Wednesday, January 9, 2013
"Do you live here or there?" the woman in the polar fleece jacket said crossing the street and approaching our yard.
"Who wants to know?" I said not disguising the suspicion in my voice.
"It's just you were moving the garbage bins around at that house," she said jutting her chin toward the house that Mr. Wonderful and I shared. "And now you're picking up palm tree debris from this yard," she said indicating the patch in front of Harold and Norma's house. "So where do you live?"
"Who are you?"
"I don't mean to make you upset--"
"Then tell me who you are!" I said rushing her like an NFL defensive tackle.
"The Inspector for your Turf Removal!"
Gee, why didn't she just say so?
A funny thing happened once I became a homeowner, I became suspicious. Suspicious of everyone and everything. Who's walking up my driveway? Whose car is parked in front of my house? Whose exhaling their dirty halitosis breath in my neighborhood air space? It was as if I were a one-woman Neighborhood Watch committed to eradicating the unknown for the known and passing out breath mints to strangers who needed them.
Another funny thing occurred with home ownership, this one related to possession. I referred to everything as mine: my kitchen, my house, my yard and Mr. Wonderful's weeds. Okay, the good things were mine the less good things were his. It reminded me how it had been for my wedding. As I recall Mr. Wonderful was present on that fateful day playing a major part in the "I do" department, but when all was said and done, it was my beautiful wedding, my fun reception and his expensive open bar bill.
So when this smiling female inspector started asking me questions without identifying herself, my suspicious shackles were raised as high as Mount Shasta.
"I had to come approve your application for the turf removal," she said visibly unsettled by my nearly-played defensive tackle. "You are removing your turf, right?"
"Yes I am!" I said and just like that, my attitude toward her did a complete 180 degree turn. I went from untrusting to "you're my BFF!" so fast I got whiplash. I can only imagine what it did to her.
Standing beside her I watched as she expertly examined our emerald green lawn, as she pleasantly chatted about the benefits of planting California Natives and as she graciously gave me a drip kit to irrigate our future turf-less garden. In short, she was a delight!
"Come back any time!" I said waving to her. She smiled and said she would when my bland green yard was transformed into a colorful floral garden. I can't wait!
Next Step: Removing the Turf!