Just in case you didn't know, today's title is from the lyrics of an Aretha Franklin song. It was the first thing that came to mind when I thought about what I should title this post.
Here's the story...
When we first moved here we were fortunate to find an older neighborhood where the houses weren’t built too close together. One time my mom and I were driving past a neighborhood and I commented how close the houses were to each other. In my mom’s quick sarcastic wit she said, “Yeah, pass the sugar.” Since then I’ve called houses built too close together “pass the sugar” homes. So fortunately no one in our neighborhood can pass the sugar, but we are close enough to yell a conversation across front yards.
Eight years ago when I walked around here there was no new construction; just woods behind and between houses. Since then a street has been extended cutting straight through the woods and over ten houses have been built. The new houses still have a decent amount of space between them. However, there’s a cul-de-sac that I loop around as part of my walk and I saw three FOR SALE signs on lots with trees. I’m thinking, “Where? THREE? No way!” But I know it’s possible and it will happen. I feel sorry for the neighbors who probably didn’t think a house could be squeezed between them and the new house. Now they might be able to pass the sugar - on an extended pole - but still.
There used to be woods behind OUR house, in a place that I thought no house could fit. Much less a HUGE two story house. I remember the exact weekend the lot was being cleared. It was Labor Day weekend 2009. My husband was deployed and I needed my mommy. Mom and Dad drove up for the weekend so that I could relax and sleep in. That Saturday morning as I was laying in the bed with my head under the covers, I heard the sound of too early yard work. Seriously?
It didn’t sound like regular cutting grass yard work. Trees were being cut down and sawed up. I looked out of my bedroom window and saw all the activity. By Monday morning I saw a bald spot where trees had been. This was no surprise to me, but I had forgotten about the possibility of losing the trees. A man had come by our house earlier in the year saying that he would be in our backyard trying to determine the property line so he could put in a septic tank. I was confused about why someone would be putting in a septic tank in the middle of the woods. DUH! For months after that I noticed red flags tied to trees just beyond our property line. I naively thought it didn’t mean anything. So my heart sank when I realized it did mean something. We were losing “the woods” that didn’t belong to us, for a septic tank.
Fast forward almost three years, the house is still not complete. I figure the owners must be contractors because they only seem to work on this house on holidays. We were trying to hold out putting up a fence to see what they were going to do. If they put up a privacy fence then we wouldn’t need one. This was the second winter “looking through” at the new construction. It is time to go ahead and do something about it. We are already fenced on both sides of the yard and frankly there wouldn’t be a fence high enough to do anything about this.
Here’s the thing... the new trees that we are planting should provide some privacy in about seven years. Maybe by then our new neighbors will be done building their house and I can peacefully sleep in on holidays.