The New Neighbors


At the end of our very tiny street in our very tiny town, there’s a house that sat vacant and for sale for a couple of years. It was recently purchased by a young(ish) couple—Lotsa tattoos, plenty-o-cars and trucks...Both smokers. None of that is any of my business. I introduced myself when they moved in, but they don’t seem interested, which is probably a good thing, but you never know. They have, on occasion, a small boy who seems friendless. He’s significantly overweight, maybe 6 or 7 years old.

Their lot ends at the corner where the mail-box cluster for our tiny street is located. Since we moved in, the mail-box corner was nicely shaded by a cluster of plum trees. The added advantage to the shade was the presence of plums. Tasty little plums. Made for a fine plum buckle on occasion.

My suspicion is that the plum trees somehow offended the new neighbors, because those trees have been decimated. Interestingly, after they were cut down, they were simply left where they fell, and the plums were left in the street, drawing yellow-jackets. In the summer heat (and humidity) the rotting plums have attained the aroma of jailhouse pruno. Not altogether distasteful, but it is a bit overwhelming.

In the middle of what was once a lawn on their lot, they put in a fire-pit surrounded by 5 or 6 derelict folding chairs. I never actually see it in use, but every morning, there are beer cans scattered all around the pit and chairs, so I imagine it gets used.

The house is a two story affair, like many are here in Castle Rock. Their second floor has a balcony with a railing that overlooks the aforementioned fire pit and empty corner where plum trees once stood. On laundry day at their house, can you guess what the railing on the balcony is used for? Take as many guesses as you need to end at very large underwear sun-drying so the entire neighborhood can enjoy the view.

There’s a two car garage that faces the fire-pit. On warm afternoons, they raise the garage door to expose an old couch that sits at the very edge of the garage, facing the fire-pit. They seem happy to bask in the view they have created wearing their freshly laundered minimalist clothing. People should be happy, no?

During their deforestation efforts, they amassed a gigantic pile of debris onto what was once a raised planter bed, about 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. When I say gigantic, I mean it. That was one of the very first things they did upon their arrival a few months ago. That branch and leaf debris is now dry as a bone, and native wild birds and rabbits have moved in.

This is as far from a Castle Rock miracle as I hope to ever be, I’ll keep you posted.

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