I , generally , believe in the social philosophy live and let live . As long as you don’t mess with me .
The new neighbor , for example : He didn’t want to rake the magnolia leaves from his front lawn ? So what if they piled up ten inches high . Not my problem . Some people like a dry crackly dead leafy lawn . But . But the problem was the brown crinkly leaves would wander over onto my driveway with the wind , slowly sliding on their dried tough edges , sneaking one by one , at first , then getting bolder and slipping over en masse . They began furtively to inhabit my lawn ; and then they wandered , uninvited , around my side yard , hiding ( not too effectively) behind the narcissus , against the stucco . Now it was my business , so to speak . No more live and let live . Enough of rugged individualism . Bring me your tired , your huddled masses of magnolia leaves and seed cones ? Not in my front yard , buddy boy . As it turns out , Ada early on , had talked to the neighbors about the problem . I think the neighbor’s wife got on his case after that and made him clean up . He had all kinds of fancy new yard equipment . He even had a hand-held yard vacuum . I heard a repetitive thumping noise one afternoon as I was trying to enjoy me retirement . An irritatingly odd noise in the neighborhood . Needed to be checked out . I peeked out the window to see what it was all about , in the watchful neighborhood style — my neighbors would do the same for me — and I saw the new neighbor working on his leaves .
They were being swallowed by this innovative yard tool clumsily hefted by the neighbor , kind of a scrawny guy . It was making the loud thump noise I had been hearing . The poor guy had a frustrated , despairing look on his sweaty , tortured face . The thump of every sucked-up hard magnolia fruit would make him wince . He may have been , at that moment , reflecting : So much for modern technology ! He may have been wondering why he’d spent so much money on this troublesome yard tool . Who knows what might have been filtering through his mind , if anything , at that moment .
I had suggested to him early on that he hire the gardeners who had worked his front lawn for years before he arrived . ” I’m my own gardener ,” he told me . With a tinge , an unpleasant whiff , of arrogance . A little halo of hubris wobbled above his head . My own gardener . We’ll see. Then he didn’t do a speck of gardening for weeks , until he had dead grass and a leaf pile ten inches high and it became my problem . It was Don’s problem , too . Don lives in the house on the other side of the new neighbor . Don , having put up with the world for ninety-one years , has more patience than I have, though .
“He works very hard , ” Don said . ” He’s always busy ,” he said . He doesn’t have time to do yardwork , ” he said . ” Maybe it’s not his thing ,” Don said , as the leafy weeks went on and the pile grew . Until a couple of months passed . The magnolia tree discards eventually began to pile up on Don’s lawn too . ” He should clean up that mess , ” Don said .
And he did , finally , of course . He hired the gardeners who had previously tended the lawn . Now , though , they demanded more money . One pays a price for arrogance , I guess . Not too many leaves reach my yard now , or Don’s yard .
But , before that , I will mention one more concern of mine , by way of, and in the interest of, full disclosure that violates the live and let live maxim. I am admitting that I can’t stand people who park their cars in the middle , taking up two spaces , at the curb in front of my house . I wrote a post about that once : park in your space No live and let live here ! No way . Pick one side or the other and leave space for another vehicle . It’s only courteous . It’s only thoughtful , compassionate , sympathetic . It’s only human ! But , I digress…………..
So the mailman drives the post office truck from house to house . At each house he climbs down and brings up the mail for one house , then he walks back to the truck and drives to the next house . I could understand that method of delivery if the houses on my block were further apart . But they are 50 foot lots . He drives 50 feet , parks , and then another 50 feet , and then another 50 feet …………. It bothers me . My tax money goes to this post office truck’s gas . If the guy can’t walk the route then he shouldn’t be out here delivering mail . Right ? Is it just me ?
Ada says to forget it . Live and let live . To each his own . I’m always saying ” To each his own,” to her . I half feel like reporting this lazy postman to the postmistress . Ada says, ” Don’t do that !” and I am not going to do that . After all : To each his own ! and Live and let live ! But , really !
I know , there are bigger problems in the world . I read about some of them every day in the newspaper ( online ) . And it doesn’t take much to see that our little problems don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world ( somewhat Casablanca ) . But still !
I know , I know , I have too much time on my hands .