Location. Location. Location.

There are many things to consider when choosing a lot to build a new home. Access to water, gas and electric, distance to the nearest grocery, as well as fire and police protection. But maybe most importantly, how close are the nearest neighbors? For my home, I studied the layout of the new development for days before making my choice. I didn’t want a corner lot, too much traffic. Nor did I want to locate on a through street, same reason.

The final decision came to this: I would have an open field out back, to the east. The house across the street, to the west, would have to be built on the far side due to a creek in front of the property. As to the north side, while there was no active creek, there was a ravine that showed plenty of use from heavy rains. Who would want to build there?

That left the south side to consider. I chose to put my house as far away from that lot as possible and with a natural growth of woods between us, my privacy would be the best it could be while living in a neighborhood. Or so I thought. That was then. This is now.

The ravine on the north was no problem for the new buyer. He simply bought two lots and built on high ground. His house makes mine look like it belongs in a trailer park. He then erects a wooden and wrought iron fence around both his two acres complete with a radio-controlled entrance gate. But he didn’t stop there. Come sundown, his entire estate lights up like the prison yard at the McAlester state pen. I counted sixteen flood lights and probably missed a few. Obviously, this man has ties to the mafia.

My neighbor to the south is a man of few words. He told me his name was Thomas, not Tom, but Thomas. He was out of work at that time, formerly employed by Haliburton and we all know about Haliburton don’t we…hmmmm? His very first task after moving in was to break out the chain saw and fell every tree on his side of the property line thereby reducing the privacy factor by half. He then moves in not one, but two work sheds. Several times a day, I hear the whine of saws, drills, and the bang-bang-bang of hammers, shattering the once peaceful and blessed silence. Pretty sure he’s in the loading pallet business where construction never ends. I began to think of him as Thomas the Train. He never stops. Just keeps on chugging. Oh, did I mention that Thomas now has chickens? And dogs? Four dogs, one of which barks at the moon…all night.

My neighbor across the street seemed okay at first. For starters, he was a beer drinker, enjoyed his suds. Not excessively, no loud parties, no fights, no police cars, just one of your normal good old boy Okies with a little American Indian mixed in. We got along. Chatted at the mail box. Shared stories.

Then came that phone call from his wife that changed everything. Seems the man had come upon a new-born kitten while out on a job somewhere. Would we see after it until he got off work? Now, as most of you know, my wife is a sucker for cats, especially a kitten in dire straits. The neighbors were well aware of this weakness and jumped on it. He shows up with a bundle of fur wrapped in a towel, eyes not yet open, and meowing her little ass off. He has the formula, the eye-dropper feeder, a box, the whole nine yards.

Let me pause here to remind you that my wife already has three bird-killing, hairball spewing, food upchucking, furniture destroying, ferocious freaking felines. Three! Did not want four. So, when Mr. Neighbor to the west fails to show up that evening to collect his new pet, tensions rose. No, that’s not correct. Not tensions plural, my tension rose. Come ten o’clock with no word from across the street, the kitten was personally hand-carried to his doorstep and, much to his surprise and disappointment, placed in the man’s hands. Welcome to my world, jerk.

Relations went downhill from there. We don’t speak. We don’t wave. And that was okay with me. But then spring arrived with warmer temps. People came out of their houses. Doors and windows were opened. Cars were washed in the driveway. Gardens were planted–that sort of thing. That’s when Rush Limbaugh came into the picture.

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Rush. His daily wide-eyed, eye-bulging, spittle-spewing, radio rants leave me shaking my head. I truly believe that if Jesus were to show up on planet earth as a Democrat, Rush would lead the charge to have him crucified.

Mr. Neighbor to the west, on the other hand, adores Rush. I know this because I can hear the broadcast from literally, a hundred yards away. So can the rest of the neighborhood. Every day at air time, weather permitting, Mr. Neighbor turns his radio to the max, lays back on his lawn chair, and works on his tan. Tan? Yes, tan. Did I mention the man is part Indian? His skin is already darker than a Mexican roofer.

Which brings us to yesterday’s scene. My garage doors are open. I need the light to see what the hell I’m doing as I change the oil in my old John Deere lawn tractor when I hear the dreaded theme for the opening of the Rush Limbaugh show. But today, I have a little surprise of my own. I too own a radio, you see. I counter Rush with a full volume blast of Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash.

I hear that train a comin’, comin’ round the bend.

I follow up with the John Deere as I test run the engine, checking for any oil leaks. I tested it for oh, about an hour.

At that point, I shut everything down and listened. Wind blew through the trees, bird’s chirped, once again… the sound of silence. Insert smiley face here.



Published in: on May 6, 2017 at 9:59 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As usual your post made me smile. But at the same time I realize how bad neighbors can totally ruin your sense of harmony and happiness. I once had 2 elder sisters living next door to me who came over one June day to tell me my flower beds looked awful and if I just spent a couple hours a day working in the yard I could get it in shape. At the time I’d just had a C-section, had a newborn baby, a 22month old and a 7 year old – yeah, lots of extra time for yard work ! 🙂

  2. So sorry that your little slice of heaven has become purgatory at best.

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