Community

Good glorious Sunday morning! I had an “Ah-ha” moment this morning. Should I credit Oprah with the “Ah-ha?” I remember at one time Paris Hilton wanted to or did trademark the phrase, “That’s hot.” Ah-ha was around long before Oprah, perhaps Albert Einstein? But I digress. This morning around 10 minutes to 8:00 there was a knock at the front door. It was a little knock and the shape of a small child occupied the tall frosted window on the side of the door. There is only one person who knocks on my door unannounced in the morning and that is Barb. She knows I am awake because either I have trucked out front to get the papers and dropped hers off at her front door or she has done the same for me. We actually met for the first time that way. Since then, it has become a joint effort.

Anyway, back to the knock on the door. Obviously it wasn’t Barb but it was the NEXT person I would expect to knock on the door unannounced early in the morning. It was Barb’s 5 year old granddaughter Ava. I knew Barb had told her it was ok but I also knew that it wouldn’t have mattered to Ava whether she had permission or not. You see, the world revolves around Ava. Or at least it does in Ava’s world and you are definitely IN Ava’s world when you are around her. Every single time she comes to her grandmother’s house she will turn every picture around towards the wall if she is not in said picture. It doesn’t matter if it is a picture of one person or 10 people. If she’s not in it, that picture gets turned around for the duration of her visit. Go figure! Don’t get me wrong, she is one of the most fascinating young children I have ever met. For those of you who really know me, that is saying a lot for Ava’s character. One of my favorite things about Ava is when she cannot understand something I have said to her. She will always respond in the most adorable Aussie accent, “Pardon?” It’s cute to hear but it is also displays the manners of this culture.

But I digress again. I opened the door to Ava holding a small ramekin. She promptly went into her spiel, “I’m wondering if I may have an egg. You see, I woke up at “Bob’s” house because I spent the night and I wanted scrambled eggs for breakfast. Bob said I could ask you for one.” Obviously there had been a discussion about the lack of eggs at Barb’s and Ava wanted a solution for her desire for scrambled eggs. I can only imagine said discussion – it is always fascinating to watch the communication between this grandmother and her 13th (“thirdeeenth” in Aussie speak) grandchild. Anyway, I gave her the egg and was extremely surprised she had no time for morning conversation. That’s never happened. Ava always wants to talk – the scrambled egg conversation with Barb must have taken some time and I suppose she was pretty hungry by then.

The Ah-ha moment came after Ava left when I realized that our social “communities” in the United States rarely come from our own neighborhood. It USED to be this way but not anymore. I remember growing up in a neighborhood with tons of families with tons of kids but there were also elderly couples and single individuals. You had cookouts at each other’s homes on the weekends. You never called before you randomly knocked on their door for a cup of sugar or perhaps an egg…. it seems as though the American society has moved their communities outside the neighborhood. Why is this? Is it because our children are so involved outside the home in extra-curricular activities? I haven’t thought much about this – it’s still in the Ah-ha moment. It DOES seem to confirm my thoughts that the Australian culture is now like the American culture was in the 1950’s and 1960’s. AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!

The Actress Next Door

As it turns out, our neighbours are both involved in the film industry.  Alexandra Davies is an Australian actress and her husband is a cinematographer who has just returned from a job filming events at the Australian Open.  Later this year they are headed to Los Angeles where Alex is going to work on continuing her career.  They have a really cute little boy named Indy that MBD and MBW baby sit and play with from time to time.  Hope to see her on the big screen again soon!  (Actually, we are more used to the regular lady next door without makeup on than the glamour shot shown below!)