between my back fence and the river is a narrow strip with a house,
a house right close by my fence, and a road.
the road is called Back Street.
that's not its name, it's just what it is called.
the house is ugly -- really. sometimes worse than others.
i've fantasized about buying it to tear down.
but it is a good house, it has sheltered a variety of people,
all related in some way, as people around here are.
you have to be careful what you say.
"who her? she's my cousin!"
when we first moved here, it was occupied by a man
and his high-school age daughter.
he had killed his wife -- caught her in bed with another man
shot her dead.
went to prison.
came out and raised his daughter.
the neighbors told us we were supposed to keep an eye on him
not good if he was drinking.
my hubby talked to him sometimes over the fence
said he seemed like a nice man.
he gave us some horseradish plants.
eventually daughter grew up and they moved out.
some other people lived there, dogs and kids and motorcycles.
then the old woman who owned the house came to live there
once after a big storm she called us to say part of our roof was gone.
we didn't know, but she could see it from her window.
we were very appreciative.
but still, when her visitor (son? grandson?) 's pit bull got into our yard
and chased john into his car
we called the police.
a young woman with 2 young kids,
one was the beautiful one of indeterminate gender,
lived there for awhile.
SJ ran into her when his band was playing at a bowling alley
and during the break he wandered into the next room
where some heavy duty exotic dancing was onstage.
it was our neighbor.
she recognized him and came over to his table after her act
he said they had a nice chat. she was a nice person.
last year m. moved in to care for his mom
who had been failing, as they say.
he was a retired man, happily living in florida,
but had to give it up to care for her.
not enjoying winter, tho he was born and raised here.
the Very Rich Man (see earlier post) has been trying to buy the house for a few years.
it is certainly a blight on the picturesque village he wants us to become.
the old lady and her son m. refused to sell.
it was her home. who wants to move when you are old sick and dying?
now that she is gone, died in April, m. says they are after him again.
"they just don't know how to talk to new englanders" he says
and becomes more resistant.
i see him now as i sit on my back porch.
whatever he lost those years in florida has come back
with a vengeance.
like a true vermonter, he is digging, planting, making a garden.
he wants to fix the house up to be nice
like it was when he was young and his grandparents lived here.
getting him out is going to take something
that goes deep down into the roots.