A couple months ago, I was mowing the lawn with my new tractor. After a delightful round of figure eights around a row of pine trees, I zoomed onto the front lawn giddy with the prospect of doing circles around some low lying evergreens.
There standing before the front porch, was a man. A strange man. Yeah. You bet. I was startled.
I turned off the tractor, making a silent vow to keep a gun in the side compartment over the rear right wheel from now on.
"I didn't hear the tractor," he said.
Maybe the old man is half deaf. I stuck out my hand and said hello.
He shook my hand and told me his name. He said, "I just wanted to see who moved in here."
He told me he walks because the doctor told him to walk. He figured he'd walk over here today. He pointed north and told me he lives there. So, the back of my property meets his. That's nice.
He gazed at the many mature trees around the front of the property. "Those trees are planted too close together," he declared.
I shrugged. The trees are where they are. This uncomfortable interlude reminded me of why I don't like people popping in uninvited, unexpected.
"Looks like you have some nice dogs," he said.
The dogs were in the fenced in area at the back of the house. I wondered how long he'd been wandering around the place. Did he look in all the windows? Did he stroll inside and use the bathroom? Did he examine the toolbox in the garage?
"Hope you aren't bothered by gun fire," he said. "We do a lot of shooting around here."
I wish I'd said- Dude, I'm from Detroit. Gun fire is a fact of life. Instead I said, "no sweat. My husband is a gunsmith."
"Gunsmith," he repeated.
A couple days ago, The Handsome One and I did some target shooting. One of the luxuries of having acreage is being able to shoot in your own back yard. When we finished, we headed to the house, exhilarated. A car appeared and pulled up all the way to the garage. A woman got out of the car.
"You were shooting just now," she declared. "We don't do that."
"We hear gun fire here all the time," THO said.
"Hunting season starts tomorrow" she declared. "We don't shoot the day before."
THO very politely said, "sorry, we're new here. We didn't know."
I cut in, "you're saying we can't shoot handguns on our property?"
"Our property butts up to yours," she said. "Shooting spooks the deer."
I raised my eyebrows and wanted to say- we hear gun fire everyday and see deer everyday. You are saying the deer suddenly become spooked by gun fire the day before Firearm Deer Season begins?! Go away and don't ever insult our intelligence again. I didn't say that though. I simply walked into the house and closed the door.
There's an old saying. Good fences make good neighbors. Mayhap, it is good guns that make good neighbors.