This morning was a perfectly agreeable weekend morning. We slept in, lovely bonus sleep time with no alarm clock demanding we rise. Fala, the cat, slept between us, and the air conditioning made it just chilly enough to enjoy a crumpled blanket pulled up around my head.
We were awakened by a cacophony of noise from the empty house next door. I went to the window to see what was the matter. All the clatter? Someone was moving in.
How disrespectful at this hour, the early side of 10 a.m.! Who moves into a house at some ungodly hour on a Saturday morning? We had our suspicions about this house; so many people moved in and out that we thought it might be a secret government compound.
A colossal U-Haul parked in their driveway next to one of those huge shipping containers advertised on late-night TV. Strangers bustled between the vehicles and the house.
My first thought, “Where will we park our cars next week when our driveway gets resurfaced?”
Seriously, how dare these people to mess up our plans to use their driveway without permission?
But, as the good neighbors we are, our hearts filled with love and the spirit of Welcome Wagon, as we discussed what this meant for us. We hoped our new neighbors would be able to follow The Rules we set out for them (after all, this was about OUR needs.)
- • No irritating, yappy dogs. Or if they have any dog, he/she must not speak and able to use a cat box or a toilet.
• No children. If they have children, they must not speak and able to use a cat box or a toilet. No wait, I’m confused. Let’s try again. The children must be perennially less than eleven years old and be fluent on the violin. Absolutely no drugs or large horns.
• The new neighbors must take care of their lawn on OUR schedule. They must never mow more often than every seven days (thus making us look bad) and only between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., thus not disrupting our quiet time. (A prior resident drove a tractor sized for a 160-acre farm, mowed night or dry, summer, winter, or fall. He delighted us once with mowing on Christmas Eve at 10 p.m. The tractor had headlights.)
How to share The Rules? Perhaps a cake with a The Rules on a paper baked inside, wrapped in tin foil? Or would that distract from my tin foil hat?
It was still early, only eleven now, so we went out for breakfast. Still grumpy from our early awakening, I was hostile. As we left, I yelled at my Beloved about a real or imagined slight. Trying to crack my mood and make me laugh, my Beloved started talking in a bizarre southern accent as if imitating our yet unknown neighbors.
“Why, looka there? She’s yailin’ at him,” my husband said, pretending he was our new neighbor. I have no idea why he chose an accent from the movie “Deliverance,” or just walked out of Harper Lee’s home church in Alabama, but that’s what he said and how he said it. Our new neighbors could be from Australia, for all we knew.
I played alone, which woke up me. Our neighbors needed names, I decided, names we gave them. If we were going to befriend them with a cake with a tin-foiled wrapped note inside, they needed names.
“Feudalee,” I said, for the wife, “She was named after her great-great-grand-pappy, Confederate General Feudal Lee Brown.”
I continued, “And Bertram for the man, for no reason I can think of, except I like the name.”
We laughed about that as we backed the car out of the garage. Recovering from that levity, we realized a bitter truth. We had new neighbors, and they might expect us to speak to them.
This is a vintage piece from, “A Piece of Her Mind,” 2013, Amy McVay Abbott is the author of multiple books, available at Amazon. If you laughed, consider sharing on your social media.
One thought on “Loners Welcome New Neighbors”
OMG! This is too funny. How about they must take in their trash cans the same day as the trash people empty them into the truck. I would also say no false house alarms, but to be honest, mine has malfunctioned twice this month and brought the police. While they were nice, my one neighbor was perturbed. Oops!
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