If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

We have the greatest tree service at the beach here today (a shout out to Lucas Tree Service), chain saws wailing, limbs falling.  On Sunday we noticed a very large water oak in the back yard, dead and leaning dangerously over a neighbors’ house.  Naturally we called the tree guys first thing Monday and out they came, we made a plan and it was game on for this morning.  

We tried knocking at the ‘target’ neighbor’s door twice and finally left a note explaining what would be happening the following morning.  The guys would need to be in their yard, too, slowly and carefully removing this tree limb by limb.  No problem, this neighbor was easy going and happy to oblige.  Anyone could see that the

 leaning tree was a disaster in the making.

Not the neighbor who lives behind us, however.  Our yards are only separated by a shared landscape of natural palms and scrub trees.  We like it because it’s like a campground and I know they like it too.  It makes for a natural privacy fence.  The tree guys had to cut a couple of scrub trees to get access to the larger, leaning water oak and that’s when this neighbor came charging from his house, shouting at them to back away from his trees.  It was f- this, and m-f that and so on.  He was loud enough that another neighbor heard him from inside his house! 

All this over a couple of scrub trees, more like giant weeds in the overall scheme of things,  when he could obviously see that this very large tree had come to down or it would fall onto the other neighbor’s house!  The tree-guy-in-charge told this fuming fool to step off and he did, I guess, eventually.  I am in shock.  I don’t really know this neighbor but… what? What happened to approaching someone and speaking in a reasonable tone?  Why didn’t he come on over here and chat with me if he was so concerned?  He had to have been in his house watching…waiting for his opening to pounce.  

What makes someone so agitated that they have to come at someone with such force and vitriol?  “My property!”  I can’t express how bewildered I am by this.  My son told me recently that his wife told him and his friend to stay out of her yard, when they were just tromping through our shared woods, playing like the kids that they are.

I didn’t think we had such un-neighborly people living here and enjoying atlantic beachlife.  They don’t mingle too much, but we always smile and wave when passing their house.  

Our other neighbor, the one who heard the rants, said, “you don’t hear such language in this neighborhood.” And I had to smile to myself.  I guess he’s right.  We aren’t the kind of people to charge out and let the f-bombs fly at innocent workers who are just trying, at our behest and at our cost,  to be good neighbors and not let a tree fall on someone else’s house.

These are the gents who were so ungraciously treated.  On behalf of my neighbor, I apologize.  Thanks for the firewood and mulch, too, fellas!
Post Edit:  Said neighbor ate crow.  He actually came out of his house again, and apologized to all the workers for his earlier rant. It’s not easy for some people to apologize and own up to their own bad behavior, so props to him.  

You never know what someone might be going through that would make them act in a way that seems so uncouth so maybe this is a good lesson for all of us.  Let’s cut each other some slack and realize there might be a personal backstory going on when someone seems irrational and, apologize ourselves when we really must.

Mother is finished with her moral of the story now.

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