Do you ever find that "love your neighbor" command in the Bible to be particularly difficult? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to define some people as your neighbor and others as not? Of course, it's a pretty clear line when the person is actually your neighbor. Let me backtrack. We have been very fortunate. You never know what you are getting in a townhome. Will you like your neighbors or will they be rude and obnoxious? Both of our immediate neighbors are awesome. One side is a set of renters, but I always forget that because the woman's uncle is the owner and they work hard on the house. The other side is a couple slightly older than us with an adorable son, and we love them. They are always so nice and friendly. We used to have a great set of neighbors two doors down, too. They were at the age where they were grandparents, but the grandkids were still young. The man was working but heading to retirement. They had a lovely front yard with 4 foot high blue/purple hydrangeas. They took really good care of their house. I was over there for a jewelry party, and the inside was also quite gorgeous, new kitchen, etc., etc. We would stop over and chat with them in the summer evenings after our runs. I sustained many a pesky mosquito bite catching up. They would voluntarily cut our immediate neighbors grass because they didn't have a mower. Nice folks. Except that they moved. We were bummed. Our next door neighbors were upset. So, we waited to see who would move in.
I remember trying to go say 'hi' the first time. You know when you go up to shake someone's hand and they don't want to touch you so you have to make something else happen with your hands? Yea, that was basically our first interaction. I said 'hi'; she stared at me, gave me a very abrupt 'hello' and walked away. Okay, well, maybe she was stressed. Getting settled in somewhere is never super easy. No big deal. The next time I said 'hi', I didn't get a 'hi' back at all. So, I figured I would give up on the greetings and just let it go.
And, honestly, I wouldn't be writing at all, except for this happening.
You see the sticks sticking out of the ground? Yup, that's the hydrangeas. I almost cried when I saw it. It's not my house. I shouldn't care, but it's a travesty. I watched those beautiful plants go from healthy green and then browner and browner since she never watered them this summer. I watched 3 foot weeds grow in her yard. I almost went over and did her yard work, but I was wayyy too chicken. And now, she cut them down! J and I went on a walk this weekend when I noticed and exclaimed, "What a grinch!" (except I didn't say grinch). She was also, weirdly enough, watering her brown grass this weekend. I'm guessing so that it will freeze over and people will slip on the sidewalk. I cannot fathom why you would do that in December. But the hydrangeas are a rough blow. Those hydrangeas would cheer me up every time I walked by them. I've decided I will plant two new hydrangea bushes in my yard next spring, in memory of their fallen comrades.
Last year, their yard was full of lights and what can only be described as the prettiest holiday door decorations I have ever seen (I kid you not, I wish I had taken a picture). Now, it's only death. And I miss them. *Sigh* So, now that my rant is over, I will try to continue to be nice and friendly. And I will try, and will have to keep trying, to love my new neighbor. Sometimes, it isn't so easy.
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues."
- Dr. Suess, The Lorax