Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring Break

Dwight asked Dave if he was selling the house.

Dave looked at the big lettered sign and then back at Dwight.

Coughing and clearing his throat, Dave sighed and nodded slowly. "Yes, Dwight. Pam and I have had enough snow. We're getting a place down in Florida."

Dwight was sad. Dave and Pam were the first neighbors to look out for him.  Who would move into their house when they were gone?

"Alligators?" he asked softly, partially out of friendly concern, but mostly to keep things lighthearted. This meant a big change on the road.

It took some tries for Dwight to make himself understood, but Dave eventually grinned and told him not to worry. "They have these newfangled types of gator-repellent now," he explained. "One squirt on Maggy's tail makes her safe from everything 'cept sea sharks and land sharks!"

Dwight sadly spread the news. Everyone on the road was surprised, though not everyone completely understood.  Dwight was used to this kind of uncertainty.  Friendliness and help, mutually given, were what was important.

It took Sharon and Marbles to figure it all out. They'd been walking and had read the sign whose big letters spelled "Town Meeting". They let Dwight know.

After a week Fred agreed to take Dwight shopping. "Only if it's less than $50.00," he said firmly.

In the city they had to go to many stores. Finally they had almost everything for $67.89.

They drove back and unloaded Fred's truck on Dave's front yard.  Before they were done, Dave came out with Maggie and stood watching. Then he went inside to soon return wearing sandals, Bermuda shorts, and large sunglasses with lime bright green frames.  He did not own a Hawaiian shirt, but an old yellowed wife-beater seemed good enough.

Dave pulled some lawn chairs out of the shed.  They sat around, but it was cool enough to drag over the firepot and get it going.  Pam, after laughing from the window, brought out some beers.  She brought Dwight's kind too.

Joe and Chisel almost walked by. Seeing the pink flamingo facing down an inflatable alligator under a plastic palm tree, they reversed course and brought back some tiki torches which they took time to set up: three around the party area and one on each side of Dwight's lawnchair.

Julie from across the street remembered three plaster crocodile parts stacked behind the woodpile. Dwight helped her arrange them on the brown grass. "It looks like it's swimming," he said. And when they could hear him, everyone laughed.

Through the trees, between Dwight's little house and their very big one, Bob and Louise saw the torch glows. They brought over their granddaughter, and everyone vacationed on Miami Beach until it was just too chilly.

Pam brought out a cooler filled with ice and cans of soda and more beer.

She pointed a stern finger at Dwight and told him, "If Dave ever puts up another sign, let me be the one that reads it to you." She looked at Dave for a few seconds and walked back into the house.

Dave snapped open another beer. "Dwight," he said, "You are quite the feller! Ya know that?"

Dwight chuckled and nodded. Yes, he did.

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