The Pig in the ‘Hood

11 Jan

Worried about bills?… that heat pump that keeps going on the blink the minute the temperature drops below 30? … your neighbor’s constantly barking dog? … that pesky raccoon that’s finally eaten a hole through your expensive garbage can? … income tax? Don’t feel alone. We’re all worried about those things & annoyed by them.

How we deal with the annoyances of life can often stave off a stroke or nervous breakdown & in the end, make those every-day annoyances easier to endure. Whether you rework your budget, find an agency to do your taxes, eventually buy a metal garbage can or have a stiff drink, if it works for you, then that’s what you need to do to cope.

We live in Virginia & specifically, in the woods. The nearly 100 houses in our quiet, rural subdivision are surrounded by trees & we’re roughly located at the base of several mountains. It’s peaceful. You’d imagine that those of us who live here could deal with our stress by simply walking out the back door, taking a deep breath & taking in the view. And that DOES work a lot of the time. Fairly routinely there are herds of deer that stroll through the woods that surround us & frequently walk through our yards & there’s nothing more relaxing than watching them, especially when there are little ones.

Those of us who live in this particular lovely place, do, however, have the world’s best stress reliever; better than woods & deer, mountains & quiet. We have something that temporarily relieves the stress but also stays in our memory & in our mind’s eye where we can revisit it whenever we feel the need. Better than that “memory revisiting” thing, though, is that we can simply get into our vehicle … or walk on a sunny day … & make the less than one mile trek just down the road to visit our “Pig in the ‘Hood.” And mostly we drive by it on a routine basis & we seldom forgot to look.

About eight years ago my husband & I noticed a house under construction set back off the road just a short distance from our subdivision. As the construction continued, we’d often drive down the driveway & check on the progress of the build. When the construction was mostly complete, we took a moment to drive down that driveway again & look at the house. Its many windows & vaulted roof lines had unbelievable appeal.

The day we took that last drive & look, the home’s owners were there, dealing with last minute details before moving in. Once we were committed to the driveway there was no way to turn around & leave without seeming suspicious, so we stopped in front of the house & told the owners how much we loved their new home. The husband was someone my husband vaguely knew so they invited us in & gave us a tour of their lovely new home. It was as beautiful inside as we envisioned & we enjoyed meeting the owners.

Several months after moving in, the owners of that lovely home put a professionally made sign at the entrance to their driveway, right at the road, with the name of their farm on it. Shortly after the sign appeared, so did a life-sized pink, concrete pig.

A PIG !!!! Well, just cool.

One day, as Christmas was drawing near, my husband came home & said the pig was wearing clothes so we got in his car & went to see the pig. The doggone thing was wearing a Santa hat, jacket, wide black belt & black boots on its little piggy hooves. I was ecstatic!

Over the years we have watched as our neighbors delighted us with their creativity & sense of humor & changed the concrete pig’s outfits according to the season & the holiday. I became so invested in the pig that we started hopping out of our cars & taking pictures of the pig’s new clothes with our cell phones every time there was a costume change. Not only did it become fun to see the new outfits, we started looking forward to them. After talking to a neighbor, I found out that my husband & I weren’t the only ones in our subdivision who enjoyed that pig.

About 2 years ago I started posting pictures of our “resident pig” on Facebook whenever there was a wardrobe change. We were all delighted when the pig showed up in a frilly skirt, high heels & gloves & was receiving a bouquet from a life-sized Kermit. Not only did that tell us that our Pig in the ‘Hood was a girl, she actually was Miss Piggy. How cool is that?

Through my posting Miss Piggy with some regularity on Facebook, she now has a full “fan following,” resulting in a friend from Detroit responding to every new photo with, “I love that pig!!!”

I don’t believe I’ve seen our neighborhood pig dressed in the same outfit twice & recently her owners have been including family events as part of Miss Piggy’s wardrobe changes; for instance – dressing her in a wedding gown when their daughter got married.

