My Neighbor

I have a neighbor that lives up the street, who just happens to be a retired schoolteacher; her name is Sue. I got to know Sue, not only because she is my neighbor, but also because she taught my Granddaughter debating, when Caylee was in the debating club.

Sue was an English teacher and when I started writing I thought, ‘hey this is great, maybe I can get her to edit some of my writing, or at least get her opinion of it.’ What I didn't realize at the time was the last thing a retired English teacher wanted to do, after she had retired, was to correct some ones writing.

One day as I was walking by her place with my wife (we do a lot of walking), she was working in her front garden. I asked her if she wanted to have a look at what I had been doing and being a pleasant sort of a person, she said, “Okay.”

I immediately went home and got a couple of articles I had been working on for my column in Pro-trucker magazine. I ran back up the street with them. When I handed them to Sue, I though I detected a look on my wife’s face that said, ‘humor him, he’s a little sick.

A week or so later, I was working in the front yard, when Sue came walking down the street with the stories, I had given her. When she walked up to me and handed then to me she said, “I thought they were very interesting and I especially liked your voice.”

Your voice?’ I thought, what is she talking about, it’s written on paper, but rather than show my ignorance, I nodded my head knowingly and said “Thank you.” Of coarse being a retired English teacher, she said, my composition and punctuation needed some work.

I stood there, shaking my head knowingly, but in my mind I was thinking, ‘My voice, what’s she talking about?’ She went on telling me a few more things, I should have been listening to, but my voice was tying up my pointy little mind and it all went over my head.

When she left, I turned to my wife, who was standing on the porch and said, “What did she mean, she liked my voice?”

She rolled her eyes back, looked at the sky in discus and walked into the house. She does that when I ask her something she has no idea about either, I think it gives her an air of superiority. It’s like saying, “Boy your stupid.” I think a lot of wives do it when they get the opportunity.

I knew if I wasn't going to let this drive me crazy, I would have to find out what Sue had meant. I would ask Karen. I couldn't ask just any one and have the world know just what my mental capacity was.

Karen is our daughter and is a writer, besides being a very well educated young lady; so I phoned her.

“Karen, Sue from up the street, just brought back some stuff I had asked her to read for me and let me know what she thought. What the did she mean when she said, she liked my voice?”

“Dad,” she said in a tone of voice that seemed to air a certain amount of disbelief, “she just meant she likes the way you wrote it. You know your voice.”

Over the years people have been able to identify me, over the phone, by my voice. If my voice is as distinguishable in my writing as it is on the telephone, maybe I should refrain from writing nasty anonymous letters.