Carried Away Chapter 1
Shawna is new to our neighborhood I am the designated welcoming committee, the other girls call me the Brownie Monster. They say I make the best brownies in the world. I always start from scratch right down to melting the chocolate. When I sat down with Shawna to welcome her to the neighborhood I found out she is a dog sitter. It did not take long for her to get the nickname Growlsalot. Shawna has a deep voice and a sharp tongue. I explained to Shawna.
I said: “My name is Clara Miller my husband’s name is Paul, your neighbor to your right is Charlotte and Josh she is a county deputy and our go-to person when something is not right in the neighborhood. Directly across the street from you is Marlo and Ken Compton, Marlo is a party planner she has the nickname Derainger. You will understand after you get to know us how we came about our nicknames. Shawna was keen right from the start when I asked if she would like to be a part of the neighborhood watch. Our husbands started out helping us but soon backed out of the group because they said we were always getting carried away and they did not want to have any part of it.”
Shawna said: “Men just don’t understand a woman’s intuition and that we can be obsessive until we investigate that intuition. I’ll bet you girls are successful in keeping this neighborhood peaceful and safe. When Steve and I were considering buying this house we looked into whether this neighborhood was safe. Steve went to the Sheriff’s department and asked about this street the one to the north and the one to the south. The Deputy at the front desk’s name was Rick Thompson he said it was safe despite the efforts of the neighborhood watch. Rick found that odd until he talked to Charlotte next door and told me not to join the group. As I said men do not understand women’s intuition. Just like we don’t understand how a man can bust a hole in the wall and stand with his buddies for an hour talking about why he busted a hole in the wall.”
I knew from the first conversation Shawna was going to fit in just fine.
Fall brings the rains, wind with falling temperatures and normally that means our job as neighborhood watch is easier because too many goofballs don’t like being out in the bad weather. This year it has been different, partly due to the warmer than normal temperatures. October has been a busy month, first off was the toilet papering of the church down the block, the holy water at the Catholic Church was turned to wine and the first 3 houses on each street had their windows soaped when the people were working. I caught the teens doing the toilet paper and the soaping and Marlo caught the guy who changed the water into wine he said he thought it would liven up the choir if they had a taste before mass.
Shawna’s first experience with our team was the evening we were watching for the person throwing pumpkins at our houses. This occurred late night while everyone was sleeping we decided as a team to wait just beyond our garages with a garden hose, we were going to squirt the perp or perps when they threw the pumpkin. We also had squirt guns so we could join the person who had the hose on the perp. As it turned out Shawna had the privilege of squirting the perp since he targeted her house. By the time the rest of us arrived with our puny squirt guns Shawna was snarling something that sounded like a cross between a mad dog and a mad mom. “Take that you pumpkin faced little prick” As she repeated her verbal abuse she nearly drowned the skinny kid.
Charlotte called out: “Enough Shawna you are getting carried away.” At the same time, Charlotte picked up the kid by the scruff of his shirt and stood him squarely in front of our wall of shame. We all gave stern looks while Charlotte told the kid that he had a penalty to pay. “Tomorrow you will start with Mrs. Sullivan’s house, rake, and bag the leaves. Set the bags at the curb. As soon as you are finished with hers you will go next door to Mrs. Miller’s house (she pointed at the house and then me) and do the same to her yard; until you have finished everyone’s yard that is standing here in front of you.”
The kid recognized Charlotte and he knew that she knew his parents. It pays to have a deputy on the team.