Over the past week (and a half) since I last popped in here to my second home the blog, we have new neighbors at my first home. The sticks-and-stone one. My castle, my retreat, my own sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the world at large. The place I garden and the place my kids play in the tall grass looking for fairies. It's home. And it's remarkably rural, 25 miles from any traffic signals.
Don't get me wrong. The farmhouse is still a minor version of Grand Central, with neighbors (and their children) stopping in at all hours daylight and then guests and friends and family (who use the back porch entrance and who sometimes call first) stopping in any old time they like, sun shining or moon beaming down on the house of hospitality. You might have to step over six pairs of boots by the French doors or you may be asked to carry a flat of plants to the garden, but you're welcome to stop in for some iced tea too. Anytime.
So when we were relaxing around the stone fire pit in our front yard Saturday, shooting the breeze with my visiting brother, sister and mother over steaks and salad, I was completely nonplussed to see a large vintage motor home pull in to the white clapboard church's gravel lot across the road. It's robin's egg blue with a good deal of chrome. It's 35 or 40 feet long. My own personal RV is a 13-foot 1953 canned ham travel trailer with yellow and white floral curtains. I'm down with the cute and kitschy, folks. You cannot be more Bohemian than I. And frankly it's hard to shock me.
We live in a rural destination area and so are quite accustomed to horse trailers and cycling teams and Sunday drivers. Often the church across the road is an informal staging spot for trail rides and wine country hikes. Rented minivans and limousines and show-n-shine cars with their sexy curves frequent the road. Occassionally the Harleys find us too with their leather jackets flapping and their helmetless heads flaunting the law, gutteral engines spooking our horses and souring the milk at a nearby dairy.
The holiday weekend is certainly no exception to our experience. But this motorhome had (has -- it's still there) a different, er, air about it. When a known grower (not of organic veggies) pulled up to their mobile door, it was as though his nose led him there.
I was mildly concerned. But it's free country.
Then on Sunday afternoon the motor home's passengers left in another vehicle and for some reason tied their Pit Bull to the shady side of the bumper.
The dog began whimpering at first. Full-on barking soon followed. For SIX HOURS. People, the dog was in distress. The owners are nowhere to be seen. I made inquiries and learned that possibly the same motorhome had been camped behind a restaurant in a small town near us for a week or three. I was told (erroneously) that the elders of the church had given permission for a weeklong stay. Across the road from my picket fence, I might add.
I got good and hot and it wasn't the sunny weather.
Why doesn't [fill in the name of your favorite fuddy duddy church elder] invite them to camp in HIS yard? I thought, oh-so-charitably.
Since Sunday (when the Pit's barking incited a neighborhood-wide howling fest among the other dogs and barbecuing families) I have made more nosy inquiries. The motorhome is on its way to Montana. They have some, ahem, sales to make to raise gas money.
I'm at a loss, once again, with my erstwhile live-and-let-live.