My neighbor Mrs. Luna is a fytophobe, a word I just made up, meaning that she is opposed to too much greenery in her yard, or, sadly, in her neighbor’s yard. When I first moved into my house, thirty years ago, there was a nice tall hedge between my house and her house on my property, I might add. Shortly after I moved in, she cut it down, and had some specious rationale as to why she did it. There was no point in getting angry at that point, since the hedge was already gone. She had a lovely tree in her yard, which she cut down for no reason at all. We all mourned its passing, and could not believe that a rational person would do such a thing. She came into my yard another time and mutilated my lilac tree because it was touching her utility wires, which cross over my garden. This made me quite angry, but I restrained myself, because aside from this one major character flaw, she is a delightful neighbor. When Rachael was a tot, she was constantly bringing us odd presents like weird Asian candy and cookies, or huge boxes of breakfast cereal that she got at the PX (her husband is a WWII veteran, meaning they are old.) She was supportive when we were being bothered by our ghost, (a story for another day) and told us stories about the ghost, Sophia, in her pre-ghost days. She has always kept close tabs on us. Once she asked about Rebecca’s school, and said, “She studies so hard.” “How do you know that?” I asked. “I see her in her bedroom, always at her books.” I am sure she would need binoculars for this.
After the hedge was gone, we put up the fence you see here. I would paint it in the wee early morning, i.e. 4:30 a.m. to avoid the heat, and Mrs. Luna was out there every morning to keep me company. A friend has just repainted it, and I warned him that she would be out to assess his job and give him tips. She was. He quite enjoyed her.
Last year, Rebecca planted three grape plants, and one day, two of them which were twining on the fence (the one that Mrs. Luna considers her fence, I am sure), were suddenly little stumps. Rebecca was in tears, and I was consumed with rage. I am afraid that I was quite rude to Mrs. Luna, and even mentioned the word “police.” Everyone here had mixed emotions about my angry outbreak, and for a while, Mrs. Luna ignored me as she drove by. However, happily, there has been a rapprochement, and the other grape plant is flourishing. One of the stumps has had a resurrection of sorts as well.
Tom Update: Very weak, but comfortable.
10 hours ago