09 August 2009

I need a hammock between two palms

A crazy event happened last night. I was home alone and bored. What to do? I packed up my laptop and headed to the nice shopping center across the street from Arundel Mills Mall. I bought a grilled veggie burrito from Baja Fresh and sat at an outdoor table next to Panera's, right next to a nail salon. There was one empty table next to me, closest to the nail place. I couldn't get Internet access from Panera's (for some reason), so I was editing my pictures while I ate. I sure do love that burrito, especially with mango salsa on the side. Two employees came out of the nail place and sat at the table next to me. They left the salon door propped open which I wasn't crazy about because the air was laden (nice word Cheryl) with the smell of acrylic nail chemicals. Soon I saw a white car pull out of the first parking space and park along the curb of the parking lot. I heard my table-neighbors say something about the car in English, but they were mostly speaking in an Asian language. I was looking down at my laptop when all of a sudden I heard a chair fall over and people screaming. I looked up to see a violent fight starting at the table next door. Employees streamed out of the nail salon as I ran away, leaving my purse and laptop behind. I ran to the doorway of Panera's as customers from there crowded into the doorway trying to ascertain where the violent sounds were coming from. I saw some kind of martial arts sticks flying. Someone was throwing a chair at someone else. Glass was breaking. It looked like there were at least 10 people involved in this. It sounds like I was watching all this, but I really wasn't. Just taking glimpses. I didn't want to see anyone being hurt. I didn't want to see blood. It was over very quickly. The person/persons that were attacked must have been dragged back into the nail salon. Shaking, I asked a man if he could go over and get my purse for me. He brought it along with my laptop. I heard someone say "gang-related". Another person saying they got the license plate number of the white car. Deciding I had nothing to contribute to the story that would be told to the police, I got in my car. Eventually the police arrived and I left. I know there's crime at that mall, and I never go there. The shopping center across the street that I do go to has Coldstone, Baja Fresh, Panera's, Starbucks, Safeway, etc... Lots of outdoor tables. Lots of people inside and out. Will I ever feel safe there again?

To change the subject, I just had a confrontation with my next-door neighbor. I'm still shaken. I came home last night to see that the little 'greenway' (is that the word?) between the sidewalk and the street looked like this after he mowed:

This 'greenway' is about 6-7' long. My property is the un-mowed section on the left. I was shocked! In all the years he's been my neighbor I've mowed this and his part of the side yard we share, though most of my yard is garden. I'm not a person for confrontations, but this is my neighbor and I felt this needed to be addressed. Heart pounding, I just went over there. I explained that I don't like confrontations, but that I was shocked to come home last night and find the greenway mowed as it was. He said, really? Then he went on to tell me how un-neighborly I am. How critical I am of him and his house. He made it sound like I attacked him about his garage doors when I nicely told him I thought they were an eyesore when he asked if they bothered me. I know that sounds bad, but I really did say it in a nice way. He brought up the shrubs I suggested he trim differently last year because he was cutting away all the greenery and leaving exposed deadwood all along the side. Being non-confrontational, and knowing that this is an otherwise nice person, I told him that I would never say anything critical again. He didn't seem satisfied. I said, I'm apologizing. Will you accept my apology? Finally he said yes. I'll continue to mow his part of the lawn when I mow. I'll continue to say hello whenever I see him. It won't ever be the same. Oh, and I did mow the lawn this morning before this conversation.

On a brighter note, here's some things that make me happy:

Little garden gnomes from Cape Cod.

Vincas in May.

Vincas in August. See the 12" rabbit peeking out?

I hope today is a good day. I did get out at 7:30 this morning. I watered the whole garden. I mowed. I dead-headed flowers and weeded. I swept the garage. I was done by 9:45. Today will probably reach 100 degrees and I'm so glad I got this done. It was a stress-reliever too. Emily and I are ready to head to Annapolis Mall. We need to return stuff to Land's End. And eat. She works at Rita's later on, so I'll be getting her to and from and seeing my friend Kit in-between. Sounds good to me.

