Okay, it wasn’t that bad. Not compared to some things people we know are dealing with. Perspective.
But still, it was not a great day. I was going to call this short post, “I Live Next Door to the Devil.” It’s true. He was away for several months, but last night he returned home from holidays.
Today after lunch, he started yelling at me across the fence. He doesn’t like our trees overhanging his property. Actually he doesn’t like trees at all. Any trees. Over the past few years, he’s cut down all the trees on his property. A nice silver birch. A beautiful blue spruce. Several smaller ones. Even small shrubs.
He told me, “If you want to live in the country go live in the country.”
He hates nature.
The owner of a local tree service, before he passed away told me that a mature tree can add at least $1,000 per tree to your property values. But that was almost two decades ago. I’m guessing that $3,000 to $5,000 might even be realistic. They bring birds, and squirrels which bring music and entertainment.
I told him that we did, in fact thin out the foliage while he was away. But this is not the type of person you reason with.
He told me that he was going to take his chainsaw to them. I said, “Fine; cut down anything that’s over the property line.”
But then I had a change of heart. I rounded up the troops and all four of us descended on his side yard and back yard and did major surgery on the trees ourselves. We had a hedge-clipper going, two saws and were raking up everything as we went.
All this of course, looking over my shoulder the whole time. The guy is so mentally unstable I figured any minute he might decide we were trespassing.
This guy is a major case of anger management issues. We live in a constant tension of never knowing where he’s going to strike next.
We have no backyard. The side yard on our corner lot needs a bit of privacy. The trees provide that for us, something another neighbor affirmed when I spoke with him later in the afternoon.
We love trees. He hates trees. He really hates trees.
What an insane thing to argue over.
Or perhaps he just hates us.
Pray for us.
Postscript: We had a rather strange chain-smoking neighbor when we lived in our apartment in Toronto. I recently asked God why we were forced to spend the last 25 years living next door to bad neighbors after already dealing with this in Toronto and I very distinctly heard God say, “Because anybody else would have killed them by now.” I laughed when God said that, and I think I saw Him smile.