Neighbors, Fences, & Bells January 21, 2020
It’s been cold and rainy here in Sonoma County just north of San
Francisco this winter. Temperatures are ten degrees F below normal.
Folks are kinda cranky. This isn’t California weather.
Today was garbage pickup day in our town and today was the first
time in over twenty years that Barry, our a bit mad neighbor in the
blue shack, didn’t wheel down his trash bins from up the street at
his sister’s house. Or wheel out his trash bins from the space
between our carport and his blue shack.
Because we built the fence. Sure, it was expensive and I had to deal
with the police when Barry’s galumphing brother-in-law called the
cops to say the fence was illegal.
But we won! The noise of Barry and the Galumphing Man moving
their trash bins across our property and sidewalk is over. It’s been a
long battle. But they are gone.
I wonder if this is how the Afghans will feel when the USA finally
leaves that shithole?
Today was a particularly miserable day with constant rain and a
high temperature of 52F. My wife and I stayed home all day. By the
end of the day I was getting stir crazy so after dinner I went out to
the back patio to start a fire in the chiminea.
It was pitch dark and misting. A fire was going soon enough and
there was Buddy our big orange tabby cat to annoy me meowing for
food or heat or something. I accidentally stepped on the cat and he
was off in a rush.
My wife was inside getting ready for bed and I watched the “Indian
TV” fire. I still had some old plum tree logs from the trees that used
to grow in front of our house. Those plum logs burn hot and
As I stood there looking at the fire with beer in hand, I heard a gong
or a bell across the street going “Dong, Dong, Dong.” Not too loud
so it would bother one. Kinda like some Buddhist in a monastery.
I went up onto the back porch to look over our fence and saw a light
in the backyard of the “aircraft carrier” modern house across the
Someone was there banging this bell or gong in three notes over and
over. Then I saw them with an orange torch in their hand. Then a
white light and then no light. Just the same three note gong/bell
song going on over and over.
You never really know what your neighbors are like. Hell, they could
be devil worshippers or cannibals for all we know.
As long as they pay their taxes and keep quiet. No problem.
Well, at least we don’t have to look at Barry’s blue shack anymore or
put up with his trash bins.
A small victory, and an expensive one, but a victory over the
Well, Buddy came back home. I fed him on the back porch and wrote
this. Then Buddy banged on the front screen door so I let him in.
I took him out to the back patio to get his food bowl and their was
Pepe le Pew, the skunk, eating Buddy’s kibble. Boy, that skunk is
And now the fog has come in. Time for the local news on TV (which
is hilarious) and then bedtime.