My Neighbor Blows His Leaves, Acorns & Shit in My Yard....Am I 'Sweatin the Small Stuff?
I moved into my place shortly after I was discharged from the hospital in early 2010. My street is nestled in a quiet, historic Park District parallel to a college preparatory high school that is parallel to the park. On Tuesday and Thursday late afternoons, I walk down my drive way past the main house, cross the street into the high school's band parking lot to meet my running group in front of the high school. This is a terrific location and has served my needs perfectly. My southern style guest house is tucked away, quiet, low maintenance and within walking distance to exercise and activity as my health has become stronger.
In the beginning, I had little energy or concern for the interior and exterior appeal of my place. My porch remained void of plants or furniture and the tall white pillars – PERFECT for my usual touch of clear, mini Christmas lights- were nowhere to be found.
The day I moved in I covered my windows with sheets nailed to the walls. At six months, I think I bought those dull, off white window blinds and hung them. (Correction, someone else hung the blinds for me.) Late 2010 I splurged on window shutters in the den and found some adorable kitchen curtains on Amazon.com that I eventually hung after Thanksgiving 2011. Yes, over twelve months later.
Thanksgiving 2011 I partnered with my neighbor who cooked a turkey, and I cooked casseroles for a disadvantaged family. It was my first time to R.E.A.L.L.Y. cook in my kitchen, and I think the positive energy motivated me to hang those kitchen curtains! I bought a drill and gave it my best try before I succumbed to threading rope through the curtain holes and using large nails to hang'em! Hey where there is a will there is a way.
Shortly after my kitchen windows looked pretty I had a desire to open the window on a cool morning. The morning sun and cool breeze felt JUST PERFECT on my face as I stood and took inventory of the greenery outside the window. There is an access type street directly behind my place that is highly visible and gives my back neighbors drive way access to their houses. My neighbor who lives directly behind me – on the other side of the access street - I don’t know her by name, but we wave to each other regularly. I am usually standing by my kitchen window making my early morning coffee as she sits on her deck drinking hers.
One morning after I tied the kitchen curtain back I noticed a lovely little green vine growing in a big clump with no trellis or string to help guide its growth. After much deliberation, I bought a trellis about six inches tall and used dental floss to secure the small vine in place. It has become a morning ritual to draw my curtains back and take note of the vines progress while my coffee percolates. Clearly I under estimated how quickly my little vine would grow and wrap itself around the trellis. I eventually bought a taller trellis and planted an English Ivy.
I think it is official. I have taken a liking to gardening. My kitchen window project enticed me to explore my inner green thumb, so I have slowly started to rake leaves, planted a couple of shrubs beside my front porch steps, hung ferns and I even added a white lattice fence, flowers and ivy’s to hide my garbage can. I am extremely encouraged at my progress in just three months. Alas, all good things....
A couple of frustrations have recently come to light, and if I don’t do something constructive with my growing frustration I might just run over my neighbors newly planted azaleas bushes neatly planted between our drive ways. Here, goes...
My neighbor blows his leaves, acorns and shit in my yard.
I realize I have paid little attention to the outside of my property for almost two years, so I wonder how long this has been taking place. My point, he must think this is OK to do. Yesterday though… OMG….I thought I would pull my hair out! Loud noise drew me to my front windows, and I saw my neighbor with his space capsule looking thing on his back, and he was blowing all his leaf shit, acorns and dirt through the chain link fence to my side of the property…beside my little Hawthorne shrubs and neatly landscaped monkey grass! That is until I walked out onto my front porch to fill the JUST filled kitty water bowl…my nonverbal queue, “Hey…STOP already.” He quickly turned his body as though he meant to turn the second I opened my front door. I walk back in; close the door lift up my splurged on window shutters and proceed to act like the Leaf Blower Police as I monitor the direction of his leaf blower. Ohhhhh, this is sooooooo OLD ME.
Wait...there's more. I watched my neighbor blow his leaves into the center of his back yard - transferred the leaves into a garbage can then he walked about ten feet and dumped the can over his fence into the access street. These days I catch myself utter 6 words out loud in a monotone way if I am witness to a blatant disregard for manners or come across a conundrum. I watched my neighbor dump his leaves as I uttered those 6 words,
“Ohhhhh shit, gosh damn, fother mucker.” (Reverse fother mucker and correct spelling.) Is there such a thing as leaf ettiqutte when blowing leaves? And did I mention he is a landscaper? **gasp**. Surely his actions get him a demerit or license revoked... something?
There is still more to my frustration. My neighbor who lives directly behind me –the one who sits on her deck and drinks early morning coffee while I make mine - she has a lawn guy come out every other week to take care of her lawn. He comes when she is not home. Guess what he does with HER leaves, acorns and shit? He blows them into the same access street that my neighbor dumps his leaves into. And yes, my windows get all the dirt and crap blown right on them.
This year we have had an abundance of acorns not to mention all the rain on my side of the Mason Dixon line. Picture if you will the access street with layer upon layer of mud and leaves five to six inches high. OH! It gets better. This street is now home to hundreds of small acorns all nestled into the man made potting soil - prime and ready for the small oak tree sprouts currently making their debut. I can not even drive though all this shit. My *beautiful* view is not beautiful.
I should say something to both of my neighbors, but the damn cats got my tongue. For those who know me well, I can hear youuuuuuuu, “The cats got YOUR tongue?” The same thought crossed my mind too. In my quest, to keep important things important; God, health, family and friends I find myself on the fence on this one.
I don’t want to sweat the small stuff anymore. I want a different life. I want to choose my battles wisely. I want to enjoy my gardening. I want to BE. I want clean windows. I don't want my young, little English Ivys to blow away. I want to know if I rake my leaves I won't wake up to more leaves sooner than I should. What to do though?
I am not too good about commenting, and I apologize-but if anyone has a suggestion I will certainly be reading!
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