Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thy Neighbor

His name is Sam.
His yard adjoins our property on the back side of our lot where there is a drainage swale, a fence and a continually growing thatch of bamboo.
He is whom I am to love.

The first time I met Sam, it was pouring rain. Big fat rain, the kind where you take a breath and bolt from the car.

We had been living in our new house for about six months. Tiffany and I were down in the studio working away, when there was a knock at the office door. I got up and opened the door to find an older man (I'd guess early 70's) standing in the rain wearing a rain slicker, a rain hat and some very white generic tennis shoes.

The first words out of his mouth..........."I want to show you something".

I obliged, and we trudged off through our back yard discussing the water draining from our property onto his and the ways it was disturbing his life.

There were several...................he drew my attention to each of them.

I did my best not to write him off as a crazy old man with nothing better to do than complain, but it was tough. It was forty degrees and I had been standing in the rain for thirty minutes, all the while thinking "I'm too busy for this."

That was one year ago.

Between then and now I made every effort to address the drainage issue, including man-handling some twenty-three loads of dirt down the hill to fill in a large hole which was creating a scene from Caddyshack. (For those that don't get the reference - during heavy rain, water was going down a large hole in our yard and making small geysers in his yard compliments of the moles).

Then a few days ago as I was raking in the back, I hear someone clear their throat loudly behind me. Before even turning around I said "Hey Sam, how are ya?"

His reply, "I see you moved my stick."

Did I forget to mention that he also periodically comes into OUR yard after a rain and pokes holes in OUR ground looking for bigger holes just below the surface? This last time he apparently left his stick in the ground and not two minutes earlier I had removed it. (Note to self: He watches his stick.)

"Seems you fixed one problem, but I'm still getting mud all over my driveway."

He proceeded to inform me about his efforts to get the city Stormwater Commission to help address the situation, and I fought my urge to cripple an old man with a rake.


Anonymous said...

Good job, Josh! You need to write more often. I can just see you & neighbor Sam out in that rain.

joshntiff said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm working on pulling more of my weight around here.