When I moved in to my new neighborhood last fall, the weather already had a winter bite to it. Once the snow arrived, the neighbors went in to hibernation. I did meet the woman next door to the north: a pleasant English professor who moved here from Germany. The gentleman to the east is a DIY project guy who works in finance for his day job. I like to call him “Wilson,” as he tends to have good advice. Both neighbors made me feel good about choosing the home and neighborhood.
The neighbor to the south remained a mystery. I observed from a distance and saw a cute little old lady coming and going. Her petite frame carried groceries from the garage to her backdoor in a quick beeline, not paying any attention to my barking dog. I could see her little brunette head over the hedge; it bobbed as she walked.
“That’s a big house just for her,” I thought. She often wore skirts and was just adorable.
Then I saw a second woman, very different looking from the first. A wooden cane helped support her tall stature and her hair nearly glimmered in a snow-white tone. She dressed comfortably, often in white collared shirts and khaki pants.
A few weeks later a third resident appeared: a small woman with white hair and a white grandma-sweater.
These intriguing neighbors certainly kept to themselves. I’m sure it was because of my loud barking dog. Maybe they heard me swear when I hit my finger with a hammer. No matter what, they had no interest in meeting me.
I referred to them as “The Nuns.”
When the snow melted in the spring, more neighbors from down the street surfaced. I had never seen these people before, but it was nice to meet all of them. The Nuns still kept to themselves.
One day Wilson decided he wanted to replace our shared fence. We started talking about the neighborhood and he said something about “The Nuns.” It stunned me. I looked at him and asked how he knew that I called the neighbors by that term of endearment.
“Sarah, they really are nuns,” he said.
“I thought nuns were supposed to be friendly and warm!” I blurted out.
He laughed out loud at my broad assumption.
I explained that the only dealings with nuns I’ve ever had was watching Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Then there was the slumber party in elementary school when I was called a “nun” for not playing with a Ouija board, but there was not an actual nun involved.
Wilson laughed even harder as he listened to me explain my nun experiences.
I had a lot to learn about this nunsense.
That realization deepened one night when I had a pounding headache and went to bed quite early. The season had turned to summer and I gladly slept with the windows open.
Just as I cashed in my ticket to Dreamland, a commotion jarred me from my slumber. Sounds in the neighborhood bounce around differently that I usually expect, so it’s often difficult to pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from. It sounded like someone started a party in their backyard. The noise became so loud that I got out of bed and went downstairs to see what was going on. My dog even barked at all the extra voices.
I peered out the window and looked in to the nuns’ yard. They had a huge gathering of women in the garden.
Great. Not only do the nuns party harder than I do, they also stay up later.