“Will you check my mailbox and see if there’s anything in there?” an elderly woman called out to me from her driveway as I walked by. Her voice was amazingly strong and loud for a woman possibly in her 80’s.
“Sure,” I said, and opened the box. I walked up the driveway and handed over the single white envelope.
She thanked me.
Though her eyes were clouded with cataracts, her face seemed to hold the sweetness of so many women from that generation, reminding me of my grandmother.
I was glad she stopped me.
On my return, nearly an hour later, she stood alongside that same mailbox.
I pulled out my earplugs.
“I’m disabled with my hip,” she said. “Will you go move that?” She pointed across the street to a fallen palm frond. “Those people tossed it there. Will you move it back before it blows into my yard?”
Now, what little I know about palm fronds is they’re usually quite heavy, and absent a hurricane, I doubt they’d blow anywhere until someone, namely the county yard waste crew, picked them up.
“I’m sure they’ll pick it up next time,” I offered, trying to sound helpful.
“Those pigs in that house tossed it into that yard,” she shouted in her booming voice.
Oh, no. I steeled myself for whatever was coming next.
“What kind of people do that?” Her voice rose with each sentence. “They’re filthy pigs!”
Their yard was well-maintained and the landscaping quite beautiful. I had an idea what the real problem was.
“Go get that and put it back in their yard,” she insisted.
At this point, I wasn’t about to step in anyone’s yard across the street, nor move anything. There was no telling what kind of feud these people were having and I suspected there might be some form of dementia going on with this poor woman.
“I ah…don’t think I should do that,” I said. “It’s not my yard.”
“Fine,” she snapped. “I’ll just call them.”
She ambled up her driveway. There was a late model vehicle in the garage. With her eyes, I doubted she was the driver. Thankfully, she must have a caregiver.
“The world has really changed,” she muttered, shaking her head as she went to make her call.
I’m not sure if she meant things have changed because I wouldn’t help her, or if, because the people across the street were pigs that allegedly toss pond fronds into another’s yard.
Either way, she’s right. I don’t think her world will ever be the same.
The weather here in SW Florida is hot. The sun is bright. Enjoy your life, and stay well, my friends!