The good news is I found the toaster today.
The bad news is I have already trespassed on private property and been soundly chastised for it.
The little girls and middle girls had been telling me in a most excited way that they could see a swamp a few houses down when they were riding their bikes. They have been begging me to take them down to explore it, so I finally relented and loaded the baby in the stroller and we all took off.
I could see that the "swamp" was a small pond surrounded by trees at the bottom of a hill in the back of a vacant lot, so I told the girls they could go on down while I followed with the stroller.
They went bounding down there, giggling all the way, shrieking as they saw several turtles dive in the green water to avoid them.
About the time I got halfway there, as the girls began to toss sticks into the water, a lady in the house next to the vacant lot came bustling out her back door wagging her finger.
Do you know how you can tell when someone is really irritated because they emphasize every third word and speak very slowly just in case they might be communicating with a moron?
She had a few things she wanted me to know. "Not only is this private property, but the brush around that pond is crawling with snakes! Poisonous snakes, like copperheads and water moccasins. I would hate for one of those children to get bit and then I'd have a law suit on my hands!"
I immediately called the girls to me and apologized profusely. I thanked her for telling me and her tone softened some when she realized that I truly was unaware that we were trespassing and that I meant no harm. (I did think it was interesting that she seemed more concerned with a law suit than a snake bit child.)
The next day I met the sweet neighbor lady who knows everyone in the circle and never has a bad word to say about anyone. Doesn't every neighborhood have one of these? In our last town, it was Mrs. Nelson. She always brought over Easter treats or Valentine cookies and the kids could always count on her to buy lemonade from them whenever they had a lemonade stand.
This neighbor is Mrs. Anderson. She told me that she would draw and label a map of the circle so I could remember each neighbor's name, but in the meantime she began to rattle off which house belonged to whom.
"Ed and Carol live there. He is recovering from a stroke. Bless his heart. Bob and Susan live next to them, and that house belongs to Chicken Sally." She ended, pointing to the scene of my crime.
Chicken Sally? I had a frozen smile on my face as I could feel my eyes narrow and begin searching the horizon for some clue as to why this sweet lady would call someone Chicken Sally. I hadn't noticed any chickens on her property when we were trespassing.
"Chick retired last year, but Sally is still working."
Then it dawned on me that the husband was named Chick and the wife was Sally! Chick AND Sally, not Chicken Sally!
Ever since then, we have all had a few giggles referring to "Chicken Sally" and her swamp.
It makes me wonder if people think I am called "Markin' Connie". Like I go around with a purple Sharpie markin' on things while no one is looking.
That would explain a lot about the walls in our old house.