Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Finger-pointing Neighbor:

I saw you. I was sitting in my favorite chair in my favorite window, reading Evernote for Dummies, if you must know, and concentrating on recovering from a cold so I could go back to work Monday. You see, I don't get paid if I don't work, and I've already had to cancel half a day for this bug.

You were walking past with your wife and your stick and your dog, and you pointed. And you said something to her -- I assume about the condition our yard is in. I mean, you could have been saying something nice about our bird feeders and nest boxes and stuff, but. As Mr. Simply put it so bluntly, when he saw you go by and point, "It's in the worst condition of any yard in the neighborhood." So what are the odds?

What you don't know is that Mr. Simply has, in the last six years, been through radiation, hormone therapy, surgery, and chemo for two different cancers. Because of his illness, he was forced out of his company, made to retire ten years early on half pay. We're a lot better off than many people who were losing their jobs and their homes in the recession that was coming on about that time, but still. He lost half his income and all of his get-up-and-go.

As for me, I have a life-long disability that has been getting steadily worse. Unlike Mr. Simply, I'm still working, but my little business went belly-up the year after he "retired", and since then I've had to cut back on my hours a little more every year so that I'm making now probably about half what I was then. 

We can't walk our dog together any more. Nor can we get out and clean up the yard like we'd like to, and we can't afford to hire it done either. Our neighbor mows the part of our yard he can get to when he mows his, and I can't tell you how mortified we are every time we see him drive over here on his little John Deere.

There are plenty of other streets you can walk down if it offends you so much to pass our place. So take your judgmental, bourgeois, ableist self on down the block -- unless, of course, you're thinking of offering to help us out a little here. In which case, sit down. Pull a weed. I'll make iced tea.