When I bought my house it was vacant, and it would be at least 35 days until I moved in. As you might guess, once the deal was inked, the owner (Les) had little incentive to maintain the lawn until I moved in. So when I got there, the lawn was at least 2 weeks overdue to be mowed. I moved in without a lawnmower, and have lived here two and a half weeks. So the lawn looked pretty bad, and when I would see the neighbors walking around outside, they looked at us disparagingly, as if letting the lawn get like this would cause rapidly escalating blight, and in a few days, a Camaro on blocks would suddenly spring from the overgrown grass and dandelions.
So Sunday, while Ivan and I were outdoors measuring the surface area of the outside of the house to size up future paint needs, the Belonging to Wilson offered us the use of their mower, though we'd not solicited them for one. We'd actually already arranged to borrow a mower a day later from Ivan's friends the Savage Guys, but the Belonging to Wilson live right next door, so we accepted graciously. But the underlying theme of the offer seemed to be (a la the Monty Python bookstore skit) - "Here's a lawnmower. Now use it!" "I don't have time to mow the lawn this week" "Here! I'll mow it for you!".
I get the feeling if we'd made even the slightest excuse to NOT borrow the mower, the Belonging to Wilson would have mowed our lawn for us, just to keep from having to look at its unruly state a moment longer. I believe they mowed my lawn at least once after the house was vacant and before I moved in. Now, I may not have a lot of "keep up with the Joneses" sensibilities, but I'm at least community-oriented and proud enough to not want to let a 70 year old woman to mow my lawn because I'm too preoccupied to do it this week.
So I spent the sundown hours of Sunday mowing the lawn. Fun fact: the reason people mow their lawns at ungodly hours like 9am is because the heat is a Good Thing. Grass retains water, and if the water doesn't evaporate, and the heat is diminishing, and the base of the grass blades are wet, the cut grass clumps up, won't go into the grass catcher, clogs the mower blade and shuts the mower off every 3 minutes. The end result is something like trying to give someone a crew cut with a pair of left handed safety scissors.
But at least the lawn is presentable now, and the Belonging to Wilson won't curse my name (or at least, not this month). Both Ivan and I found it funny that while I was taming the wild wet grass and composting the clippings, he was inside painting the trim in the living room and then making dinner. Of all the couples who could have ended up next door to Belonging to Wilson, they get a man with a pony tail who cooks and does massage and a short haired chick who removes the dandelions from the yard with a shovel. I wonder what they must think of us, especially since the first impression they got of us was our artcars?
And the Belonging to Wilson continue to spend an inordinate amount of time in their kitchen. Assuming their sink is at the window and that's where they're standing when we see them, it's like they're doing the dishes for the entire neighborhood. Either that, or they have the 24 hour Matlock channel broadcasting from a set bolted above the refrigerator.