Thursday, July 19, 2018


It started early yesterday morning. Banging, thumping. Our new neighbor must be having some kind of work done. I think when I met her the other day she said something about all new floors.

Bang, bang, bang. Pause. Thump, thump, thump.

We live in a community of quadroplexes: houses built in groups of four. The back wall of our house is connected to our neighbor to the right. It has rarely been an issue, except when I worry that my husband’s guitar playing (with amp, mind you) might be reverberating through the connection. We once shared a mouse. My neighbor finally caught it on her side.

Recently our beloved neighbor moved. I’ve been on the lookout to meet the new one. I want to be the kind of good neighbor that our old neighbor always was for us. And so I did stop to introduce myself and my daughter when I saw her head towards the house next door. She seemed a bit surprised that anyone would do that.

She’s young, confident. Firm handshake. That’s really all I know so far.

Bang, bang, bang. Thump, thump, thump.

It was still going on when we went to bed, and we heard a power saw as well.

There was a time in my neighborhood when residents were concerned that no one wanted to buy these houses anymore. Original owners were leaving, couldn’t find buyers, and so they were renting. The general consensus was that too many renters might mean too many owners not on site caring for their properties.

Also, during the recession, houses were staying on the market for a very long time. Owners wondered if the value of their houses was sinking. Combined with the usual “Oakland Mills is a dangerous place to live” rumours that always seemed to pop up as soon as another was extinguished, it was a worrisome time in my little quadroplex community.

Bang, bang, bang. Thump, thump, thump.

So much has changed since then. People have figured out that ours are among the few affordable starter homes in Columbia. The financial recovery has prompted more home buying. New neighbors are also investing in their homes through home improvements. All new floors, for instance.

We have a rich variety of things to complain about in Columbia. If you don’t believe me, go online or read the newspaper. You won’t find me complaining about a day of banging and thumping, though. I will admit that it had begun to wear on me by the time I went to bed. But it’s a sign of belief in my little neighborhood. A sign of ownership.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

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