Years ago, I had a new neighbor move in. He and his wife were likeable enough. She was more outgoing; he gardened in his speedo. I have nothing against personal comfort, but some people just don’t have the physique on which a speedo is flattering. He was definitely one of these people.
Nevertheless, (this is funny to me, but I’ve given you a hint above about why) he would work for hours in his yard with his skimpy loin covering, no shirt, a heavy kind of hiking shoe, a long ponytail and a cowboy hat. He dug, he built and he planted. He was such an avid gardener that he decided he didn’t like a gas lamp that was part of my yard, so he removed it and the ivy I loved that grew upon it, without permission. I truly believe he felt he was doing me a favor when he finished and had planted a holly bush in it’s stead.
Having small children at the time and enjoying the ability to walk around my yard in my bare feet, a holly bush didn’t seem very welcoming, but that prepared me for his next move.
Since he’d taken the liberty to tear out my lamp post and give me a sticky bush, his next plan was to get his yard surveyed. I thought he might be planning an addition – which did eventually occur – but initially, it was for the addition of a fence.
I’m not a big lover of fences. I understand them and can see the need in some circumstances, but I don’t really like them. This guy had no animals and no children, so the reasoning for him to put up a fence seemed like it had more to do with establishing boundaries instead of trying to contain anything. My first clue that this might be the case was when he dug the post holes directly on the property line. I don’t mean that he dug them so the edge was on the line, I mean he dug them so his post was half on his property and half on mine! It was just another thing that stuck in my craw. After the fence went in, so did loads more landscaping, which only seemed to confirm his desire to block out everything and everyone.
Eventually, he moved.
Enter the new neighbors, who are very nice people. They have two children and a dog and the other guy’s rotting fence. Recently, a pretty aggressive dog hopped into their yard – and their dog kept hopping out – so the decided to put up a new fence. I’m still not a fan of fences. I feel they send a negative message about contact with the “people on the other side”, but at least I can understand the thoughts my neighbors have about “keeping everything in.” Their children are young and the dog is a good jumper and they want to keep their family safe. I get it.
I was very touched that they asked my opinion about post placement, and pleased that they decided to move their newer posts back 6 inches so that they were on their own property and not on mine. What I’m not as happy about is the height of the fence, which is pretty high. It’s another visual blight on my yard, the greenery and just my own sense open-ness. Sigh. Another reason I wanna move…
I think Bing expressed it best when he sang this: