Monday, July 31, 2006

Hooray for Neighbors

I think I've mentioned before how in the first 30 minutes of living here we met as many neighbors as we met in 2-1/2 years of living in Monrovia. And then in a day we had surpassed that. Even recently we met another neighbor. It's a pretty friendly place. Even if the neighborhood association sends you letters saying you have too many weeds in your front yard. Anyhow, here's what happened yesterday...

I was working in the yard yesterday and just when I was about to give up for the day on this stump that I planned to work on for the next few years, my neighbor hopped into my yard (his yard is about a foot higher) and looked at what I was doing. Then he left and returned with a pickaxe and helped me for awhile. Then he left for awhile and I kept working. Then he came back with a reciprocating saw and then left again coming back with another extension cord (he didn't like mine) and then worked some more. Then he left again and came back with a giant nearly-20-pound pole, like a giant prybar, I've also heard it called a "persuader bar." I was pretty sure before the day was up that I was gonna get hit by that.

So we kept working and we got to where the entire thing was rocking so he was sticking the prybar under it and pushing and pulling. I was working the other side with a shovel. And then his wife came over (who speaks no English) and then conversed back and forth for a few seconds and she grabbed the pickaxe and started pulling. He traded me the shovel for the prybar which was a little concerning. And I got an amazing grab on the bar and started pulling and had to step over the root and keep pulling. He dropped the shovel and joined me in pulling. It got much looser and then physics took over, the bar sprung free and smashed into the side of my head with the weight of at least 300 pounds of pressure being applied to it by the two of us. Fortunately it hit my ear and that cushioned it. I got a small scrape on the top part of my ear and a nice black and blue goose-egg on my head behind. It hurt like crazy but I never got woozy or any headache, which is really weird. So now it's hard to talk on the phone or listen to headphones or wear glasses, but thankfully still no headaches or anything.

And the frigging stump is out. He left later and left his tools in my yard. I used the reciprocating saw until I couldn't stand anymore and then knelt there in the grass hacking at the thing until the blade was twisted beyond use and then I drove to two stores to by a replacement and then came back and cleaned the tools and took them back. I raked everything off the grass but now I need to fill in the hole and move all the roots and Lori's got a nice new place to plant. It's nice having it done. Neighbors can be kinda cool.
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