Today my eyes are a bit green

I’m a bit jealous today.

Who am I jealous of? A neighbour I barely know. This neighbour bought a home across the street from me a year ago. The house was vacant for about five years. The heat was off, the place was infested with heaven-knows-what, and it was a great example of 1970’s chic inside.

She picked it up for a song (well, in this neighbourhood it was a song, in another it would have been the same price for a castle). Instead of moving in, she poured buckets of money into it, and the place was all but gutted. There was 8 or 9 months of construction before she actually moved in.  There was no parking on the street with construction vehicles of various types.  New heating and cooling, new windows, new electric, new drywall, new addition, new kitchen, new, new, new.

Hey, it needed it. It had been neglected, and needed some TLC and a good bucket of money thrown at it.  This single woman managed to do it.

After she moved in, the landscapers came in and put on some new sod.  Eventually, somebody came along and built a white picket fence. Honestly, I’m not kidding. The fence was lovingly painted in the fall.  This spring, the fence has been painted again.

What strikes me, and makes me a bit jealous is this:  I don’t see this woman doing any work. I hear she’s an artist, and I trust she’s a very good one.  But still, she doesn’t even repaint her own fence!  Honestly, I know nothing about this nice lady. Perhaps she’s working her tail off inside the house.  Who knows!

Today, a flat bed has shown up with at least $3K worth of nursery inventory on it.  There are about 15 eight foot cedars, perhaps 20 boxwood or cedar globes, another mature red leafed tree, three flowering trees in full bloom. There are also four men out there planting.

I am curious where all this comes from. I’m single, she’s single. I’m a parent of two kids and two cats, she has a cute little doggie. I know nothing else about her, other than her yard will be transformed in about an hour or so.

Don’t you find yourself wondering about people sometimes, how they can afford to do what they do? Sometimes when I’m in the mall and I see people with big shopping bags I find myself wanting to quietly ask “how’d you pay for that?”

I was reading Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s blog today and she mentions a bad habit that people have when they’re trying to get out of debt is being jealous or envious of what others have, and trying to keep up. I won’t try and keep up with my neighbour.  I can’t.

Frankly, I’m thrilled that the view out my window is improving with every tree and shrub planted. My property value is increasing as she improves her property. I should walk over there and thank her.

Somehow though, I think of my $50 gardening budget for May and it seems insignificant. Last week I was excited about it. Today it seems pathetic.

What’s even more pathetic is that I felt this way for a bit this morning. I have a charmed life, a cute home, great kids and a rather lovely garden in progress in the back. I wouldn’t trade my lot in life or on the street for hers on any day.

Phew, I’m glad I got that off my chest!


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