The streets in this small national historic landmark neighborhood are wide and lined with trees. Children play on front lawns. Infants ride like royalty in strollers pushed by mothers or fathers and older by not too many months siblings pull wagons loaded with teddy bears and boxed juice behind them. Cats sun on walkways daring leashed dogs to lunge for them knowing that the humans holding the leashes won't let such an uncivilized thing happen.
Each evening this time of year the neighborhood becomes an informal and spontaneous free farmers' market where back yard produce is given away or exchanged for a different type of produce but whichever way it works out the abundance is shared. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Peaches. Apples. Nectarines. Zucchini. Eggplant.
Last year we bought a cookbook dedicated to the many ways a person can cook zucchini because we had more than we could manage. And we don't even grow the stuff in our back yard. It just kept coming in. Then we went throughout the neighborhood sharing our zucchini bread with neighbors still trying to share their zucchini from the back yard garden.
The apples ripen quicker than we can pick them.
"They're smaller this year but sweeter," a neighbor comments and gives us a bag of peaches in exchange.
The gossip in this neighborhood is not what marriage failed or whose child was busted for smoking pot. Here the hot topic is that new recipe for applesauce and that stuff Dix down the street put on the ground around his plum tree that has turned the fruit such an amazing deep delicious red.