So, we're officially taking over. We totally own this place. From the street, it looks like a nice, friendly subdivision, that Mt. View Community. But if you go to the end of the neighborhood and turn onto Hill Ridge Drive, the last street on the right, you'll enter into our territory. We call it the Hill Ridge Hood. There are 5 houses on this street. The first one doesn't really count, because it's on the corner. The second one is currently empty and up for sale/rent. Then there's our house. Directly across from us is Charles and Emily. Next door to them is Kris and Emily. After that, the street dead ends. The 3 of us together (technically 6 of us, but you know, 3 couples) are completely taking over the street.
I never imagined that we would love this set up so much, but we totally do. It's awesome. We seriously wake up and can't believe that this is our real life. We're always in our front yards hanging out with each other. It all started when the boys began helping each other with the landscaping. Then we just realized how great it was to be spending time in our "common area" - the street. Nobody ever drives by; there's no reason to come that far on the street unless you're coming to one of our houses. So, pretty much, we own it.
What are boys going to do when they have both sides of an entire end of a street to themselves? Well purchase and set up a basketball goal, of course. We wondered how long it would take until they got a group toy, and it was apparently barely one month. They even drew free throw lines and 3 point lines with sidewalk chalk. (I think after the last rain, they replaced it with an "around the world" setup.) We girls sit out there and cheer for our husbands as they dunk on the lowered hoop and play "street ball," mercilessly fouling each other. A few times, basketball has turned into a full-contact sport with body checks and tackling people out of bounds. When there's no grown-up around to enforce rules, I guess the boys can play as scrappy as they'd like.
Since we practically own the street, we've begun cooking out on the sidewalk all the time. Everybody brings their own meat and we share baked beans and potato salad and drinks. The beverage of choice is most definitely the red kool-ade Kris graciously provides. (Seriously, we're kids.) We've been known to grill steaks, pork chops, even salmon, but my all-time favorite will always be hamburgers and (Nathan's brand) hot dogs. Yum. I could do it every single weekend. In fact, we basically do. We have cooked out in the street every weekend in April. And if the rain holds out tonight, we'll round out an entire month with some more summer festivities around the grill. My fingers are crossed.
One of the best things about living so close to your best friends, is that you can always act like kids and goof off and never have to worry about keeping your cool-guy image. You should have seen the pandemonium erupt when the ice cream guy drove by. Complete chaos, I tell ya. I hope we never grow up...
See that BobCat we're posing with? That's kind of a good example to tie the weekly cook outs and the random, child-like activities together. There's this place in town called Art Pancake's Rent-All. Since we moved in, the boys have concocted extravagant schemes involving Mr. Pancake. They've discussed renting cherry pickers to simply race down the street. They've considered renting a bounce house, because "hey, why not?" They've planned to rent a little train ride to wind tracks around our houses and see how fast we can ride the train around before we get sick. Seriously, Art Pancake is brought up so often, that the girls have literally counted how many times he's mentioned in any given conversation. He has become an honorary member of the Hill Ridge Crew.
Well, I'm somewhat obsessed with awesome CraigsList deals (as evidenced by all the great finds residing in our home, right now) and have been scouring the ads to find a good picnic table for our area. If we're going to be having weekly cookouts and random pizza parties in the street, we need a better method for gathering than hauling card tables and camping chairs outside all the time. Luckily, we have that empty lot next to us that is completely surrounded by our three houses and is too small to ever build upon. It's the perfect area for us to commandeer as our very own common ground. If only there wasn't that eyesore of a rock pile that was dumped there years ago by the builders, smack dab in the middle of the lot. Well, needless to say, I found a smoking hot deal for a picnic table, and it was the perfect opportunity to finally, officially introduce Art Pancake to the Hill Ridge Crew. And this is what you get when you combine his Rent-All with our Hood...
They decided to relocate the rocks to the end of the road where it abruptly stops. It not only adds some uniformity and closure to the street, but it also serves as a blockage to keep the basketball from rolling into the woods. Win-win.
You would have thought that it was Christmas morning by how excited the boys were to operate heavy machinery. Brad wisely advised that they all wear boots so they look legit when they meet the famous Art Pancake and so he would take them seriously. (After all, "this is just the beginning of a long lasting, very important relationship. They want to leave the right impression.") Notice the only boots Charles had available. Nashville. Love it.
They each took turns playing with their big boy toy. Look how cute they are.
They were very productive. It's amazing what 3 big kids can do when they have a big machine and no grown up around to tell them to be careful. Charles even transferred some of the dirt behind his fence to the empty lot in an effort to level both areas out. Brad picked up the super cheap picnic table today. I can't wait to get it in place and initiate it with a hot dog, some potato chips, and red kool-ade.
Oh, and just because Emily is 10 months pregnant (Did you know that 40 weeks is really 10 months? Why do they always only say 9??), that doesn't mean that we didn't take advantage of the terrific photo op that was the BobCat!
Can you believe this is our life? Living with your best friends is the best situation ever. In the whole world. For real, it's like we're on a movie. Nobody has it this good. I can't believe how blessed we are.
Bee-tee-double-you, if you want to look at tons more pictures of the boys being boys, check out the Hill Ridge Crew Photo Album. I bet you'll laugh.