Happy Sunday!


Seth M. Ward said...

UGH! lol And I thought I had it bad! I think you will be safer at that mall for a good time to come. I'm sure there will be much more security and police there from now on. That sucks about your neighbor. Becareful. If he comes outside in a hoodie and sunglass, please, contact your local FBI office. :~/ lol

Brad said...

Well. crap-cicles.

It's good to know your basic reactions are all good -I'd have done the same thing at the fight. Get the hec out of the way. Talk about getting a double whammy - neighbor-dude needs to be avoided - I'd be waving him my middle finger. But I know your smarter then that. Sorry freind, you don't deserve stuff like that happening to you. XOXOBC

Bonnie said...

wow, creepy on all fronts. That's messed up about that fight! I know I'd be eating elsewhere. What a spoiler.

Andrew said...

You know how fragile I am!!! That would have sent my little world into a whirl. Hard to think I used to hang out with George and the gang all the time and see that kind of stuff alot.

KathyA said...

Just out of curiosity...did anyone yell, "STOP IT!" Just wondering.
And where was your 'moon' last night? -- obviously not in its seventh house , and Jupiter was not aligned with Mars!
Look -- the neighbor thing is a good happening. Clearing the air with him and apologizing is healthy. And things may not ever be the same again -- but that's probably a good thing. What he did was meant to provoke you -- it was childish, but good came out of it.
And the hoodlums....they'll reap what they sow. But that MUST have been frightening.

Lena said...

Oh Cheryl, I am just so glad you are OK and that you were able to get out of there fast! How scary, and to need to leave the purse and laptop behind! So glad you were able to get them back!

I grew up on a farm and the only neighbors I had were relatives. So when I moved away from home after I got married, I was in a rude awakening. It is not easy to get along with neighbors. I agree with Kathy, that it is healthy to apologize, but I understand how things will never be the same. It isn't a good feeling to be at odds with a neighbor.

Take care and hope your day today was much brighter!

happyone said...

That must have been scary to have that fight so close to where you were!!
I've been to that strip mall quite a few times.

Not so nice about your neighbor. Hopefully in time things will be better again.

Hope your day ended better than it started. :-)

Jules said...

Wow dude! Way to heat up your blog. Excellent action. Your neighbor is always one of my favorite characters.

It's cooled off to 100 in Phoenix. Contemplated a fire in the fire pit last night. really!

kristi said...

Dang Cheryl! Not cool!

Hey not sure if I had your e mail but I have gone private.

E mail me if you want me to add you:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh, Cheryl, you must have felt so emotionally assaulted after those two experiences. I hope you have a really quiet restorative week.

Unknown said...

Hi! I discovered your blog from Kathy of kathy'speace. I'm sorry you had such a rough Sunday night, sheesh! The fight would have scared the daylights out of me. I watch a lot of cops shows but I don't like to be in the vicinity of violence and I usually watch violence on TV/in the movies with one eye closed! I'm glad you got your bag and laptop back okay.

I think your neighbor was rude and out-of-line. Why does he ask your opinion of the doors or the shrubs if he doesn't really want it? I guess he wants to be told he has perfect taste. And even if you were rude (I don't believe you were) has he never heard of "Turn the other cheeck" or "be a good neighbor". Instead he does somethiong petty and doesn't mow your side.
I think you have a great atttitude, just be the bigger person. (But I don't think I'd talk to your neighbor much anymore!)

I hope you have a better Monday! Your Vincas are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Hey cuz,
How creepy. And the one time I went to that mall I got a great summer handbag. Darn, I was hoping to go back for a fall bag. Who knew there was that underworld thing going on.

Have I met that neighbor? What a jerk. How can anyone be mean or think ill of you? I'm sure my neighbors think our yard looks like crap but they are still very nice to us. LOL

Billy said...

Wow! You are such a great person. I would have straight gone off on that guy!

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