Many ex-pats who maintain their US residence worry about the house they have rented to strangers. We do not. A Nice Family is renting our home. Mr. Nice Family even reports on “my” birds that live in the backyard trees, and had found the peony stakes even before I told him where to locate them in the garage. Plus, really, we have so many neighbors and friends reporting in on the goings on that we would know soon enough if they became a Not-Nice Family.
This is my newest peony bush, planted last spring. Now you see why I worry about the peonies, and why I am tickled that Mr. Nice Family likes to garden.
Adjacent to our house live Heidi and What’s His Name, and their two children. Our dear Neighbor Bob, who had lived in the house next door since 1954, passed away last March, and they moved in at the end of the school year. We met Neighbor Family briefly before we left for Austria. They informed us they plan to raze their circa-1942 Cape Cod next year and build a new house, so we know to be watching for their zoning request. “Good fences make good neighbors,” was Neighbor Bob’s mantra, and as long as Heidi and What’s His Name do not attempt to encroach on our fenceline with their renovation, we will all be good neighbors.
Ours is a good neighborly fence.
Behind our house is a wooded 2 acre lot on which sits a house one year too young for historic preservation status. Inhabitants of the wooded area include the usual suspects of rabbits and opossum and bats and woodpeckers and hawks and small ground rodents and an occasional deer, as well as families of Cletus’ nemesis. Nice Family’s dog has gallantly stepped in and patrols the DMZ to make sure the fox know that it’s business as usual while the Foxhound is away.