There is a saying in English that "good fences make good neighbours." I think Hubster and I agree completely that these are wise words and a wise act epecially when the fence in question is a stone wall.
Since we bought the house about 6 years ago, we've been trying to understand and be understood by our neighbours. Not an easy task at times and since they are only here for vacations, it is a relationship that is sporadic at best. Things got off on a wrong foot with them a while back when La Neighboure saw the changes we had made to the lounge and cried. Not something to warm the neighbourly cockles of my heart.
Originally, our house stood on a small plot, with a tall stone wall behind the house. In the last couple of years, we bought the field directly behind the house and demolished that existing wall between the house and field. This past spring, Hubster and Madame Home Depot had the courage to knock down the annex that was back there as well. So imagine stone now lying everywhere, huge piles of ruble and dust, finally giving us access to our field. A wonderful thing for us, but not so appreciated by our neighbours who's garden looked directly onto the mess.
Other people in the village told us we were nuts to offer to build a wall between our gardens. "If they want privacy, they can put something up themselves," we were told. But Hubster felt it was good and right to offer to do just this.
Materials bought, cement mixer in place, he was out there weekends, evenings, and now most of his vacation to get this thing done. And along the way, the most wonderful thing happened. Our neighbours helped.
It feels like with each stone Hubster and La Neighboure's husband put in place, the relationship between us got a little bit better. A little bit stronger, as it were. We shared cups of coffee and anecdotes and as La Neighboure and I harassed our men over their work, they rolled their eyes at us and we laughed. Really laughed.
God, that felt good.
Now, I'm not saying the wall has cured all that ails between us, but it really has done something beyond just granting privacy.
So here's to the wall between us. Let's hope it stands tall and strong for years to come and that Hubster and La Neighboure's husband don't ever have to build another one.