Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life in L.A.

This past September, Leon and I moved into our new home in St. Charles. Beyond the blessing of the house, and the quiet location on a cul de sac that backs woods and the Katy Trail, and the :30 second "commute" to get Sydney to her caregiver's house each day, we've discovered the unexpected blessing of absolutely incredible neighbors.

We started to figure this out shortly after moving in, when Friday after work and Saturday afternoons found neighbors gathering in big groups on the corner up the block. And then there was the family harvest fest in October with bobbing for apples and pot luck and the street closed off for the event. Then, we had a winter progressive dinner - which was great, and now that spring has sprung we had another progressive dinner, followed by late night carousing around the fire pit at the neighbor's right next door. Oh, and a fireworks display. About 3 dozen people were part of the fun.

Yup. Living in L.A. (that's Lower Addyston Place) is pretty fantastic. It's something we all seem to appreciate - that old-fashioned notion of really knowing your neighbors. Sitting by the fire, the families with young kids were passing the video monitor around because we all could see our babies on various channels (and check on those babysitters, right?) And we had the joyful fun of laughing and talking and the BEST part was that none of us work together, and so we didn't "talk shop", which happens way to often among like-minded pals who also share a watercooler.

We love our new neighborhood, but I think what I am going to love best is not the new house, but the old-style of relating with the people who we might be living near for the next 40 years. I have a feeling that's something that's pretty hard to find, and pretty great to have.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A little taste of NOLA

"What we play is life." ~ Louis Armstrong
Many of you know that Leon and I love New Orleans. We know that people either "get that" or they quite simply don't.

I had the chance to spend three days there last week for the LEA Administrators' Conference, and of course made time late one evening to take in some jazz at Preservation Hall. I thought I'd share a clip to give you a sample of one of the many things we appreciate most about NOLA. So enjoy this little sound byte of the Paulin Bros. Brass Band. And please, tap your toe a little.