December 14th, 2005

bike

The Belonging to Wilson, the final chapter:

never wrote about this when it was happening, but my elderly neighbors, the Belonging to Wilson, are gone and their house was recently sold.

Like many elderly people that have been retired too long, the Belonging to Wilson were a little bit lonely, a little bit stir crazy, and a lot bit suffering from senility. I wasn't sure that Mr. Belonging to Wilson was nuts when he would repeat pleasant and banal conversation openers (that went nowhere because of their banality and repetition), but when he nearly set the house on fire by mistaking the recycle bin for the fireplace, that's when I knew. His wife (who may have not been all there, either, but was comparatively sane) made a valiant attempt to play nursemaid/ babysitter, but the enormity of the task eventually overwhelmed her and they moved to a retirement home, closer to where one of their adult children now lives.

So the house was empty a while while it was prepared for sale (repairing the fire damage from Mr. Belonging to Wilson's wacky hijinks, plus the inevitable undoing of the archaic decorating schemes of elderly people who have occupied a house for 40-50 years), and then the For Sale sign went up. I never saw an open house or any buyers tramping through, but that's not unusual; I made an offer on my house the first day it was on the market, and housing bubble or not, that kind of thing is still occuring. So the sign stayed up the usual month as the buyer went through the joy that is closing the sale.

I saw the moving van outside last weekend, so thought I'd be neighborly and offer my help and introduce myself. Here is what I learned about the new neighbor from chatting with him and helping him carry in boxes:

He's 50 and lives alone
He's slightly chubby, greying, and has a beard
He has 2 schnauzers, who had gone to the groomer the day before and were freshly clipped and shampooed
He owns some nice antique pieces and knows how to reupholster furniture
He had at least 2 boxes labeled "curios".

Needless to say, the immediate nickname that popped into my head for him is The NeighBear.

Ivan has a theory that by decorating/altering your own home, you can choose your future neighbors. By making yard art and siding the garage with CDs, we not only scared away potential buyers that would have been uncompatible with living next to me, but also made the house more inviting to people who are artsy/freaky/antisuburbanite or the like. So far, I'm pretty pleased to have gotten The NeighBear as the successor to The Belonging to Wilson. We shall see how he settles in and how long it takes him to remove the 70's wood panelling the Belonging to Wilson put in the basement, and if the replacement decor is fabulous, or merely gorgeous.