During my first week here, just past a busy intersection on the way to the station, I met an elderly blind man and his (service) dog. They were hanging out in the covered driveway, and I asked if I could pet his dog. He readily agreed, and I briefly spoke with him before moving on.
Since then, I periodically see him with the dog in the driveway as I pass. Sometimes his wife is there, and she calls out to me, saying good morning if it’s early or asking me if I’m on my way home from work (with an accompanying お疲れさまでした) in the evening. Sometimes they have friends over, with everyone in the driveway (if they had a car, they don’t seem to any more).
Today, I said hello to them as I headed to the station, and she called out to me to ask my name, since we’d never exchanged them. She also asked where I was from, and complimented me on my Japanese and accent, saying her husband had told her about me after he and I had met. She than asked which state I was from, and when I mentioned “Country Roads” (which I always do), not only did she know it, but she said her husband was a country music fan. Apparently, he used to play the record often, and later the CD. I made sure to ask their names, but she only provided their family name: Kobayashi. It’s nice to see friendly faces in my neighborhood.