just opened his eyes, but he went to the door, better for me to reign in my bodaciousness. No way to meet and greet new neighbors. I was so frantic in the rush that I put my pants on backwards. No matter. I wanted to meet the neighbors before they escaped.

When I finally got myself together, I joined everyone at the front door. Jennifer and Jim (Jimmy must be a Jr.) were standing on the doorstep, and H was holding a good-looking homemade coffee cake.  I tried to get them to come inside so we could close the door to keep the AC inside. I could see that Jennifer was melting, but they said they were on the way to a friend’s house for dinner. We talked for a bit and they started down the walk. I closed the door and immediately asked H what their names were. He could only remember Jennifer. Wouldn’t you think it would be Jim because we’re familiar with Jimmy? I grabbed the door and whipped it open and asked, “Um, what are your names again.” “We’re the two Js, Jennifer and Jim.” I told them that’s the way I would remember it, but I’m writing it here just in case.

They left us with the delicious coffee cake and a couple of forms: one was for volunteering for committees: Architectural Review, Landscaping, Newsletter, social, etc. H may be interested in the landscaping. The dues are very low here: $100 annually. Mostly for snow removal or a couple of other things. Everything else is done by the residents, and it is beautiful. There isn’t much to do other than the entrance. It’s such a small neighborhood.

The other form that Jennifer brought was a “natural gas interest survey.” We don’t have gas in this community, but the community next to us does. If enough people are interested, it will be less expensive to bring it through the neighboring community rather than the street. So. We are interested. We’ll see. Our AC/heat is fifteen-years-old. It was even older in our other house. We were going to have to replace our heating and AC sooner or later whether we moved or not, but it’s better to replace it here because…. well…. it feels better to pay for something you’re actually using. Of course, it may be awhile before we get gas. Who knows?

I asked them about Jennifer’s mother’s house next-door. They do plan to sell it. She said that they are slowly going through her parents’ things. She sounded a little overwhelmed. Her mother is in long-term care. Jennifer and Jim’s house is very large and does not have a first-floor bedroom. I asked if they ever thought about switching houses (Jennifer’s mom’s house is a rancher) and selling their house. She said yes, but they want to move further south. I thought to myself that I’d do just about anything to avoid selling and buying at the same time, but I think Jim believes the warmer climate will agree with him.

Jim mentioned that he had arthritis. Hoping he’d finally found someone he could beat, H immediately asked if he played golf. Shameless!

Of course, he does not.

H was so disappointed, but continues his quest for the man he can beat at golf. He only ever plays with my brother-in-law who lives in Florida during the winter and here in the summer. He plays two or three times a week all year-long. I’m not moving to Florida.