As recent readers will know, I am in the process of moving, but my new place is in the same neighborhood, about six blocks away from the old place. I've been moving stuff in a few boxes at a time (the main items, as longtime readers would probably guess, are books and booze), and getting rid of stuff- clothes I haven't worn in ages (there's a dropoff box for stuff not too far from work), old documents, antiquated electronics (I dropped off a bunch of e-waste this afternoon).
In the course of my move, I've met a couple of the neighbors, one of the upstairs tenants (my new arrangement is eerily similar to the old one- an apartment in a three-family house, I just have an entrance in the back of the place and better yard access), and a next-door neighbor who I took an instant liking to. Leo is originally from Westmeath, and he is exactly the sort of Irishman you'd want for a neighbor- quick with a laugh, eager to lend a helping hand to others, a hearty, good-natured fellow. I also met his yellow Labrador, Setanta, and immediately joked that it was a perfect name for a dog. Leo laughed and noted that his wife is from Ulster, so they named the dog in honor of her roots. He noted that most people that he meets aren't familiar with the name, and I told him that I have Roscommon antecedents, then quickly added that I have Italian, Swiss, and French antecedents as well, then joked, "You need two things in this world, roots and wings." Leo let out a good-natured chuckle at that and I gave Setanta a well-received scratch behind the ear.
I think I'll do just fine in the new place. Here's one for my new doggy friend:
POSTSCRIPT: The one bummer in this move is that Katy, my letter carrier for the past decade, won't be delivering my mail at the new address. She's a really great person, and she knows everything that goes on in the neighborhood. Luckily, I will probably run into her now and again during my strolls through the neighborhood... it's not like I'm going far away.