Curmudgeon in training

It’s quiet and peaceful on my back porch today, but it won’t last. New neighbors are on their way, a couple with three young children.

It was inevitable that someday we would get new neighbors. The couple next door are 94 and 95. (I struggled there with whether to use “are” or “is.” I know a couple is a singular thing, but when I turned them into individuals to tell you how old they were, they turned plural. I have a dear friend who blogs about words. This minor dilemma doesn’t rise to the level of interesting language usage that she writes about, but I’m sure she’ll appreciate the diversion.)

In any case, our lovely, elderly neighbors moved to an apartment in the center of town so they wouldn’t have to deal with stairs anymore. He’s been going back and forth to clean out the house and ready it for sale and now, I’ve heard, the deed is done.

Once upon a time, the house was a barn. It’s built into a hill and the back door, which appears to be upstairs from where I sit, opens onto a flat bit that’s blocked from view by a fence. The side yard is separated from that bit by the same fence. A picture should make that clearer. Here you go:

neighbors house

The gazebo jumps out at you, doesn’t it? In twenty years, I’ve never seen either of my neighbors sit there. Because no one uses it, I’ve been able to enjoy it as the bit of backyard kitsch it is. Once filled with children, however, I have no doubt that it will lose its dubious charm.

Maybe the new neighbors’ children will be quiet, clean, charming little things. But when they move in it’s likely that I’ll spend more time on my front porch where there’s no gazebo in sight.

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7 responses to “Curmudgeon in training

  1. Joan M. Geoghegan

    It’s totally OK not to be enthusiastic about small, noisy children.

  2. Ah, my friend you fret needlessly. As noted grammarians have stated, you is to use the plural form of the verb when the subject is plural. Example: Me and my cousins is going to the fair <>. It should be My cousins and me are going to the carnival.

  3. Charles Miller

    I find Ruth Barton’s comment very un-fair!
    (running and hiding)

  4. Aw, I love small, noisy children. Nice gazebo there. Hopefully it’s not as bad as you fear, you curmudgeon! 😉

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