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April 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning—look around you, look forward

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As a wise neighbor of mine likes to say, “Celebrate early and often.” I keep that in mind as I seek out excuses to come together with local friends and neighbors. I don’t know them for as long as I know some of my longer-term friends, some of whom go back decades, but in reality, I don’t see those old friends as much as I’d like (and certainly not as much as I used to) because I live “out there” in Queens and I now have kids, so I can’t come in all the time, the way I used to; over time, our friendships have been maintained by e-mails and quick en-route phone calls from taxi cabs. In that way, living in Forest Hills is not so different from living in the suburbs—your “city friends” simply can’t understand how or why. And still they rarely visit.

In addition to recycling and giving away as much as I can, for me, part of clearing away the drekky feelings of winter is by spending more time with people, particularly the ones in close proximity. If spring is bursting out all over, I want to burst out with it, even though it’s still annoyingly cold outside. More walks with a friend who doesn’t mind accompanying me as I critically access small details in the neighborhood; hitting the playground with the kids; meeting up with friends after the kids are asleep; grabbing a night out with my husband. Just give me something to look forward to.

Right now, high on my list is Passover with family and friends, hanging out with the chess players in MacDonald Park, tracking the mulberry trees in the neighborhood, and hopping on the subway for culinary adventures in Jackson Heights, Astoria, and Woodside, and design cruising in Williamsburg and around Atlantic Ave. I’m also dreaming about a visit to the NY Botanical Gardens to see the Henry Moore sculptures. And even though I always have built-in companions (my kids), that doesn’t stop me from knocking on a neighbor’s doors to see who’s up for doing any of these things. Sometimes, people need that knock on the door to remind them to come out of hibernation.

Any suggestions for things to look forward to are greatly welcome!

Image Sciencenews.org.

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