A policeman came around the other day, spoke to K&R, the couple who were doing some yard work for me. “Seen any crackers [sic] there?” he asked, indicating the green house adjacent to the end of our yard.

“If you do, let us know,” he said. The house is presently standing empty. One of those spooky times when something you strongly wish for comes to be.

This house we moved to is really quite private, especially for being near the centre of a town. On one side is a dense 20-ft. cedar hedge.

On the other is the back of a church...so that even on Sunday morning we hear and see nothing (and vice versa).

Our house on the right.  Church is beside us at the front, the green house (behind church) at the back.

Our front view out of our picture windows is not into the picture window of a house across the street. Instead we have a hedge and trees at the back of a yard.

In the spring a huge golden-chain tree is our front view.

In fact, I have sheers and drapes on the picture window, more for fending off the late summer afternoon sun than anything else, and some token covering on the big back kitchen window, but nothing on the bedroom windows or the side LR window.

Living-room side window, bedroom side and back windows.

It's a weird little street, properly named “Odd”, with a 90 deg. bend in the middle, with just three houses – ours, the corner house (pie-shaped lot) behind the high hedge, and one on the other arm of the street. None of us comes and goes much, nor has visitors very often (hermit me seems to have the most activity), and so there's very little foot or vehicle traffic. It does link two streets, but is not the most direct way for that...

The back yard seems to look out onto woods between us and a mountain.

Eek, ignore the clutter in the foreground and grok the view behind the back fence.

In fact, there is a rail line just outside the fence (with regular trains), and beyond that are some houses and some industrial areas (some empty, some where temp. buildings are made). Then the end (or beginning) of the notorious Coquihalla highway, which here in town is a main road, with McDonalds and a sushi and other restaurants, several motels, gas stations, a supermarket...and beyond that are a few more houses, and then another highway, the Trans-Canada. But we see & hear nothing of that. Just the occasional train.

The only bothersome thing in this picture is the green house, beside the church, oddly located behind the church parking lot (so not even on the street), and adjacent to the back of our yard.

Another view, showing how the green house impinges on the back half of the yard.  (Dogs belong to yard couple, K&R.)

It has big windows, upstairs and downstairs. With a great view of our yard and all our doings. Not that the inhabitants showed any interest, but as someone who lived for 40 years in seclusion in the country, I found it annoying.

Added to which, when we first moved the two dogs there had hysterics any time we went into the back yard.

A woman and her husband lived in the top floor, her aged mother on the main. Time passed – husband left, mother died. Woman moved downstairs, had series of boyfriends, rented the top floor. The electric fencing gave out with no husband for upkeep and the younger dog roamed free. Owner and tenant produced impressive amounts of garbage, which they left outside, and which the dog got into and strewed around on the grass (officially a laneway?) between us and the church, and which the church guy who did the grounds patiently picked up. The town Facebook pages had periodic alarms about a dog running loose in the vicinity, who did it belong to, reassurances from the owner that it was “fine”.

More and more annoying.

I got some of those hedging cedars to put along our shared fence-line (as seen in above photos)...but it would be years before they made a satisfactory wall.  And one has already croaked.

And then one day the owner was gone. K&R, my (hah) personal groundskeepers, who'd done work for her (and got stiffed), reported that the bank had repossessed. Since it was standing open, as in doors not just unlocked but hanging wide open, K invited me to have a look. The owner had sold off what she could and left a lot of stuff behind, just strewn all about the place. There was dog shit in the middle of the upstairs LR. And it reeked of dog pee, which had drenched the carpeting. R was of the view that the place had to be cleared out, even the drywall, down to the bones.

Not long ago someone was hired to clear out, stopping short of the drywall. He asked over the fence if he could use my hose. Sure, I said...and could I ask a favor – I'd like to get an “arial” view of my yard from the upstairs window. Sure, he said. The place was now almost clear. Different odor – he apologized for the strong floral scent...he was trying to counteract the dog-pee.

And since then it's stood empty.

Perhaps because of its odd location, not directly on a street, it's not obviously deserted – thus (so far) the lack of “crackers”.

I suggested to the church groundskeeper (as happy as I that the owner had gone – now he only had to mow instead of picking up diapers and cans...) that the church should buy the place, tear it down and add it to their parking.

“Good idea,” he said.

But rentals are being begged for and the real estate market is such that houses sell as soon as listed, sometimes unseen. So I expect that in due time, and well before my cedars grow up, someone else will be living there. And have a great view of my yard.

Views: 176

Comment by Zanelle on June 30, 2016 at 2:34pm

Fascinating.   Wonderful panoramic of your yard.  You should buy it!  I would love to come stay there and fix it up and make it part of your yard.  You could rent out rooms and be all happy and rich.  Your life is lovely there.  Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Myriad on June 30, 2016 at 5:40pm

I actually thought, for a minute or two, of buying the place.  But I can't afford to do anything like that...and all tales I've heard about being a landlord/lady are daunting...  Might have worked for my older daughter & husband who recently moved to town - but timing is all wrong, and configuration wouldn't suit....and it's right on top of the railway track...

Comment by JMac1949 Today on June 30, 2016 at 5:47pm

R&L  We seldom get to choose our neighbors.

Comment by koshersalaami on June 30, 2016 at 5:56pm
The track is an issue. What kind of trains? Freight, passenger, both? I used to live less than half a mile from a railroad track and the whistles late at night were loud, though I got used to them. I lived where I hardly ever heard planes but heard trains. Trains are cooler.
Comment by Myriad on June 30, 2016 at 6:13pm

JMac - too true.  And no way to vet them before buying...

Kosh - freight and occasional passenger.  Quite a few.  We don't notice them.

Comment by Myriad on June 30, 2016 at 6:19pm

Train going by, thru my kitchen window.  (Looks closer in the photo.)

Comment by Zanelle on June 30, 2016 at 6:27pm

I think the trains going by would be so cool.  I like to look for graffiti   What an interesting place.

Comment by Myriad on June 30, 2016 at 6:31pm

The freight cars tend to be decorated...

Comment by Julie Johnson on June 30, 2016 at 6:33pm

When I first moved in to the honey moon cottage 2 doors down from us now with the grizzly bear 20 years ago, our next door neighbors were a 98 yr old man and his 70 yr old son.  I used to get the biggest kick out of watching the old man go to get the paper in the mornings, glance at the headlines and start cussing so loud, all the way back up to his door.  I'd make sure he didn't see me, or I'd get pulled into the conversation.  When the old man died, his son turned recluse and we kept an eye on him, used his property just like our own with the dogs and the kids.  He didn't mind, he always said he'd sell it to us first.  Well...

It didn't work out that way.  He had a stroke, and left the place to his daughter and he went to assisted living.  His daughter is /was just as loud as the old man was, but not as funny.  Very, very annoying.  You couldn't walk out either the back, or the front without either her or her husband or their young daughter seeing you, and hollering as loud as they could, and waving even, "HELLO!  HELLO!"  They wouldn't take a wave back and a head duck as an answer either.  They'd come right up to you, in the yard and start telling you stuff.  Then, they started having parties.  For two years, we lived like this, peeking out the window before going out the door.  Until I'd had enough.  I found every piece of scrap metal roofing I could, and built a seven foot tall fence across the back.  My Anna calls it our 'ghetto fence of protection'.  It is sort of funny looking, and  I haven't ever painted it, but it does the job. 

Comment by Julie Johnson on June 30, 2016 at 6:35pm

ps.  I really like your pictures, Myriad. 

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