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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Strange Sort of Keeping Up With the Jones

I guess every neighborhood has some sort of Jones family and those that scramble to keep up with them. My neighborhood is no different.

I live in a very small neighborhood. There is a circular road with 13 houses and a dead end street with another 10 houses. I live on the dead end street and this is mostly a tale of these 10 houses and our strange affair with the Jones.

Some years it's innocent enough. Like the year half the adults decided they needed bikes to ride with their children. Then, there was the spring of re-done flowerbeds. There was also a, "let's plant a tree" phase that was pretty. The, “let's have garage sales” summer was kind of a bust, but most of the time it's all innocent idea stealing.

Not this year. It started out about the same. Spring started with a two week, "gee we'd better cut down those dead trees" festival. The boys loved watching them all come down.

Then, the Jones virus left our area to spend some time among the houses on the circular road. They had a wave of serious illnesses and death. We don't envy their domino effect at all.

But, by summer “Jones” was back on the dead end causing trouble. I blame a friend almost at the end of the street. She and her husband decided enough was enough: this would be the summer they would replace the roof. Now this is distressing news in our household, because if they replaced their roof ours would win the "worst looking roof in the neighborhood" award hands-down. We'd been trying to put it off a few more years.

So, we watched with interest as they made their roofing choices and began to prepare. Then quickly decided there was no way in the underworld we were touching our own roof this year. It played out like this.

No sooner did they buy all the supplies and have them delivered than their well dried up. Stop construction to drill a new well. . .

Then, they tore off the old shingles and dutifully put up the giant tarps until the weekend.

Enter several torrential rain storms. The tarps did not hold up. They now have to replace most of the ceiling in their garage and multiple patches within the rest of their house. A new set of tarps went up.

They were finally able to start installing their new roof and another neighbor's well started bubbling up all over the yard. . .

And so it continues to circle through the neighborhood leaving havoc in its wake until this latest adventure. Currently, if I look out my front window, I can see not one, but two, power lines dangling in my neighbor's front yard. Yes, they are live. We know this because they dutifully went "zot-zot, pop-pop-pop" before breaking lose and landing there.

For the next hour we got to watch the local police officer, the fire chief, someone from the electric company, and a few other people we never knew what they did, walk up and down our road in saying "yep, it's a wire" before quartering off most of my neighbor's yard with caution tape and driving away. I wonder what they plan to do when it rains tomorrow. . .

As for our household, we're holding our breath. That Jones virus is due to settle on our house fairly soon and there is no telling where it will attack. Couldn't we have stuck with bikes and gardens?

I think all the men are having jealous fits. The circle's Jones virus for the summer is go-karts. They all turn green with envy (from their dutiful spot on roofs and dirt pits that used to be wells) when they go up and down the road.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Wow. I'm so glad our family never tried to keep up with anybody, least not that I knew of. Being two steps behind in technology and such really helped us out in the long run.