Our expansive Albuquerque pad is dubbed by my roommate Michael and I as “G-Unit,” because our unit is “G.” (For an apartment letter, it’s definitely the best one to have, – so gansta. . . yo.) G-Unit sits smack in the middle of sort of an odd space. Adobe house on one side, an alley on the other, the Christian Science Reading room on the opposite side of the street and a large bank with a drive thru on the north side. I’ve seen Christian Science Reading Rooms before and always wondered what they are. Hmm. . . I spy an adventure – and possibly a shenanigan – on the horizon.

But first, meet my neighbors across the alley. Phil and Diane. Their houses are connected. Except Phil’s is nicer with a huge tree in the back yard that is glowing in the springtime morning air with magical new green buds. The day the buds first popped was last week. I had a personally and professionally difficult week last week, but still managed to notice the popping of the buds. No matter what is going on in life, no matter how hectic or crazy, I try to notice the subtle change of winter to spring. . . those first moments of the earth waking up from it’s long winter’s nap are complete magic.

And as I was headed to the dumpster, I ran into Phil and introduced myself and we just stood there together in awe and amazement of his budding tree in the pink morning sunrise. We chatted a little about the neighborhood. He’s lived here twenty years. Seems like a cool, older hippie dude. And he drives an old Jag – not that what sort of car someone drives impresses me, but when I happen to notice not one but three older Jags sitting behind the houses in the alley across from me, I tend to perk up and notice quirks like that.

I asked him what he thought of our little art loft complex, brand spankin’ new. And he slowly said, “Well, it looks better than it did. Used to just be an empty lot. Kinda ugly really.”

A couple of days later, a lady cut through the parking lot with her two large dogs. She headed to the house next to/connected to Phil’s and I stopped her. We talked for awhile and she mentioned she’s lived in the neighborhood for twelve years. “Oh you know Phil then,” I said. “I met him the other day.”

“Phil’s my ex-husband.” She smiled.

“I knew it!” I said. “I knew something was up when I saw the cool old Jags.” I told her. That you were family or something.”

“Yeah, something.” She laughed.