Friday, July 16, 2010

How I Wish!

How I wish my neighbor to the west were a bona fide renovator instead of just a compe- tent home repairman.

This past Wednesday he decided to start reshingling his roof.  They'd had a leak ever since they moved in seven years ago, he told me, and he finally was tackling it.

In order to pry off the double layer of shingles that run down a narrow slope on the side on the house, he had to remove a piece of the godawful ugly aluminum siding they have on their house.  And look what was revealed:

Yes, dark green shakes, maybe cedar!  Underneath all that crappy metal there may just be a respectable Shingle-style bungalow!  Oh! what if?  What if?

I figured there was no way Mr. Westneighbor* had any idea what he'd uncovered.  So yesterday, when I ran into Mrs. Westneighbor outside, I invited her upstairs to take a look.  Maybe, maybe if she saw what I'd seen, she'd get inspired and tell her husband and maybe they'd take all that filthy siding off and repair the shingles underneath.  Then not only would their house look better, but mine would look better next to it!
"Oh.  That's interesting," said she noncommittally.

Today, Mr. Westneigh- bor was up on the roof by 5:45 AM at least, working against time and the weather forecast to get the back side of his roof recovered before it could rain (which it hasn't, so far.  Rot.).  And by late this afternoon not only was that piece of disgusting siding back in place, he'd also glued it in with one of the most messy expanding foam insulation jobs I've even seen at that elevation.  His shingling job is straight and true, so I don't think he has any idea how bad it looks. 

And I need to keep my mouth shut about it, even if I'm the one who has to look at it.  It would be different if Mr. and Mrs. Westneighbor and I had ever grown to be friendly.  But for some reason, whenever I open my mouth to them, especially to him, I get the feeling I am highly disapproved of.  And in my sinful human weakness, I return the favor.  I don't approve of his aesthetic sense.  I don't like the fact he never mows his lawn (I and the neighbor on the other side do it when we can't stand it any more). I don't like the butcher job he did on the shrubs that face my property.  I don't like his overgrown silver maple that sends its seedlings all over the neighborhood.  I don't like his ugly stained siding.  And I don't like the fact that I struggle with feeling so uncharitable towards him.  So if I say word one about the expanding foam, my frustration and disapproval will leak out all over the place.

This is my problem and I have to deal with it.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! 

At least I can't see that awful foam job from my bedroom window.  But with my bad attitude, maybe I could use the mortification.


Karen Anne said...

I can just imagine the house that's hidden under there. Hopefully someday some new owner will rescue it, won't it look great then.

Kate H. said...

That would be nice. Or maybe the current owners will have an epiphany.

Meanwhile, it could be worse. I could live on the other side of the street (where the really nice-looking houses are) and have to look at our plug-uglies over here.