My mom reads these books about a street. Each chapter is about a different person or family that lives on the street and how they all intertwine. Let me tell you, living on Hammerstone is better than any old book. Every time I have chemo and am reduced to being my house for a week or taking my daily walks through the neighborhood to help stop the pain from the shot, I become even more aware of the humor (and love) on my street. It has taken me some time to be able to gather all the needed pictures to actually put this post together. However, it will be one of my favorites. I must ask forgiveness before I start. I mean no harm by this post but have to share some of the joys I have found living here.
I’d like to start with my “Elle’s Angels.” This is Danyelle and Rachelle. They live only three and two house away, respectively. Now, that may seem close but there are days when one house between us seems like a football field. These two are unbelievable. They are alike in so many ways. Both suffer from what I call “over active imagination” but most people call it anxiety. They worry about every car that passes and freak out if there is a police car anywhere in the neighborhood. Their imagination is so creative that once there was an oil line running the roads of our neighborhood and they became so obsessed with it that Rachelle followed it to 1st Street. I know Danyelle would have gone with her if she’d had the chance. Between the two of them, the single-handedly keep Maverik financially stable. Although, Danyelle has reduced her soda intake drastically, leaving Rachelle with the sole job of keeping Maverik open. She’s doing on her Diet Coke intake alone.
They have their quirks. But let me tell you, they are a Relief Society President’s dream come true, minus the visiting teaching consistency. They seek acts of service and go beyond the call of duty. They recognize when people need help physically, spiritually, financially, and even lack a little humor in their lives. They are reliable and helpful and practical. Both are kind and giving to very best of their ability.
Now, they have some differences. Rachelle is all about sports. She lives for March Madness. She coaches everything. She feeds her kids and everyone else’s in the neighborhood according to the three P’s: pizza, processed good, and pop. She never stops moving. She can dance a mean dance but only to songs she likes (Vanilla Ice: Ice Ice Baby being a classic) and is more into music than she thinks. Danyelle is flower of her own color. She comes from a life story that I can never hear enough of. She reads so fast it blows me away. She has spot on her couch that allows her to see everything going on in the neighborhood and still read her books. She is creative and has the ability to make anything you can find on Pinterest. However, she knows nothing about sports and picks her March Madness bracket according to color of uniform. They are the perfect match for friendship. I love that they both love to run, usually together but they end up scaring each other so bad when they do (dang imagination of theirs) that even a little dog seems to big to pass.
Between our three families their are 10 kids, 5 belonging to Rachelle. They are ages 11 (Kaysha), 10 (Marina), 8 (Spencer), 8 (Max), 7 (Kenzi), 6 (Hailee), 5 (Maximo), 4 (Jayce), 4 (Bryce), and almost 2 (Calvin). However, age means nothing on this street. Some days the older kids play together and some days they all play together. Then, there are days when the Marina plays Hailee or you find Kenzi with Maximo or Max with all the girls, no boys in sight. However, somehow, little Calvin makes into every game the girls play. He is like a living baby doll. He hates but if it gets him outside, he’s in.
The creativity of these kids is unreal. I have seen them play dang near everything. They love to race their scooters and bikes around the block. However, my favorite of all times was last year’s infamous game of Pioneers and Bandits. It came complete with long pioneer skirts and bonnets for the girls, while the boys had handkerchief masks and one straw cowboy hat they had to share. It eventually ended with several pioneers and bandits laying dead on the lawn from a big shoot out with finger guns.
The relationship between the kids makes homework nearly impossible. The very moment they get home, each house is filled with the echoes of “can I go play?” This will be heard after every single math problem is done, a page is read, or spelling word written. Dang the smart kids that get their homework done fast and are outside on bikes making noise to indicate they are ready. They make it so frustrating to the already exhausted mother losing the homework war. But they don’t steal or lie or mean to hurt feelings (although it happens). These are the kind of kids you hope you kids have for friends until they finish high school. These are kinds of friends that no matter what happens at school, they all know that when they get home, there is group of friends that can’t wait to include them.
This is a short topic. Why? Well, because none of them talk much. Some of them golf together. They all grill together but besides just talking business and sports that is really about all there is to say.
Get real! There are 10 kids in three houses and they follow each other around like a herd of cats. No house is every clean. If it is, it will only have a few minutes before the tornado of children tear through it and leave a trail of destruction, empty cups and chip crumbs. The noise alone can make you crazy. Thank goodness of summer, when you send them all outside to burn in the sun.
The best part has to be the bizarre things that have collected in the yards. I have a playhouse that is often mistaken for a doghouse. It’s huge. What kind of a dog do people think I have, a St. Bernard? It can hold all 10 kids at once but it is usually where we find Calvin, popping out the window during Meat Parties. There was one incident where hornets had formed a nest above the door and the kids couldn’t get inside for a few days until Josue took care of it but no harm was done, except to the hornets.
On to the cars, and I don’t mean for adults. We have quite the collection of Cozy Coupes. It’s pretty impressive. We will start with Maximo’s camouflage hunting vehicle. It was gift from Santa Clause. He doesn’t really fit in it any more but it can’t be given away for two reasons. First, he loves it. Second, the neighborhood kids love it. Now, lets move on to Bryce and Jayce’s Coupes. I’m not sure what color they were originally but, as a huge Oklahoma Thunders fan, Rachelle painted them both orange and blue. Now, they are usually in the road with one kid in his and the other kid pushing one, or as seen here with Bryce on top. Finally, lets move to the newest addition to our coupe family, Cavlin’s truck. It would be nice let Calvin play in it but what fun is a coupe if there is only one driver. It’s very seldom that the actual driver of any coupe has his own coupe. Apparently, it is way more fun to drive someone else’s.
This is followed the nonstop battle of bikes, scooters, skateboards, and rip-sticks that clutter our front yards. They are everywhere. You are seldom allowed to part in the driveway during summer because our cement drives are park lots for all of the modes of transportation used to move kids the twenty yards it takes to get from house to house.
I have to include a quick word about the treasures found in the neighborhood. First, Danyelle has the best fence every created. In her front yard is a fence no more than two feet tall, if that. I have no idea what it’s purpose is. I know it was put there by the people living there before her and I am still wondering what it was supposed to hold in. It’s hilarious! But not as hilarious as the Easter Egg painted rocks in Rachelle’s front yard. It is awesome that Rachelle has a collection of such beautifully painted stones just left in her yard to be thrown away. (I say that sarcastically.) It’s as if Rachelle was worried that her stones were going to get mixed with other stones in the neighborhood so she strategically sent her kids out to paint all of hers so that she could gather them up if they got lost. The are a wide array of colors, but mostly blues.
I walk this street three or more times a day after getting a chemo shot. I see these funny things all the time. I love them. Now, there are people and kids from around the corner that occasionally creep onto our street and play. We love them! We wish they came more. There is always room for more kids, clearly 10 isn’t enough. I just wanted to share a little piece of the adventure I live every day. I see it from my window, although not as clearly as Danyelle from hers, or when I walk to wear off the pain. It’s pretty awesome. This street is unreal. I’d say it’s “Amazing.”