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Dad wrote a few days ago to let me know that Alice Gire had died. She was our next door neighbor in Grafton, North Dakota.
I suppose she was an ordinary enough housewife, but is there really such a thing?
She mostly kept to herself, or at least it seemed that way.
She was meticulous around the yard—she swept the sidewalks, probably every single day of the year, in every season. Her trees had that perfect circle of weedless, grassless dirt around their trunks. Her hedges were perfectly trimmed—freakishly so.
Her husband Bob worked for an oil company, and more often than not there was a big oil tanker truck parked in front of their house. He was one of the first in the neighborhood to own a snowblower, and he was generous about using it to help dig out us neighbors.
She nearly lost her son in his late teens—one of those stories of a bunch of teenagers, too much to drink, driving too fast, missing a curve. It made headlines in the local paper—handful of local kids, huge crash, several near death in the hospital. Her son lived, but I think maybe some of them didn’t; I don’t remember.
I wonder what else I don’t remember, or never knew, about the woman next door.