Postcard Story: Welcome Wagon

Hey, there! You don’t know me yet, but I’m Haylee. I just moved in with my husband Connor next door, and I’m doing a little goodwill tour around the neighborhood just to say “hi!” so…”Hi!” I’m a little surprised that no one came to see us yet, but I get it: we’re all busy this close to the holidays, and so many of you are working full time.

Your house is absolutely one of the ones that sold us on living here. We love the clapboards, the vintage windows, the little hanging lights from Target on your pergola out back…I admire the ambition! I saw online that you bought in for just $225,000 ten years ago, which was totally a steal, so good for you. I saw a few refinances, so I hope everything’s okay. If you ever want to talk about it over a mimosa, I’m always serving!

Something you should probably know about me is that I’ve got a gift. Not the house – well, that was kind of a combination wedding and college graduation gift from my parents – but a certain talent, as some have said, for making the world better for my being in it. Like, I raise the standards of things around me. You know, so that they’re neater, cleaner, more dignified, more human.

I am so looking forward to helping everyone on this street raise their game. You don’t have as far to go as some of them, like those people over there with the moldy gnome statues imported from the year 1990. Ugh. My mother always said that wealth isn’t just a matter of money, and I guess they must have slunk in during the $200k days when you did.

She also used to say, “No one’s ever too poor to own a broom,” and that’s kinda my motto. I’ve got it stitched in a sampler over my rolltop correspondence desk.

Anyway, I see so much potential in you and your property. You don’t strike me as someone content to stay mediocre, or otherwise why would you have moved here like we did? The people who owned these houses fifty years ago deff weren’t mediocre, and I think you and I can bring a little of their spirit back.

Lawn parties, Halloween Trunk or Treats, Christmas wassailing, ladies in sundresses and men in ties, drinking Manhattans from little metal trays…I see the gears turning in your head too.  

The color of your place is so close to nice, and I can’t wait to take you with me to the Sherwin Williams store to match a new palette with what Connor and I have picked out. We’ve also found a great guy to resod your yard at the same time as ours. We’ll split out the cost through Venmo when the time comes.

Do you have a church home nearby? Am I allowed to even ask that these days with the elites listening to us through Facebook? Ha! I might as well ask your original gender and your race.

Oh, no, I’m not expecting you to tell me. I have a good feeling about you anyway.

The reason I ask is that we’re fixing up that corner room with the external door for my Uncle Gerald, who I might as well tell you has had some times of weakness and temptation in his life. We’re treating him now with the Word of the Lord, and he hasn’t once mentioned either of your kids so it must be working. I mean, they’re fairly attractive in a diverse sort of way so it’s still a fair test. As long as they sleep with their shirts on, everything will be fine, I’m sure.

Speaking of children, it goes without saying that Connor and I will be doing our level best to fill the quiver of Christ with arrows of our own, sometimes loudly and sometimes outside where the spirit of Jesus can reach us most directly like the warm caress of the Sun. We’d appreciate it if you’d, like, not stare if you can help it.

Well, I won’t keep you any longer – I see your dog has eaten whatever sandwich you fixed for lunch, so it must have been good! – but I just wanted to let you know that of all the people on this street, I already feel like you’re kind of a sister to me. That’s one of my gifts, too, drawing good souls closer and scaring the dark ones back into messy old Hell where they eat ethnic foods for all eternity like trailer dwellers.

Oh, hey, I wanted to ask about that feral cat that’s been sniffing around our houses. I went ahead and got a trap from the humane society because the bells on his collar were too rusty for someone to still love him. Has he always been here? He seemed pretty comfortable.   

Well, anyway, keep an eye out for an invitation to the “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” soiree that we’re throwing. The dress code will be inside.

If you ever need anything, just wave through your kitchen window to mine!

Postcard Story: Home Economics

Image courtesy of Shorpy.com.

Why, come on in! No problem at all. Kick the dust of your boots first, though, if you please.

This is it, the ol’ homestead. Built ‘er from plans out of the Sears catalog, and I milled the boards myself instead of buying the kit like some kind of effeminate city dweller. You can’t trust those kits, anyhow, because they’re not all made from true American timber. Some of that gets shipped down from Canada or up from those savage islands, and you can’t never get them spirits out.

You like that bear, huh? I do all my own taxidermy, just like I do all my own hunting. That’s not one of the bigger bears I’ve gotten, but he was wily in a way that some might call preternatural. I found a revolver back in his den. How about that for a kick in the seat? Was it his? Did he find it? I guess I’ll never know now.

Oh, we ain’t bothering Minnie. Deaf as a post, or so I hope. I guess you could say I built her too, though not from plans out of the Sears catalog. Met her back at the church, courted her a few Sundays, and then asked her father for her hand in marriage. One thing led to another and we had a good year, year and a half before she died.

What, you think she just moves real slow?

No, friend, she’s almost as dead as that bear, except for the dreams she still gives me. I sewed her back together after that bear got her, built her a nice new skeleton out of good Douglass Fir, and sometimes I can position her around if I get a mind to. Mostly I don’t because it’s just as good to talk to her from my chair with her working on that sewing project.

A lot of people say that, but that’s just a, what do you call it, optical illusion. Your brain jelly wants her to move so it pretends she does. At most she’ll sway a little at night if the windows are open, or a little more when I’m carrying her upstairs.

Does she smell? What kind of question is that to ask in front of a lady? Of course she doesn’t smell. She doesn’t do anything.

As you can see, your boy ain’t here. I reckon he’s just run off to the woods like they do, but if you wait here while I get my hat and rifle, I’ll come help you find him.