From her second floor front porch Helen was sitting as usual watching the street. "Hi Helen, how are you?" I answered. "I'm still in my pajamas! My friend and I are going down to Hunter Mountain for brunch."
"Pajamas, its noon! You mean Linner, half way between lunch and dinner." I made Helen laugh.
We talked like this for a few minutes. She always wants to know what I am up to. She was happy to hear I baked cookies for Shana and Dan like she told me to. My landlords upstairs, Shana and Dan are half way through baking a first born. They make me happy. Helen fusses over them and they fuss over her. We all talk to each other from our porches.
Helen is Aunt Helen to the family on the first floor of her house. To the rest of the neighborhood she is just Helen, the wise old woman with sharp eyes and large heart who glues our block together.
Somedays I will come home and she is in my front yard pulling weeds with Shana. Sometimes she's leaning over the railing in a conversation with Dan a porch over. Most often she is corralling her nephew and great nieces into the house for dinner.
Today I am stopping over to deliver a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on my way to school. Communities are a rare thing and when you find yourself in one all of the sudden, behave accordingly to make it stronger. I'm thankful for it. I blame Helen.