Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Private Property

So I came out of my house Saturday morning, at about seven-thirty, and saw a grey-haired woman sitting in the gazebo, with a raincoat on, and a coffee cup from the bakery next door. She was shaking out a tiny folding umbrella and seemed cross. I called out, "Good Morning!" She looked up and gave me a decidedly dirty look, before pointedly turning her shoulder toward me.

Now, I'm a fairly shy person, at least I used to be, and it still flavors my behavior from time to time, but this was my house, my yard and my gazebo, and I was beginning to suspect that she had no right to be there. So I skipped down the steps and headed on over.

"Isn't it nice after the rain stops?' I said chattily. "You still need your umbrella for all the drips, though!"

"Mmm-hmm," she said, on a high note, and without looking at me.

"Who are you visiting?" I asked, sitting down beside her. She looked at me like I was insane.

"I'm not visiting, I live here!" she snapped. I did a double take.

"What? No -- unless you just moved in?" I asked, gesturing toward the apartment house.

"No -- I live in Alameda -- wait, is this your yard?" she asked. I nodded, with raised eyebrows.

"Well, for heaven's sake," she snapped, getting up and gathering her possessions angrily. "You shouldn't be here -- I mean -- how is anyone supposed to tell?"

"By the sign on the gate that says 'Private Property' ," I said sweetly. She stomped down the steps and headed across the grass.

"Sorry!" she called over her shoulder, not politely. I almost felt bad.