12 04 2008

I hate fences. Maybe because growing up in the country the only people who put up fences were trying to keep their cattle in. Even then, most farmers marked their cattle and allowed them to roam and mingle among their neighbor’s fields. They just put up fences to keep the cattle from getting in the road, not to say that on many occasions the cattle didn’t learn how to flee from the prisoning contraptions.


Having moved to a true suburban neighborhood, I’m starting to discover how much I really hate fences…J mows the lawn for the old lady next door; we fondly call her the old hag. So, from hence forth, that’s what we’ll call her. She complained to me one day that J’s tree branches were reaching into her yard and dropping seedpods in the front yard. (Which J cleans up when he mows the lawn, weed eats, and rakes the leaves.)She proceeded to mention how he could make him trim them…that there’s a law that gives her the right to do that. I guess she mentions it me, so I’ll mention it to him. I have a feeling she doesn’t want to mention it to him, because she may never get her yard mowed again. Of course, she has a son (rumor has it) that lives about 20 minutes away. J and I have been together for 2 years now, and of those two years I’ve spent at least 365 nights at his house and probably a good 100 weekends, never once have I seen this son…but we’ll save that topic for another blog.


This morning, setting out on the back patio this morning, drinking my coffee, I was looking at the tree that grows alongside our fence and the other old ladies house. The fence from the lady’s yard (we’ll refer to her as Mrs. Maid, she’s a retired school teacher) runs right beside the tree. I’m not sure how long this fence has been there, but the tree is starting to grow around the fence. It’s already been doing it, apparently, because the one side of the tree, that’s beside the fence, is growing in a square shape along the fence…the other side, is as round as can be. The squirrels love to run up and down the tree and along the fence. Of course, the branches hang over the fence and hang over Mrs. Maid’s yard. She never says a word. Of course, she’s partially blind, but J helps maintain her house, and do what ever she needs…and she in return harasses him and ask him when we’re getting married…she’s funny. We like her, although I hear she was kind of mean in her younger years…of course, age has a way of making us kinder…kind of evens the playing field, huh?


Anyways, back to the whole fences thing. My neighborhood is filled with these nasty little metal things, to separate everyone’s yard from his neighbors…we’re one of the few who don’t have a metal fence. Just a simple little wooden ranch-style one in the front yard. Which doesn’t really help keep anything out…it’s open on both ends, so people can easily walk in and out of the yard…I like it that a way. Encourages people to get out and talk to their neighbors, a tradition long lost that I think should be fully revived.


My neighborhood is also full of trees…old trees. J’s brother lives across the street and his very large oak tree reaches across the street and the branches shade part of our yard along with two other yards in the neighborhood. It’s huge, I’m tellin’ ya. And I got to looking…what the old hag sad, really started weighing on my mind…almost every tree in this neighborhood has branches that hang into other yards…yet, so far, no one has had a legal struggle over it. I think it’s mostly because older people live in the neighborhood, and really try not to cause trouble. But I’m worried about, as more young people move into the neighborhood, are they going to start seeing the trees as burdens and made their neighbors trim them back, or cut them down all together? It really would be ashamed. These trees were here long before us, and should be here long after us. I mean, really, trees don’t recognize fences; it’s just an extra obstacle for them to grow around. They just grow, as God intended them to, without thought as to where their branches reach.


I just pray that everyone recognizes the beauty these old trees hold, and just let them grow, without disturbing them. Whether or not they decide to reach their branches into our yards or not…in fact, I think we should count our blessing that the trees find us redeemable enough to grace us with their presences.