Monday, March 14, 2005

revenge of the adobe brick

I was sitting here in my office this past Thursday afternoon quietly editing some graphics and trying to think of a clever name for my fantasy baseball team. Without warning, I was subjected to a LOUD thud-like noise similar to what the munchkins must have heard when the fictional tornado dropped Dorothy Gale’s house on the Wicked Witch of the East some 66 years ago. (I don’t believe that a house dropped in the book version of the story would have made a sound.) I assumed that the sound I heard was the result of our government testing some new device to better guard the nation’s borders, and that it was none of my concern.

Just moments later however, the doorbell rang. Figuring my work could be put on hold long enough to chat with some Jehovah’s Witnesses, I pressed the save button on my computer and went to the door. Instead of having the latest edition of the Watchtower thrust in my face when I opened the door, I was greeted by our new next-door neighbor and his son. They recently purchased the run-down house immediately to the south as an investment and are in the process of remodeling in order to resell it on the HOT Huning Highlands housing market. Earlier that morning, I had observed them in the process of tearing down the dilapidated garage that abuts our property. They were pretty much all smiles and jokes. Now they didn’t seem to be having any fun.

As it turns out, they accidentally dropped the garage on the wooden fence that defines our property line. I do believe they were afraid that I was going to be pissed at them and threaten to sue and all that. I mean, isn’t that the American way? I was just glad that neither of them had been hurt, especially since the dad had been inside the garage when it began falling. As it turns out, the garage walls had been constructed of true adobe blocks, so it was quite substantial. I have no doubt that anyone caught inside when it collapsed would have been crushed to death. Certainly it was heavy enough to splinter a 30-foot segment of our fence and knock a 24-foot-tall pine tree akimbo.

The top portion of the wall only missed hitting the side of our house by a few feet. The owners assured me that they will replace the fence and that they felt awful for the inconvenience. Instead of getting angry, I offered to help clean up the mess in exchange for them letting me have the adobe bricks that they were going to have to haul to the nearest landfill. You see, these bricks are the perfect solution for materials to construct raised garden beds in the back and side yards. Certainly they are better than using wood that would quickly rot, and in this case, the price can’t be beat. If I had purchased these blocks new from a local source, it would have cost several hundred dollars. That money can now be invested in a load of rich topsoil that our plants will absolutely love.

The moral of this entry then is this… you never know when disaster or fortune can strike. So when an opportunity arises for you to act neighborly, do it. Everyone benefits!

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