One Smoke Over the Line

Sugar is a recluse. 

Some people bought the wooded lot next to his, and cut most of the trees down so they could bring in a trailer. 

He considered building a privacy fence in the buffer zone between the two lots to block his view of the activity next door. He decided to plant some fast-growing shrubbery just inside where he thought the line was, and he also attached some privacy panels, similar to tarps, to the chainlink fence that separated his yard from his driveway along the west side.

To be fair, the neighbors are nice people. It’s just hard for a recluse to live next door to people that have friends and family visiting, play music outside, have parties, and burn stuff in a burn pile outside. 

Because the smoke drifts over to Sugar’s house. 

On Palm Sunday, we were sitting on Sugar’s front porch enjoying the nice spring weather. We heard the leaf blower crank up next door, and we knew the guy was going to burn. 

We couldn’t see what or where the guy was blowing. The smoke started to drift over the chainlink fence from far away, which looked like the guy had set the fire by the main road. 

About an hour or so went by, and Sugar realized that the neighbors had left, and that the smoke was coming stronger and closer over the privacy tarps. He went to investigate, and called back to me, “We have a forest fire.”

I took a photo and sent a text to the people, who were clearly missing in action, that their fire was burning his property. I grabbed a broom, and he got the water hose, and between the two of us, we watered and smacked out the fire. 

They showed up in 5 or 10 minutes. Neither seemed particularly upset. Sugar asked the man if he meant to burn the property. The man said yeah okay. Sugar told him he didn’t want his property burned. The man said yeah okay. Sugar told him not to burn his property again. The man said yeah okay. 

Sugar is standing on his driveway. I am facing north. The neighbor had blown a fire line on the left track of Sugar’s driveway, intending to burn it all up.

I’m standing at his neighbor’s driveway looking at east. They burned it all up.


Sugar called a surveyor this week. That buffer zone? All his. The neighbors seemed surprised by that, and claimed that the front stake was not placed correctly, because his friend that he bought the lot from told him so. 

Now we are taking a survey. Do you believe a professional team of surveyors, or a man out standing in his field?

If that fire had kept going northward, it would have entered tracts of timberland. Plus it would have burned right by my car, and Ole Yeller might have blown up. 

If the neighbors are surprised by the survey, just imagine how surprised they will be when the privacy fence goes up. 

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8 Responses to “One Smoke Over the Line”

  1. Emily Says:

    I totally sympathize with Sugar and can relate to being a recluse!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan Wilberg Says:

    I can smell that fire from your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharon Says:

    I feel Sugar’s concern. I am absolutely a recluse, unless you ask any animal or plant, they’d tell you different. I do all my yard work without power tools, instead when I am working i can hear the birds. People think I am silly, one neighbor offered to buy me a leaf blower! But the burning, that is stupid and dangerous. A ‘camera’ also helps curb people’s actions. I talk from experience. And 2 surveys later cause I wanted to put up a privacy fence…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      The neighbor came over when we were out admiring the surveyed line. He said he had 3 snakes on his porch, which is why he burned the buffer. I pointed out that he hadn’t burned the woods on the other side of his property. Plus there is timbering taking place across the highway, and the snakes are probably displaced because their habitat is being destroyed.
      But really? If you start a fire in the woods with the intention of burning the woods, why would you leave when the fire is not out? He also cut some of the new growth on the shrubbery and left it lying there. Why would you do that to your neighbor? All of this defies logic and safety and courtesy.

      Like

  4. sharon boyd Says:

    I hope they weren’t intending on building a lab or something. Watch for fertilizer. 🙂 And funny smells. My neighbor’s “summer kitchen” was cooking more than vittles.

    Liked by 1 person

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