Miss Piggy has been an elf at Christmas, a Pilgrim at Thanksgiving, a prom queen at prom time, carried an Easter Basket at Easter, was dressed in a heart-patterned apron at Valentine’s Day with a sign that said, “Be my ValenSwine”  & had a wardrobe malfunction when her coconut-shell bra slipped too far off her piggy breasts last summer.  She was also dressed in a grass skirt with that bra just before her owners took a trip to Hawaii. I LOVE that pig!!!

Our friend & retired mail carrier, John says that Miss Piggy’s owners have been dressing her up for occasions for years … way back before he ever considered retiring & she’s always been a distraction of pure joy.

We can actually tell that she is getting a little “long in the tooth” because the tip of one of her piggy ears is missing & the framework pin is exposed. Her owners haven’t bothered to fix it although they routinely paint her when her hide becomes faded & dingy. I suppose that ear, left as it is, is a testimony to her years of existence & entertainment, without becoming bacon.

Our Miss Piggy has not been without controversy, however. Last year for the 4th. of July her humans dressed her up in bathing trunks & a t-shirt that had an American flag design. One of my Facebook acquaintances insisted to me, in BOLD letters that I “remove that horrific pig” from my Facebook Timeline. She believed the owners had actually draped flags over the pig & was protesting the desecration of the flag. I assured her that the pig was not actually draped in a flag but was wearing a tie-dyed t-shirt & shorts but by then the woman was convinced & very upset. I told her it was not MY pig but said I would defend to the death her owner’s right to dress her any way they saw fit. At which point, she UNFRIENDED me & also BLOCKED me. And that’s fine. Miss Piggy has brought me more stress relief & pure joy than that person ever did & I’m pleased to have Miss Piggy still an active participant in my life.

We & our neighbors continue to be blessed by the wardrobe changes of our “Pig in the ‘Hood.” During this recent “cold snap” her owners dressed her as Anna from FROZEN, right down to the tiny little ice skates on her delicate little hooves.

I hope our Miss Piggy’s “humans” understand what a neighborhood responsibility they have taken on … how much we depend on her costume changes to brighten our day, lift our spirits & vanquish our troubles, even for just a little while. I think they do because they are never late with a holiday or seasonal wardrobe change & they seldom duplicate an outfit. We all admire them for their creativity & their sense of humor. I believe they are truly aware of the symbiotic relationship they have with us; the neighborhood & “our” pig.

Who couldn’t love a life-sized pink concrete pig dressed in a bathing suit, sun glasses, swim fins & inner tube in the middle of July? She is sometimes symbolic of where we’d like to be & what we’d like to be doing … & sometimes, with a nudge from our Pig in the ‘Hood, we take her implied advice & DO it.





4 Responses to “The Pig in the ‘Hood”

  1. Teran Harrison January 12, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    After last night’s football game, I would dress her in an Alabama jersey and holding a megaphone that has Roll Tide in crimson letters . HHHa ! love the pig story so much. Sweet home Alabama…..Teran


    • heimdalco January 12, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

      Cool, Teran! I’m so glad you like the “Pig in the ‘Hood.” The pictures I posted with the blog are only a few … I have an entire album of this pig in her many outfits.

      Thanks for reading my stuff. It makes me feel good that you do …


  2. Les January 13, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    Love this Linda, and I love the Pig too. Who wouldn’t? What a cool idea and I love that you let your neighbors know how much you enjoy their handiwork. As always, this was a very good read and I enjoyed the photos as well. Keep on keeping on Linda and may the force be with you…hahahaha


    • heimdalco January 13, 2016 at 2:55 am #

      Awww, thank you for reading my stuff, Leslie. I have a whole album of Miss Piggy’s outfits … LOL

      We LOVE this pig. Every neighborHOOD needs one.

      Love you & may the FORCE be with us all AND Miss Piggy …


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