I've got a wacky neighbor. When I first moved in almost four years ago, she was right there waiting to greet me. I have a tendencies to attract crazies, and I've learned to go with it. It's usually easier than dodging them. (Just last night, I made accidental friends with Fun and Friendly Hans from Germany at the airport bar while I was waiting for Friend-with-a-Truck's flight to arrive.)
Anyway, the wacky neighbor is a witch. She knows spells and can talk to animals. One time she lured my roommate's runaway cat out from the bushes by getting down on her hands and knees and having a conversation with him. Another time she showed up on my doorstep with freshly cooked borscht, and several other times she's sent her grandkids over with banana bread or little trinkets.
I've grown quite fond of her over the years, mostly because she's always got the answer, whether it's about cooking, or art projects, or animals, or love, or humanity. She's a wacky woman, but she's very wise.
This morning she knocked on my door around 8:30 am. I was on my 4th "snooze," and I assumed it was a religious solicitor. Maybe I'd read their pamphlet later, or maybe the wind would toss it straight to the recycling bin. But the solicitor was persistent, and I figured I should wake up anyway. So I went downstairs in my pajamas and saw Wacky Neighbor barefoot and grinning at me.
"Good morning, Wacky Neighbor," I said.
"Do you knit?" she asked.
"I have been known to knit," I answered.
"Hurry, take my hand, and come over to my house with me. I've got something for you. You're going to scream when you see it."
This might be exactly what Hansel and Gretel heard before they stuck their heads in the oven, but I decided it wasn't too early for a good morning adventure. So I obliged. Also barefoot.
Her house, as you might imagine, is full of cats.
I followed her upstairs, where I watched her have a nice conversation with her labrador, who honestly seemed like he understood everything that witch said. Then we poked around in a closet, full of all kinds of treasures. She said she's been ill, which is why I haven't seen her, and she wanted me to have a few things she wouldn't be using anymore, and would I be so kind as to pry free that wicker chest?
After re-locating multiple framed photos and prints, I was able to liberate the chest.
"Now, take that home straight-away. Don't peek until you're home. Then you can call me. But I know I'm going to be able to hear you scream from here."
Again, very Brothers Grimm, don't you think?
But I took the box home, and found all kinds of treats inside. Loads of alpaca yarn, a ton of knitting patterns, needles of all sizes, an almost-complete alpaca sweater, and an almost-complete U of L colored baby blanket.
Things I've learned:
1) Always say yes to the wacky neighbor.
2) Everyone's getting alpaca socks for Christmas this year.