I haven’t lived in a “neighborhood” for a very long time. For the past 27 years I’ve been zoned “agriculture.” So, while I’ve read about and have seen movies of neighborhood behavior, this is the first time in a long time I’ve had to deal with it myself.
For instance, I don’t know what brought it on, but yesterday everyone rushed out to mow their lawn. I didn’t notice that the lawns were becoming excessively shaggy.
Is it because Dirtman started to mow? Or because it was Wednesday? What happens if I let it go until Thursday? I mean sometimes the Heirs have something to do on Wednesday and it might be put off until Thursday or even Friday. What will become of us?
Oh, and did I mention the warm welcome we, as “renters,” received from the neighborhood? Like – none. I mean, other than from our landlords, who live next door. Even when Salt slipped under the fence and I chased him across the street where he went to greet the big black Lab whose name, as it turns out, is Pepper, and I apologized and introduced myself and the couple looked at me like, “Why on earth would we give a renter our real names?”
Though another couple across the street did offer us a place to park our cars while we had moving trucks and stuff in our driveway, so that was thoughtful.
I’m very conscious about keeping the dogs quiet, to the point of obsession. All it takes is one neighborhood dog to set mine off and there is a big difference between one dog barking and six dogs barking. Salt has, therefore, invented a form of communication that cannot, technically, be called barking. It’s sort of like he’s talking a strange language: rau, rau, raurauraurau…” Topper mutters expletives under his breath and, I swear, Abby rolls her eyes.
Then there are the Heirs’ rules of conduct: No loud music; no “peeling out” of the driveway; no driving up with the bass thumping; wave politely back to a neighbor if, in fact, anyone bothers to wave to A Renter; and no screaming profanities back and forth outside like we’re on Cops or something.
Oh – and no getting arrested in your underwear. I’m really strict about that.