Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Two Bad Neighbors

Spring is setting in. There are many kinds of flowers that have been in our yard for awhile. When we bought our house it needed a lot of help. The front and back yards were completely dead. We've put a lot of work into the yards but we haven't really established any strong prominent plants. For this, we rely on our neighbors. The houses on both sides of us have some very nice plants that have grown big and always overflow into our yard and make our house look a lot better: A pine tree, Virginia Creeper, roses, some giant lilacs among others.

But I told before how the widow next door had to sell her house and now it is being rented to a wild family. Their free-range rabbit (Liked to loiter around next to our rabbit hutch and eat food that fell through the floor. We kept that bunny alive.) over-fertilized our backyard and nearly chewed through our cherry tree like a hungry beaver. Now, the free-range rabbit (Cuddles) is missing. He's been gone for some time. How do the neighbors react. They go out and buy a DOG, of course. A pomeranian. Don't worry, it has already made itself quite familiar with our yard.

And actually, the neighbor mother (Rachel) has been getting know my wife (Eleanor). When their car broke down Eleanor would take their kids to school in the mornings. Rachel is pretty nice and has been helping out the "cowboy hat people". Sometimes, if Rachel is busy she will ask Eleanor to help the cowboy hat people in her stead.

As of a few days ago, our kids started playing together. I think it's a political thing; they are not making best-friends. I think the benefits are: more kids to play with, more toys and expanded territory. The neighbor kids keep breaking our toys and just show our kids how to be mischievious in general. None of it is a big deal, just little, annoying things like turning our sandbox into a silty lake.

The real problem is that these people moved into the house last fall. One fall day I entered our living room and looked at the tall lilacs filling one of our windows almost entirely. The branches moved gently with the breeze and light shined through the leaves. And just while I was admiring the lilacs there were several violent jerks and then moments later the lilac trees were decimated and taken to the ground, revealing the ugly entryway to the dirty yellow house. The neighbors thinned down the trees but left most of the plant intact. I was annoyed but moved on.

On Sunday, our kids saw the nieghbors outside and ran over to play with them. I asked Eleanor if she would go and bring them home and she went after them. I went to the livingroom and sat on the couch and noticed through the window that there were long green tufts already forming on the lilac tree and it made me excited for spring. Excited to see the tree swaying in the breeze with light shining through the leaves. When, much like before, there were suddenly a couple of violent jerks and the entire tree went down. I was dumbfounded.

A few seconds later my wife came hurrying into the room. She said, "They just cut down ALL of those lilacs!"

I said, "I know. I watched them. And they have no idea what those plants even look like in the spring. They have never seen them alive."

Eleanor said, "She is a stupid, stupid woman." Then she did some cussing.

I said, "I thought you were friends now?"

Eleanor said, "She is stupid. I can't believe they did that."

The nieghbors ripped out EVERY plant that had been growing on their side of the property line. Plants that could not have been more perfect.

My wife said, "Now I REALLY want to move."

The cowboy hat people were actually the ones who did the cutting. The neighbors had asked them to. Eleanor talked to them and expressed her disappointment. Nora (hat-woman) said, "Oh, they are going to plant in this WHOLE side of the yard... ALL FLOWERS."

Call me pessimistic, but I find it hard to believe that the lady --- who can't find time to put on PANTS even three times a week, who wears only boxer shorts and tanktops as she chases her barefoot children across the streets and through our yard, and who has proclaimed that she does NOT fold any laundry, EVER --- is going to have money or time to line the entire side of the yard... ALL FLOWERS. The father? Well, I will just tell you that when their two year old recently had a stroke and firetrucks and ambulances came and the mother rushed to the hospital with the child, the father was inside... he was taking a bath; couldn't be disturbed. Sorry. The plants will not be replaced. And even if they were, they would be no replacement for the plants they hacked down with an axe.

We dub the parents next door: Two Bad Neighbors.

The End


Native Minnow said...

That's quite the story!

It actually sucks. Like you, I liked your yard much better with those plants in place.

ShootingStar said...

And there is NOTHING like lilacs argh! I just want to express my sympathies and also commisserate.

When I lived in Duchesne the city (er I guess the town) came by one day and cut down an entire tree--right out of my yard--said it was growing into the powerlines (the house was owned by the Forest Service, so really we didn't get to protest). The rest of the time I lived there, the stump sprouted all wild and crazy. I liked that something there wanted to keep on living, but it was also a sad reminder of what had been.