Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nez on FB: Overhearing Neighbors' Fight

What an old man without his dog thinks about.

Sometimes these background ideas turn into songs, sometimes, they turn into mundane musings about other people.

It's always fun to hear what people in gated (or double gated) communities think about the people they are locked up with.

I live in a gated community. Actually it’s double gated—a main gate and the gate at my house. The gates are open most of the time, closed at night usually.

It’s a nice place, with nice people, pretty homes. One of the more interesting families is just down the road. They have a really big house and a lot of acreage. Lots of kids. I don’t know them well. I say Hi at the mailboxes and that’s about it. But they are so active in the Home Owners Association that most of us here know what is going on with them. Like I say – they have a really, really big house.

She is the arborist for the city and he is in construction; big construction like roads and railways. 

It would seem that they have hit a hard patch in their marriage and some of the neighbors were talking about it the other day at the mailboxes. I mostly listened.

I noticed when the Arborists – I don’t know their names –had started building an addition on their home -- a large addition – several rooms in a whole new wing a while back. They have been in construction on it for a few years now.

They started building right after she got the job as the city arborist. It was a great job for her. One of the neighbors here has a truck dealership and she bought a fleet of big trucks from him for the new tree business. It’s a little city but with a lot of trees. 

The truck dealer – Ford or Chevy I think – maybe Dodge – I can’t remember exactly –said he was really happy with the sale to the Arborists – biggest sale he ever made -- but he was in a real quandary now because the weirdest thing had happened and he didn't know what to do about it.

For some reason the Arborists started fighting about the new addition. Apparently she didn't like it – the way it looked or something – and insisted that he stop building it and tear it down. They got very angry with each other. Shouts and screams – we could all hear it on some nights. I did notice the construction slowing. It didn't entirely stop however.

But here is the strange part –according to the truck dealer – Mr. Arborist keeps the books for the family while she does the heavy lifting, the chain saw work – I think she makes a lot more money than he does – and Mr. Arborist said that unless Ms. Arborist agreed to keep going with the addition he was going to stop paying all their bills. He hid the check book – something like that.

We all laughed at the absurdity of it – but not the truck dealer – (maybe Toyota?? – I just can’t remember -- if I ever knew) – but not him; he wasn't laughing at all. He was panicked. He said to us “Why would they stop paying me!? I didn't do anything. I made them the loan for the trucks and now he is not going to pay me because she doesn't like the way the addition to the house is going up? What the hell is that about?!” 

I felt very bad for him.

We all stopped laughing. For one thing I had no idea the dealer had enough money to finance Ms. Arborist’s fleet of trucks – and for another thing – I did see his point. 

Mr.Truck dealer didn't know what to do. He said if they stop paying him it will wipe him out – and Mr. and Ms. Arborist can forget about him ever loaning them money again. He simply could not understand why he was being held hostage because of some domestic fight.

I had to leave about that time – I’m packing for the tour today and heading to Nashville for rehearsals – but it started me thinking. 

I don’t know that I ever heard of that kind of domestic squabble leaking over to a neighbor like that before. One would think since the Arborists are married they would want to work together – find some way through the mess but the whole business of breaking trust with a neighbor because your own home has become a battleground just didn't make sense to me.

But –like I say I have to pack for the tour so I will leave it at that. I hope when I come home the Arborists have put their marriage together. They have great kids – and I think they lead a pretty nice life when they are not fighting. I know all of us in the neighbor ---

Wait! I know! The Kenworth guy – that’s it!! He sells those big Kenworth trucks. 

I know he will be happy when the wisdom of good will and understanding comes to the Arborists and that they honor their commitments - if not to each other at least to their neighbors.

Kenworth’s a good truck, I think."

10:20am Eastern time, October 15, 2013

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