Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am the wierd neighbor

A 95% recycled post from the still-sick and exhausted Going Green Mama...

Every neighborhood has its share of quirky neighbors. I guess I never realized before that I'm the local representative!

Sure, everyone leaves their cans on a kitchen counter to recycle after a get-together. But here, we have the cans and usually lots of dishes to do as well after a party. There's a set of Stonyfield yogurt kiddie cups on the counter, washed and drying to mail back for recycling, not to mention the daily line-up paper bags of newspapers, mail and assorted papers, and plastics, tin cans and aluminun to recycle. That's for my household and my workplace, mind you. Yes, I lug home big black plastic bags packed with my coworkers' slobbered-on cans and bottles. Makes for a great sight leaving work in the evening.

Heck, my husband even washes and balls up the aluminum foil to recycle after cooking, to make a poor three-point shot into the bag.

Upstairs, in the loft, there's another line-up of boxes. What outgrown kids items to sell back. What to give to a friend. What to donate to the next drive.

But the neighbors can absolve me of my wierdness. After all, that's within my home. It's that whole "outside" thing that's making them shake their heads.

Not that long ago, I mentioned the compost bin situation to a friend of mine in an attempt to commiserate with her over her trampoline issue. Her reaction? Crinkling up her nose in disgust. Come on, this is vegetable bits, not manure! And if you do it right, there's little or no smell at all. (Interestingly, as this gardening season approaches, she brought up the question of whether we could do it. She was not impressed with my consideration of vericomposting.)

Once we ran into another neighbor as we're meauring out where to put the raised bed. She sort-of accepted the veggie bed (though I've found some great plans in some of the books I'm reading!), but her eyebrow definitely raised and I think I saw a "I'm so glad I'm moving" expression when I mentioned the dwarf blueberries we were thinking about adding to our yard to help meet our bush quota. Nevermind that my home is one of the most landscaped on the street.

When you break out of comfort zones of the people around you, you become the wierd neighbor. And I think I'm OK with that.


The Mom said...

I am certainly the weird neighbor. The garden was ok, until it got to be my entire side yard. The fruit trees were a little odd, but they could deal with it. The chickens put me over the top.

Sandy said...

I'm the weird neighbor too; being in a small city, we do the majority of our gardening in containers, which is beautiful in the summer, but ugly in the winter. The driveway becomes out picnic area and more containers go there in the summer, but right now they're piled up in my tiny yard. That's home: at school (I'm the art teacher), I'd consider myself the bag-lady of our school community. I recycle and USE rrecycled materials in my classroom. My life is surrounded with others' cast-off materials!

Wonder-ful said...

Our neighbors think we're strange for other reasons. They'll know I'm wierd if I ever get my wish of replacing the front yard with edible goods.

We're the one house on the street who doesn't put out all three cans on garbage day (nor do we overfill them). I'm also the crazy lady who sold her truck and fixed up an electric golf cart to make it street legal (it's registered with the city).

I'm also in the minority on the issue of water metering. Half the town is on a flat rate system. Even though complete metering is mandated now by the state, I really believe it will inspire positive changes (especially for the other crazy neighbor across the street who hoses down her entire property every other day...on non-watering days)

Oldnovice said...

We have a Housing Association, so chickens would definitely break the rules. Haven't even checked on whether growing food in front would break the rules because I can barely keep up with all the beds in back.

We're in Texas, so I just throw my food scraps in the garden. The sun and rain take care of even huge chunks of watermelon rind. Fire ants take care of fish guts or any other animal cooking waste.

Nothing wrong with being weird.

Wendy said...

Wow! I think I'm probably on par with the crazy cat lady, if what you're describing is merely weird ;).

Daisy said...

I was the weird neighbor until gardening became trendy. Now people are admiring my rain barrels and compost bins.

Holly said...

Doesn't seem too weird to me. Hopefully their confusion with your actions will soon turn into inspiration. As long as you keep a smile on your face and don't twitch to much when you talk with them, you will soon be the envy of the 'hood.


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