I think I’ve written about my odd neighbor before. In addition to yelling at the kids for going after baseballs in his yard, he’s apparently acquired a permanent house guest and two large dogs who spend most of their time outside howling at everything.
Seriously, everything. I have a beagle so I don’t have a lot of room to talk, but she really only gets going when she’s excited to see someone, or is freaking out because I left the yard and she thinks I may be abandoning her forever. These dogs howl at the trains that roll through daily, police and fire sirens, other dogs, squirrels, cars, people walking, pretty much anything that goes on every second of the day, especially at night.
Anyway, this guy is the member of a religious sect known for heavy proselytizing. When he first moved in, he’d often chat up my husband, who will strike up a conversation with anyone (As I’ve put it before, Barry has no standards.). One beautiful fall Saturday morning, he was out raking leaves. The neighbor started in on him about how the end of the world was very near, that Barry needed to get his house in order because if he wanted to be saved, he might have to do it as early as this weekend, because you just don’t know how God operates, we could be gone tomorrow.
Barry’s response was, “That’s GREAT! I won’t have to go to work on Monday.” Pretty sure the neighbor had no idea how to take that and just stopped right there.
There must be something about raking leaves which brings out the extreme negativity in him because I was helping David with his homework this afternoon, and heard a conversation my neighbor had struck up with the woman who lives across the street, a perfectly nice mom of two named Cindy. From the tone of her voice I could tell she was humoring him, but really didn’t want to be there.
Neighbor: “Out raking leaves, huh?”
Cindy: “Yep. This might be one of the last 70 degree days for a while.”
Neighbor: “Nothing good happens from here on out. Last winter I swore I’d get out of here and never come back.”
Cindy: “Yeah, it would be tempting, if the kids weren’t in school.”
Neighbor: “We had two of ours come back and live with us. Even if they’re out of school, they’re still around.”
Cindy: “I suppose that would be hard.”
Neighbor: “You know they get worse the older they get.”
Cindy: “Yeah, I’m finding that out.”
Neighbor: “They grow their hair long, won’t listen, all they give you is attitude.”
Cindy: “Yeah, I’m definitely seeing more attitude lately.”
Neighbor: “At least you stopped with two. Between the two of us, we have nine. Would never do it again. Never.”
Cindy: “Wow. Yeah, that doesn’t sound easy.”
Neighbor: “Nothing but headaches every day.”
Cindy: “Yeah, I suppose. Well, I’d better get back to raking before these leaves all blow away.”
Neighbor: “That’s okay, more will come to take their place.”
Good talking to you!
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011