In Hamilton, it was the couple whose lawn was blanketed with every kitchy, tacky piece of plastic and ceramic ever sold as an ornament. It all lit up at night as if it was Christmas at the Dollar Store.
In Burlington it was the sweet older couple whose homemade, wooden windmill would get trashed by the bad kids but he’d carefully make and put something out there again anyway just to say, hey, we’re Dutch!
In Willowdale it was the next door neighbour, inside whose garage I once had a glimpse and nearly fainted. It was packed, cement to ceiling, with stuff you and I would have speed-dialled 1-800-GOT-JUNK to take away. It screamed “fire hazard”. One day he dragged all of that stuff out to the driveway and an exterminator was poking around inside. All I could think was, if I were a rat, I’d like to live there too….
Now the eccentric neighbour here in beautiful Byron is an older woman who beelines across the street when I’m in the garden and starts conversations out of the blue as if – and this is just a theory – the chat had already been underway in her head! She has an engraved sign in her garden that passersby stop to read, so one day I purposely strolled my doggie pal Echo past it so I could see what it said. It reads: Cats are like chips, you can’t have just one! (Groan!)
She pulls large and unsightly things out of her home or garage the day AFTER garbage day, where it sits for the entire week until the following trash pick-up day. There have been carpets, a vacuum, a microwave – it’s as if she needs to mark her territory with something unwanted. Once the garbage is picked up, out comes the items for next week, making the area in front of her home always look like the worst garage sale ever.
Now she has dragged a small table to the corner of her lawn and with a black magic marker on a jagged piece of cardboard she has written, “Mason jars for sale with lids.”
Fred Sanford lives and he has taken over the soul of the woman across the street!