Sunday, July 17, 2011


Our house lies in a part of town that isn't quite ready to commit to being town yet. Yes, it's within two minutes of two Large Evil Chain Stores, one in the process of becoming Even More Supremely Evil. But it wasn't that long ago that it was out in the country. We have city water, but our own septic tank. (Or at least a septic-handling device of uncertain vintage.)

The town grows, though, and our little pocket is getting smaller. Over the back fence is a brand-new development with moderately-sized houses on tiny lots, with immaculate yards and tidy driveways. It's actually a low-income development built under a sweat equity program, but it's clear that the people who live there have every intention of being just as nice of a suburban development as anywhere else. Sometimes we sneak through a hole in our back fence and go play on their playground, but we almost never see or hear children, though the few we have met assure us there are many more. Even the dirt seems particularly clean.

On our side of the fence, the houses are smaller, sometimes trailers, and the lots are much bigger and often overgrown, except for the occasional yard whose overflowing abundance of flowers proclaims its owner to be retired. Chickens wander in people's yards and wake us up in the morning. Children ride their bikes next to the road, even though the observed speed limit is closer to fifty than thirty. They say hello to strangers and invite them back to admire the poultry. Probably no one thought twice about seeing the Duchess and Deux standing by the side of the road, holding up signs to invite all and sundry for a visit. It would have been unthinkable on the other side of the fence.

We want to put a gate in the back fence, to make it easier to get between the two.

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