Skip to the content

New neighbors

Last May – just a couple of months after my progressed Moon nudged its way into my third house (the house of neighbors) – our beloved next-door neighbor died. Since then, the dear old house next door has been sitting empty, and I imagine it must have been as stunned to lose Mildred – its inhabitant for more than 50 years – as we were. After probate ran its course the family sold it to a young real estate entrepreneur at a shockingly low price, and he proceeded to flash it up for a quick flip, as though he hadn’t heard the news that the local real estate market was imploding. A few months and a lot of paint later, it was on the market. Where it sat, quietly empty, until last week.

Here’s something you should know about me: I’m freakishly sensitive to my living environment. Particular noises can make me crazy, and apparently I have some kind of gnarly karma to fulfill because for many years I’ve been plagued by a series of neighbors with robotically barking dogs and loud bass booming out of their stereos. We scoped this place out very carefully before buying it, and it was blissfully quiet; of course, the day we moved in, a family of renters moved in next door with a pit bull that kept us awake all night, every night, barking five feet from our bedroom window. (Dog owners, please don’t get me wrong – I love dogs too, truly. So much so that I’m really offended by people who bring dogs into their lives and then leave these companionable creatures alone outside all day long, bored out of their minds and lonely, so that they naturally bark and bark. They’re unhappy, I’m unhappy, it’s a mess.)

Anyway, after several lively months the pit bull owners were evicted for failing to pay their rent (delightful people) and quiet neighbors moved in, and in due course quiet owners. Quiet, cat-loving Mildred, who was 97 years old when she died, was of course the ideal neighbor for the likes of me (not to mention a great friend and a kick-ass cook). For a long time, we’ve had a stable situation around here.

Then my progressed Moon moved into my third house, and all that changed. For nearly a year I’ve been in a fugue of anxiety, worried about who would move into Mildred’s house. For nearly a year I’ve performed ritual after ritual, beseeching the gods to send us lovely neighbors. The third is the house of neighbors, but it’s also the house of communication. As Caroline Casey says, the gods want to help us, but we have to ask them. Ritual is basically a conversation with the gods, and for nearly a year I’ve been talking their ears off.

A couple of weeks ago, a termite control company came and tented the house next door – a sure sign it had been sold. My anxiety ratcheted up. Then one day last week we came home to find a series of stakes surrounding the front yard, clearly marking the boundary for a fence. My blood turned to ice water: a dog! I was sick with worry.

Then the new neighbor came over to introduce himself and to discuss the fence; how would we feel about his cutting away the old, low hedge separating his yard from our driveway? It was considerate of him to ask instead of just hacking away, as some people might. He seemed so nice… but I was wary. Before we could ask any more about the fence, he volunteered that he and his wife have a sweet old cat who likes to go outside but is kind of shy and easily spooked. Thus, the fence.

I nearly fell into his arms and showered him with kisses. But I didn’t want to scare off our perfect new neighbor. So I gave him my heartfelt blessing to get rid of the hedge, warmly welcomed him to the neighborhood, and the next day performed a joyful ritual of thanks to the gods – and to Mildred, who I suspect has been looking out for us all along.

0 comments to " New neighbors "

Leave a Comment