Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Tale of Two Neighbors

This post has been brewing for a little bit and I thought it was time to share.

We live on a busy road, and so having the normal neighborhood feel is not something we get to experience. We share a driveway with our neighbors T and L. They are the nicest people around-and I am NOT just saying that because the first time we met them they invited us over to swim in their pool and continue to allow us free reign in their pool when it is open!! While that certainly helps, they are just great. They have a daughter our age, and have always been very helpful to us-loaning us tools and helping with things around the house and yard. We take turns watching each other's dogs at times, have each other's house keys, and overall enjoy a very nice neighborly relationship. Recently T retired early from the post office and is kinda bored. He's been hinting around about wanting to find a part time job, but then he recently had his prostate removed and I think has decided he likes being home. He thought he could be our lawn and dog boy!! I think we have worked out a deal that he's going to let the dogs out twice a day and mow the lawn for us. I guess we'll give him some money for that, and it will all be worth it because I hate that Addie pees in the house and I hate mowing the lawn (truth be told I like mowing the lawn, it's just my really bad knee and ankle do not like mowing the lawn).

On the other side of us is a house that looks quite ramshackle-y. We never really knew the guy who lived over there-though I think we did know that that he lived there with his mother who gets oxygen delivered. He does sit outside and smoke . . . . The backyard is filled with stuff, including a shower stall and a boat that we've never seen move. I had talked to him once when we got Riley to let him know we were getting a puppy and to let us know if they become bothersome with barking and whatnot. Found out his name, and that he looked like he could be an axe murderer with missing teeth. (consequently there was a report one day that an old woman had been found dead in her basement in our area and I thought for sure he'd off-d his mother) A little while later we discovered that he did dry walling and finally asked him to come give us a quote to help us with a project. He came over and we didn't do anything about it for a while because we didn't have money. Then this winter rolled around and we all seemed to be out shoveling a lot and cleaning off roofs and the like. His step-brother was staying with him, because it was too far to drive a half hour home each day and they were working on a project in the house.

Hang in there--I am getting to the point . . .

We talk to them some during the snowstorms, loaned them a roof shovel thing, and began to talk some more. They hang outside the window of the room they are working on and throw venison jerky to the dogs . .they like this . . .both the boys and the dogs. We ask them to come over again and talk to us about our project. They give us a quote and tell us they can start in a few days.

I have to say I was worried--by looks alone and the fact that their house doesn't look overly taken care of. I worried that DP agreed to have them in the house by themselves, and worried what we would do if they messed up and took our money. We gave him $500 for the supplies and prayed for the best . . .

Needless to say the first night I waited for DP to call me and give me a report as I was staying at a house doing respite. She called and I help my breath waiting for the worst and she surprised me by saying not only did they do a nice job, but they cleaned up really well. The next few days were much of the same, and in the end they did a fabulous job!!! I felt really bad for being so judgmental and for thinking the things that I did about them. We gave them a decent bonus for the work they did, as they fix some extra things while they were here which was very kind of them. They loved the dogs and took great care to clean up as they went along. T and L were curious as well and wanted to know how they did, as we had talked a bunch about how those neighbors just seemed "different"

Since then we have talked to them more. DP has talked to the mother who is 88 or something and has lived quite the life. He was hanging out the window the other day while I was mowing the lawn and commented about how horrible the mower sounded. I said yeah, I knew we probably needed to change the filter or something, but that we never got around to it. He said to bring it over when we were done and he'd show us. We brought it over and he said if we left it with him he'd sharpen the blades and change the filter. He returned it a few days later and not only did he do what he said he would, but he cleaned it up and I dare say it looks like a brand new mower.

The real great part happened yesterday. We came home to find our nicely cleaned mower in our back yard, and T and L working on a project in their front yard. We went to check it out, and then went to the other neighbor to thank him for our mower and ask him how much we owed him (he said nothing, but we will get him a gift card or something). He asked if we heard about the accident the day before in front of our house and we said no, but went out to find all the glass in the front lawn by the pole that someone schmucked into. He was standing there with us, and T and L came over and we all began to talk, and for the first time T and L met the neighbor on the other side, and it just felt so good knowing that we could bring these two neighbors together. We had only every talked about the other, but yet they have never met and L grew up in that house . . .

The moral of this very very very long story is that it's nice to be challenged on the things that we think about others. I can't wait to learn how to play poker . . .the mother next store told me she'd teach us. She would also like to meet the dogs . . .she likes dogs and hears them playing and hoped she'd get to meet them. She also paints, and tells stories, and has a very sweet smile. He may look like he could be an axe murderer, but I am finding out and that he and his mother are great neighbors to have.

The End!


Daisy said...

What a cool story!!!

Caroline said...

I agree with Daisy...what a very cool story. I find it amazing that we can live next door to people and have no idea who they are. Glad to see that you have very cool neighbors. BTW...I love the pics you took of the houses.

K J and the kids said...

Awesome. I think it's VERY important to know your neighbors. Not just in case you need something or they need something. but sometimes it's good to be able to identify someone in a line up after they off'd their dear old mom. :) h aha ha

My dad rides. I went on a ride with him and there were all of these gruffy looking slightly intimidating bikers. I stayed pretty quiet and off we went.
First stop in the mountains and all of these mean looking dudes pull out their nice camera's and start snapping pictures of the scenery. Talking like sweet guys. "isn't this a beautiful view bob" "yes, it's amazing"
And then they talked about stopping up the hill a ways to buy pine nuts. I mean SERIOUSLY.
They all turned out to be in law inforcement. Well most of them. and were super great guys.
I guess it's the leather and head bands that threw me off :)ha ha

I've learned to not judge a book by it's cover....but if the book freaks me out and my woman's instinct goes off...I don't open it or even read the preface :)

WOW ! I talk a LOT huh ? ha ha

Manblogger641 said...

Very nice story. Moral of the story is I guess we should never judge the ole book by its cover...

Jenster said...

This makes me happy. And you know, it's all about making me happy. :)