Friday, July 24, 2015

The lot next door

The empty lot next door to our house has many fond memories for our family and friends.  When we first moved here our neighbor told us we had the best kite flying lot at the whole lake.  When February came around we went kite shopping and got some really great kites for the girls.  We attended a kite workshop at the Children’s Discovery Center in Rockford to get some tips.  It turned out that Addi’s picture was in the Rockford Register Star while working on her kite at the workshop.

The wind picked up and out we went to fly the kites.  It was a perfect day and the kites flew wonderfully.  The next try was not so easy and we lost Jess’s kite in the woods next to our house.  She was so distraught but we got her a new kite soon after.

The kids in the neighborhood would gather in the lot next door to fly kites and it was such a sight that people would stop their cars down the hill and watch the kites.

Girlfriend, Ellie, is a pink flamingo fanatic.  One year for her birthday we all got her pink flamingos and she had a little gang of flamingos on her lawn.  We used to sneak into their yard and rearrange the flamingos.  Once they were caught “doing it”.  We put instruments on them once and they were a band.  Once we had a little party on our deck and Ellie’s family came.  Their son Jay has this tremendous sense of humor. The girls decided to fly kites and Jay snuck down to their house and brought up a flamingo which he attached to his kite and flew the flamingo.  We took pictures.  Ellie got such a great kick out of it.

One beautiful evening we decided to go for a stroll and when we walked into the lot next door we saw the Northern Lights for the first time ever.  The hubster was so excited he went and woke the girls up to come out in the lot to see the Northern Lights.  They were too sleepy to appreciate it but it’s still a great memory.

The first few years we lived at the lake we had three apple trees in the back yard.  I put up quarts of apple pie filling.  I made dried apple fruit roll ups.  It took forever to make them and the girls snarfed them down so fast it was unbelievable.  I don’t think I ever made them again.

When the apples were pretty much gone all was left was the stupid rotting ones on the ground.  We had batting practice with them and batted them into the lot next door.  In November when our Jack-o-lanterns were rotting we would roll them down the hill into the lot next door.

After eating corn on the cob, we would all go out on the deck to see who could throw the corn cobs the farthest.  It was so funny in about a month to see the ground covered with corn cobs.

Once someone tried to build a house on the lot next door.  After they put up stakes setting out the plans for the house, the hubster and I went out that night and pulled up all the stakes.  Their plans must have fallen through because there still isn’t a house on the lot next door.

When the lot next door went up for sale the hubster was devout in thinking we were going to purchase it.  I put my foot down.  Two tax payment, two association fees, two water bills, let alone maintenance of the lot?  There was no way we were buying that stupid lot next door.

After the hubster charcoaled and built up his ash collection he would go dump the ashes in the lot next door.  That dirt will never grow anything but weeds.  He dumped his ashes in my garden a few times after he hogged up the lot next door so bad that when they mowed it there was a huge dust storm of charcoal ashes.  I couldn’t grow anything in those darn charcoal ashes.  We now save our charcoal bags and empty them into it and put them in the garbage.  The dump should beware!

When I garden and find little rocks I usually sling them over my shoulder into the lot next door.  Just wait for the mower to show up, and stay inside is all I can say.

In the spring when I am cleaning up the yard I drive my truck into the lot next door and rake the white pine needles right into the truck.  Makes for easy clean up.

When we first got Jessie dog we would play fetch the tennis ball with her in the lot next door.  She discovered the gophers soon thereafter and began hunting gophers.  She uses her mouth like a crane and takes a big divot out of the hole and then she repeats until her mouth is so nasty.  Then she starts digging with her feet.

I quickly learned that when she made that first bite to get her away from whatever she was trying to get to.  Addi came home once and took Jessie dog into the lot next door. She allowed my dog to hunt gophers. She was laughing so hard.  She thought it funny.

The hubster also once took Jessie dog gopher hunting.  What is wrong with these relatives of mine?  It takes forever to get her mouth clean again.

These days I am battling the beetles.  Japanese beetles are everywhere.  On my raspberries, on my beans, on my basil!  I am so mad at the Japanese beetles.  Whoever brought them to the US of A should have to eat a big pile of beetle fried rice or a beetle taco!  My newest method of beetle battling involves an ice cream bucket with warm soapy water.  I rake the beetles into the water.  The soap gets on their wings and they can’t escape.  I leave it sit overnight and then I dump it in the lot next door.

Someday, excavators are going to be digging in the lot next door and will be amazed at what they will find.  I’m thinking I should throw Jessie dog’s old bones in the lot next door.  That will make their find even more interesting.

This is a photo of my Daddy's garden.  It has his old shovel and his old wheelbarrow in it.  He was quite the patriot and so I made it a patriotic theme.  Red, white and blue flowers and I decoupaged the flower pot with flag material.  I think he would really have liked it. Behind it is the lot next door.

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