Covered in silk and brambles, waving my stake...

Ten days ago, I arrived home at Farfara from three months in London, Washington, and Honolulu (no pity's forthcoming, I know). 

These shenanigans don't sound like anything I would have been party to.  I am a very dignified homeowner.

Nine days ago exactly, I thought about the coming tropical storm, and forced my jet-lagged, befuddled self into the car to go grocery shopping in the now-distant town. It was a process, and I didn't make it home to unpack the groceries until 9 p.m. that night.

When I opened the fridge to discover the celery that D had left there three months earlier, I thought, "I'll just nip out to the composter with this!".  I'm very excited about the composter.  This is one of the ways I can tell middle age is bearing down upon me.  It was only on the walk back that I realized my garden door had locked automatically behind me.  And there was no key anywhere closer than Washington, DC, where I had left a spare with my parents.  Less than twenty-four hours back, and I had locked myself out of the new house, in the dark, with the coyotes.

No keys, no phone, no car, no D, and it's now about 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday.  What's more, I didn't have a lighting source to help me navigate out of our pitch-black 12 acres to the nearest neighbors.

So what should I do, like the intrepid adventurer I am, but pluck a solar-charged light-on-a-stake from the garden and flip-flop my way precariously down rocky, crumbling Farfara Way (as we punningly call my excessive driveway). It took about ten minutes of panicked stumbling in my minute silk dress before I was knocking on the neighbors' door. No answer.  Panic rising.

I hear voices from across the street, by the ocean.  Covered in dirt and brambles, I finally barge in on a large group of my neighbors (only two of whom I'd ever met), having a seaside bonfire party. (It's a weekly event in summer, I gather.) They turn to me, blinking into the shadows after the brightness of the fire.

"Hi, everyone!" I say, waving my glowing stake as non-threateningly as I can, "I'm your new neighbor from up the hill! I seem to have, er, locked myself out of the house...."

The next thing I know, my neighbors have broken out their ladders and are coming en masse in a line of vehicles to scale the sides of my house and break in through the screen windows on the second floor. (Forget that you ever heard me say that this was possible.)

And then they invited me back to the bonfire party, where they told me about the family of otters that have just moved in to our section of shoreline.  I was there 'til after midnight.

Long story short: I love my neighbors.

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