We have a neighbor named Emma who lives right next door to us. She is an old black lady with occasionally pink hair. I think I even saw it blue one time, but that was a long time ago.
Because of Emma we almost didn't get our house those many years ago. The real estate people were being really hedgy about the property and we demanded to know why. They said that the neighbor Emma had built a cement slab for her motor home on a portion of the property we were trying to buy. So we were going through caniption fits because we dearly wanted this house real bad. The real estate people were being awful about it. Finally Joe drove over to the neighborhood and went up to talk with Emma. (Something the real estate people didn't want us to do.) Joe explained that we wanted to buy the place next door and that there was some problem with the cement slab. Emma took him out and showed exactly how much was on our property. Almost nothing. It was laughable. It was done with the agreement of the previous owner. We agreed to leave things as they were and assured Emma that we simply wanted a home to raise our family in. We intended to live here for a very long time. Betweem the two of us we agreed to adjust the property line make it fair. I grew a walnut tree on my adjusted half.
Emma turned out to be the best neighbor. Even when her granddaughter who plays with Casey turned out to be a horrible little child. I would go over and sit with Emma. We would discuss our rules in our houses for the kids, agree on what was ok and not ok. (No climbing over the chain link fence.) The kids were glowering at each other but Emma and I were laughing our heads off.
Then when the new neighbor moved in and turned out to be rotten. Emma and I would commiserate with each other about how the street was going down hill. We would watch the shenanigans from her front steps.
Every year I steal lemons from Emmas tree. With her permission of course. And then I take her over jam that I made from our plum and apricot trees, using her lemons. These trees are also infringing on Emmas side but she sometimes sneaks over and steals some apricots too. With my permission.
During the rainy season when there was major flooding our giant Eucalyptus tree fell right over the fence, smashed Emmas motor home and punctured sky revealing holes into her garage. Destroying her solar heating panels on the roof. I assured Emma that we wouldn't leave her cold wet and wrecked even when the insurance people were not going to pay. I got rather heated with the insurance people and told them that they were not going to be that way with the neighbor, PAY UP!!!!
A couple weeks ago when our other neighbor Mr Jones died, I sat next to Emma at the funeral. She knew Mr Jones way longer than I did, having lived next to him for 20 years. But we both had our funny Mr Jones stories to tell. At one point our whispered laughs got rather loud and I noticed people looking at us. We couldn't help it. Mr Jones was a character.
Yesterday I picked out one of the gourd birdhouses that I had made. The one with the holly leaves and red berries painted on it. I wrapped it up for Emma. She had brought over a package for me when I wasn't home a few days earlier. I am saving to open it. I took the birdhouse over to give to Emma. She said, "You didn't have to retaliate just because I brought you something."