One Thing Leads to Another

Last year at this time, this was the view out our front window. Our across-the-street neighbors, The Nonspeakers, had experienced A Terrible Event because the summer had been so rainy. Sometime around July, I think, their lovely retaining wall self-destructed.

Mr. Nonspeaker began to appear out front on a daily basis, working to repair it. Joe had gone away for a week or so to visit North Dakota with Sherry and her family, leaving me as a single parent to Blackberry. I didn't give the dog the quality of walks that Joe did; I endeavored to make up for that by quantity of walks. This inevitably placed me out front during Mr. N's labor hours, and it turned out that he could talk. A bit. (We still aren't sure about his wife.) Anyway, he said that he had not planned to do the repair himself. The first people he spoke with wanted $5,000 to haul away all the stone. I don't know what their subsequent plan was. Then he spoke with a mason who quoted him $10,000 to do the rebuild. That seemed a lot, so he spoke with a second mason whose price was $20,000. Rather than continue with that approach, he ordered a load of stone and got to work. It took him from August until March.

When Joe returned from North Dakota, he spent a few afternoons helping Mr. N, and began referring to him as "John." (We've only lived across from these people for 20 years and had no idea what their names were.) I'm not sure what happened to Joe as a result of this situation. But he was deep in thought for quite a while afterwards. 

Would you look at what showed up in our back driveway one day this past week!

It seems someone has a project planned. 

My dear neighbor noticed it all and texted me to inquire if Joe was going to build a wall. I assured her that he was, and that Mexico is going to pay for it.

But that's not entirely true. He has designed a patio to go below our deck, and will be surrounded by a little stone wall. There's talk of someday a hot tub on said patio. But first things first.



Janet O. said…
Such an interesting story. I can't imagine not knowing a neighbor after 20 years, but I guess it depends on whether or not they want to be known.
Looks like it is going to be some patio!
Barbara Anne said…
What a story! I, too, cannot imagine someone being across the street for so long without even casual conversation exchanged occasionally during that time.
It's nice that Joe could help with the rebuilding of the retaining wall and more interesting that the experience got the wheels tuning in his imagination. Happy new patio to you!