I’ve always had good neighbors..and interesting ones as well. When my cousin and I bought the house where I still live (he’s moved on), we quickly met the family on one side because our property actually cuts halfway into their backyard. Seems that when the property was once divided, and the neighbors house was built, the lady in our house kept her garden space, although it resulted in an odd backyard next door. My cousin always felt that they had “squeezed” their house on to what was once our side yard…in spite of the fact that they didn’t build the house at all. None the less when I’d suggest that perhaps our music was too loud and might disturb our neighbors, he’d say they should have thought about that before they tried to crowd in on us. Once as a joke (?) my cousin bought an enormous Christmas card to send them…with a HUGE house on the front…” FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS”.
Audrey and Ray were actually very nice neighbors. She would often bring me a cocktail that she’d “invent” in her blender while I was working in my garden..which was kinda in her backyard. There was a little fence surrounding the garden, and we’d lean there and chat while we got our buzz from her latest creation. Audrey came out to say hello one Halloween afternoon while I was picking mums for our “Myth America” pageant that evening. I told her we were going to be entertaining…and she warned me about blocking her driveway..
(they REALLY had a thing about that…even though it rarely ever happened).
When I went inside to get a vase I glanced in the bathroom mirror and realized that I was wearing a rhinestone tiara…having tried it on for size earlier in the day. After nary a word from Audrey, I sorta wondered just what she did think that day. .
The day after the pageant I saw her again, and she mentioned that our party seemed to be really big…lots of people…”mostly women”…I assured her that there were lots of men…to which she added that all the women were dressed “beautifully”.
Ray was an ex-marine. An ex-marine who raised and lowered the flag in their front yard….got his rake out when the first leaf fluttered to the ground…and shoveled snow the second it began to accumulate on his driveway… often at about four o’clock in the morning. I was flying a rainbow peace flag, always waited for the LAST leaf to fall from the trees, and made sure I only shoveled the walk when the snow had stopped…for sure. They were always invited to our Christmas party, but after the first one they attended, I think the diversity of the crowd traumatized them into regretting for any future invitations.
I came home from a choir gig one Sunday morning to find my cousin barricading the spare bedroom because somehow a wild cat had gotten in there. When I peaked in the cat was climbing up the curtains, and screeching like a hyena. When it saw me it dove straight through the screen and out the second floor window…and ran away. My cousin and I were relatively accustomed to wildlife breaking and entering, so we straightened the room up and life went on. About a month later when Audrey and I were sipping on some exotic treat by my garden she said ” I have to ask you something…you know all through the years I’ve seen some strange goings on at your house…but a few weeks ago I was sitting on our back porch, and I could have sworn that I saw a cat fly out of the window”. Poor Audrey. I miss her…and her Tahitian treats.