21 06 2008

So, it’s another Saturday morning of awe-inspiring blogging written from my front porch here in good ol’ Chesapeake, Virginia. I’m feeling very optimistic this morning…got a good nights sleep, am eyeing the house work I have to get done, and I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as I thought, of course I am hoping to start tackling the den which is piled up with stuff, but between this weekend and next Sunday I’m hoping to have a futon and end table in there to make a makeshift guest room for my mom while she comes to visit for a week, should be an interesting week.

I live in an older neighborhood, not a ran down neighborhood and not one of those revived neighborhoods, but an established neighborhood… and as I set on my porch stoop and look out there is one house that just pokes out, you just can’t help but notice…because it’s so damn perfect…so perfect in fact, it’s dull. Two medium sized trees in the front yard, 3 little bushes in front of the house, each the same size as the next, and practically exactly the same shape, the yard which is perfectly manicured and completely green, and I mean green, green, like your yard is in the spring for those few precious perfect weeks when it’s just naturally growing well, and green. The white trim & stair case railing is WHITE, not grayish or was white and has a little dirt on it, it’s white, perfectly white…the brick is the color that only new brick can be…the house was built 4 years ago, and it looks as though it were just finished yesterday…and in side, is Mr. and Mrs. Perfect along with baby Perfect. I know, I know, no one is perfect…but you just have to see them to really believe it…he’s a military guy, yet, is always home in time for dinner, and he’s never on deployment…hmm…I’m still wondering how he manages that…she, is now a stay at home mom, so he’s apparently doing pretty well. She gets up early and takes the baby stroller and goes for a walk, and always looks nice and neatly dressed, not annoyingly over dressed, but in normal clothes, yet they look perfect on her… He always looks nice in khaki shorts and either polo shirts or button down shirts that always look fresh from the dry cleaners, yet I never see them bring in dry cleaning…Mrs. Perfect, no doubt. They have a family dinner every night and then go for a walk around the neighborhood taking the baby along and chatting about their perfect day…they wave at all the neighbors “Oh, aren’t they just the perfect little family.” I hear as I drive by on my home from work, and think how easy it’d be to have dinner on the table at 5 if I wasn’t working, at all…but less 45 hours a week. ..she doesn’t seem to shop a whole lot, but every Saturday when she goes to the grocery store, either he goes along or the moment she pulls up in the drive way he rushes out to grab all the groceries…they almost never really smile, yet always give off that vibe of happiness…and they never brag about being happy, even though the vibe is so strong you can smell it…and he wears sandals…and doesn’t even have creepy man feet…strange actually…he could almost be a foot model…and that means something coming from me…feet are creepy, but ecspecially man feel.


The odd thing is, part of me really likes Mr. and Mrs. Perfect…they are the kind of people you just want to be friends with so you can in someway be closer to perfection…and then the other part of you, the evil part, wants to be friends with them so you can see inside their house and see if they are really as perfect as they seem….I’m sure they must fight sometimes, but, I never see it…never a hint of it…no one has ever stormed out of the house mad, they never seem annoyed when you say hello, or as you randomly sit on the porch unnoticed…and watch their every move…wondering…can they really be so perfect, yet the proof is there…but obviously I don’t have all the facts…


Suddenly, the other day, as I was watching the Perfect baby #1 (apparently #2 is on the way, according to a friend of the Old Hag’s) take some of his first steps across the yard trying to come see our puppy…and trying to make cute like whoofing sounds…They may be perfect, but my god their life is dull…there is no passion coming from over there across the street…My flower beds aren’t as perfectly manicured as theirs…my plants are each growing in their own unique way, and I let them…as long as they stay confined to the flower bed (which at the moment isn’t a problem)…our front porch has some dirt on it…but ever few weeks we sweep it off and make sure there are no dead leaves or sticks on it…about 2 times a year J pressure washes it, just for good measure…our lawn has a few bald spots in it, and one of my solar lights leans a little to the left (or right depending on what side of the porch you are looking from) J and I fight sometimes and one of us will storm out and going else where for our customary cool down sessions…our cars aren’t new, in fact, our newest one is a 98 Ford Taurus which is getting ready to break down every day….our garden hose is almost NEVER put up the way it should be…and out chair cushions pretty much have found a home draped over the porch banister, so when it rains on them, they are already hung up to dry…We’re not perfect by a long shot, but you know, I wouldn’t trade it for Mr. and Mrs. Perfect…I’d like to keep a few fireworks in my life…


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.