All posts in neighbors

storm damage

Words cannot really describe what my street, neighborhood, entire city look like after a devastating storm last Friday night. So here are some numbers and photos instead.
130-year-old (someone counted the rings!) Elm tree, which hit 2 cars on its way down
Just one of three trees on our block to fall all the way across the road
Three garbage bags full of food I had to throw away because the power was out from Friday night to Sunday night (and I was at a cabin in Wisconsin with friends, having a delightful time in my ignorance of what was happening back home). By the time I got back Sunday afternoon, most everything was beyond salvage.

Over 600,000 Minnesotans without power (some still don’t have service back).

One major intersection between my house and the freeway still blocked by a tree and live power wire, a full five days after the storm.

Early estimates say that we lost more trees in Minneapolis during this storm than we did when the tornado hit the city in 2011.
Luckily, I also had:
0 ounces of water in the basement
0 trees on top of the house
0 instances of external damage whatsoever
We’re especially lucky that dad had borrowed the car for the weekend to drive to Wisconsin, because normally I park it right where that tree fell…
Continue your prayers for Mpls please! If that’s your thing. Warm fuzzy thoughts welcome too.


How many of you have Aztec dancers for neighbors? I learned tonight that I do. And they are awesome.

dancing in the street

I was all settled, tucked into bed. But the music wouldn’t stop. Trumpets, trombones… I could even hear a tuba. Not too loud, but loud enough that it kept waking me up every time I started to fall asleep.

“Am I imagining it?” I wondered. “Is one of my neighbors just playing their stereo too loud?”
Nothing to see out my window. Sigh. Back to bed.
Louder, now. Can’t sleep. Slippers on, alarm off. Out the front door — following the music.
Down the block and across the street: a brass band. People dancing quietly in the street. This is no party, that is obvious. But something.
I watched for a while, and listened. Pajamas but no jacket, a light rain on and off. Finally someone from the circle of dancers turned toward me, and I asked, “what is happening here?”
“It’s the Brass Messengers. They knew Ethan.”
It takes her a few moments to comprehend my blank stare.
“The man who was killed in the accident. You know. And the Brass Messengers.”
I’m sorry, I don’t know. I work out of town; I’m not home much. What happened?
“The car accident. It’s been in the paper.”
Oh. I only get the Strib on Sundays.
“It’s a memorial concert, I guess. A remembrance.”
Which explains the subdued but emotion-filled music. The long trombone solos and the eerie melodies. I understand, now.
“I’m new to the neighborhood,” I explain, “but I heard the trumpets, and I followed them here.” She tells me all about the group, and about the accident. He had the right of way, but the other car never stopped. I saw the wreckage this morning on the way to work without realizing its significance — a brick sign and garden planter for a neighborhood church, smashed to pieces. It caught my eye, and I remember thinking “if they haven’t seen it yet, someone is about to have a bad day.” But I didn’t know it involved a neighbor.
The music and dancing went on for a while. Not raucous dancing. More just swaying and holding hands. Dancing for comfort.
I walked home when the music ended, thinking about what it means that a group of neighbors spent their evening dancing in the street in honor of one of their own. I think I’m lucky to live here.

flash flood

This was my street about three hours ago. The power had just gone out, and it had only been raining for 10 or 15 minutes. I had just been lighting the candles on my porch, getting ready to watch the storm…

That was when I saw the water start rising in the street. By the time I made it out there with my camera, the water was over the curb and halfway up my shins.

The good news: no water in the basement, and no fallen trees. I’d gotten the car in the garage just minutes before the hail (that’s a whole other story – but let’s just say, it would have been a lot easier with another set of hands. An electric garage door opener is now much higher on my priority list.)
Some of my neighbors weren’t so lucky:
The tree is also blocking one of the main roads between my house and the freeway. Which explains why my street has been a lot busier than usual tonight – although, I hear the freeway was flooded, too, so maybe it’s just as well that people couldn’t get to it.
All in all, a pretty exciting evening here. I got to meet a lot of my neighbors when we were all out looking at the tree and cleaning up fallen branches in our own yards. The power was out for about three hours, so I’ve been enjoying the late evening breeze on my front porch, watching bugs on the ceiling in the flickering candlelight and listening to the last drops of rain.

Kind of awesome, actually.

Guess who’s coming to the neighborhood?

Exciting news alert! It’s official: the Nomadic Millers are settling down back in Minneapolis after three years abroad, and they happened to find a house in my new neighborhood. In fact, they’ll be just two blocks from me! (I staked it out a few weeks ago and sent them some photos, since they’re still in Thailand).

Keith and Julia are two of my favorite people in the world (which is lucky because they’re family so I’m stuck with them anyways). This is us in Thailand last fall when I went a-visiting:

Not to mention, I have another amazing cousin (from the other side of the family) renovating a house of her own just down the road. I’ve never lived this close to so much family in my life. I can’t wait until we’re all moved in! Maybe I’ll even stick around for some holidays from now on.

– LG

Empty House

After the closing on Thursday, I went over to the house for a little while to take pictures and check on some things. First, I was surprised by this lovely housewarming gift from the sellers:

Isn’t that sweet?! Matt’s is my favorite place, and I can’t wait to use the gift certificate. They were so nice throughout the whole process. The even left me a map of the garden:

And, within the hour I was at the house, I met two new neighbors. One knocked on the door after he saw me taking pictures on the porch – he and his wife just bought their first house across the street about a year ago. My neighbor directly across the street was playing catch with her son in the yard when I left. Both are named Chris (the neighbors I met, not the mom and son). No way am I going to complain about friendly neighbors 🙂

So here are a few shots of the house, now that it’s empty! Won’t be that way for long…

The moving-in has officially begun:

– LG