Our elderly neighbor is yelling at me on this nice sunny Saturday. I’m sure she lays in wait till I appear with my rake and extra large clippers on the back side of our property.
“You shouldn’t be doing that”, she castigates me. “Your husband should hire someone to do that work, you will get hurt”, she continues. I just smile, nod my head and say its too expensive to hire someone. I enjoy cleaning up the yard.
Not to be dissuaded, she hauls their yard waste container noisily across the road to the sidewalk below our property. “You use this, we have lots of room. You won’t have to haul it so far this way”. Again, I smile and say thanks.
Crap, now I have to cautiously sidle down our rock steps to the sidewalk with the rake and bundle some dead leaves into their container. Then, schlep it back across the road to their trash area. I must fill up our yard waste container. We’re paying for it. She’s making extra work for me.
I believe she’s 82 and her husband is 88. I rarely see her husband. She has 2 or 3 skinny black cats, one is missing an eye. She used to live in Germany, this is her second marriage and she’s estranged from some of her family. Her kids do visit and she likes to have dinner parties.
She ensnared me one afternoon while I was down on the sidewalk, wresting with our overgrown ivy. I received a portion of her life story which lasted at least 30 -45 minutes. There is something about me, maybe my honest face, which prompts people to tell me things I really do not want to know. Being an introvert, I cannot find a way to easily disengage once they’ve caught me.
This is why I stay on top of the rock wall when I see her out and about. It’s a safe distance. She’s unlikely to yell more of her life story at me. I can handle the short scolding about working too hard by smiling and waving.