Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood; won't you be my neighbor"?

I heard her say, “it’s beautiful, isn’t it”?  I’m on the fourth floor and the woman’s voice was quite near.  I stood up out of my own Private Jungle and saw a woman on a balcony facing me.  She lives next door.  “What are you growing”?  I tell her tomatoes, cucumbers, cow peas, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, and okra ( I know that the English call them lady's fingers, because her accent was definitely not native to the U.S. and it wasn't English either).  I wave at the bolted greens and let her know they have to be replanted.
Emerging Lady's finger 
She smiles and says it reminds her of the garden she had in her country.  She says her mother gives her reports daily on how much everything has grown.  She says I should be pleased.
I thank her.  As she turns to leave her balcony I ask her for her name.  She says, “Kasha”.  I tell her my name.  Now I know the name of my next door neighbor.
This melon is safe from having its heart ripped out by my sister
Who would have guessed that planting some containers with fruit and vegetables on my deck would cause my neighbors to speak?  Sometimes, just minding your own business is all that it takes in this City to be unseen.    It’s like getting a dog and walking down the block all over again.  People always want to speak to you when you have a dog.  Actually, they usually want to talk to the dog.  I think I’m grateful I can’t walk my vegetables and fruit.


  1. I'm so glad to know what an emerging Lady Finger (I just call it okra) looks like!

    Have never grown them and we're not seeing any fruiting yet, but stand by... the day's a comin'.

  2. H2: We've had several coming in for a while. Today I saw a different type of Okra plant at the Edible Gardens at Lincoln Park. It created a wonderful cream flower with a blood red center. It was breathtaking but I didn't have my camera.