KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
I love keeping up with the Joneses. This came to me recently as a neighbor struggling with a yard in transition this spring expressed a panic over what the neighborhood would think.
For years I lived with the fear that our yard/home ruined the neighborhood. Each spring our lawn was yellow with weeds. Summers it was dirt. Autumn leaves were all over it. So many leaves, always left for spring. One year the siding kept flying off of the house. Our driveway crumbled each time it was shoveled. Then I started keeping up with the Joneses.
A great release came the year I began to use our neighbors the way I did the growth charts for our children in the doctor’s office. Although I resist the idea of comparing the growth of children I have found comfort in my keeping up with the neighbors when it comes to owning and operating a home.
When our neighbors behind us washed their house last fall I was reminded it was time to do the same. Our neighbor across the street had her trees cut. I remembered that I had to trim some. Another neighbor had ducts cleaned. I need to do that too.
I have found our neighbors to be great teachers. Early on I rushed mowing the lawn, almost running while doing it. But when I spotted the man across the street get in a mow during his lunch from work, walking the mower with prupose but not in a frantic panic, I did the same. Another neighbor hung her clothes to dry on hangers instead of using the wooden pins. This way the clothing was ready to hang indoors. I did that too. One of my neighbors covered his air conditioner in the off season with wood to keep out leaves and debris. I do it now too. There are so many things I have learned about owning a home from my neighbors.
Keeping up with the Joneses. Great sense to me–and it makes my life as a homeowner here in Monona so much easier.
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