My backyard does not border a neighbor’s lot, a positive feature in my opinion. In fact, none of the houses on my street have neighbors behind them. None that are living, anyway. Another plus in my book. Most realtors don’t include “Extreme proximity to cemetery provides peaceful view as well as burial convenience” on a property’s list of features.
When we first looked at the house, I wasn’t too sure about butting up against a bone yard. In fact, it gave me the creeps. Being one who dives behind the counter at the sight of her own reflection in the kitchen window at night, the prospect of seeing any supernatural beings other than Jesus left me a bit uncomfortable. On the positive side, the backyard’s larger than others in the neighborhood, making the frequent funerals and presence of strangers a minor inconvenience. This becomes null and void in the event of a visit from Great Aunt Eunice, who’s been gone for forty years now.
The cemetery is sandwiched between my neighborhood and an elementary school. Being a mother has given me a keen eye for suspicious characters who pose a possible threat. The local police department lost its faith in my powers of observation following an unfortunate incident which took place a couple of years ago.
On the day in question a man in a pickup truck caught my attention as he remained in his truck for over an hour. Considering his view of the school, I watched him for a long time before contacting the police. Confident I had rid the community of a possible pervert who had his eye on the school children, I jumped on the phone when the police called back. Imagine my surprised when they informed me that the would-be criminal was actually a florist delivering flowers for a funeral. Oops. My bad.
Our cemetery does appear to be the escape route of choice for juvenile delinquents being pursued by law enforcement. I guess bobbing and weaving through the headstones makes the pursuit more challenging. Considering the fitness level of our local heat, police dogs are released after about five minutes. It’s fun to watch when nothing good’s on TV.
Certain adjustments have been made regarding our outdoor activities. For example, grieving families don’t appreciate the interruption of my dog chasing a squirrel through the cemetery, creating a National Lampoon-type atmosphere during the funeral of a loved one. As a result, our canine’s grounded during services. Discretion regarding personal appearance is another area of concern. Some mornings require that I wear clothing other than pajamas if I choose to drink coffee on the patio. While hanging laundry on the clothesline, strategic placement of any unmentionables is key, as to discourage any voyeuristic behavior from visitors. Also, if I’m bending over in the garden picking vegetables, I try not to aim my rear in the direction of mourners. They’re already crying.
One important consideration when we bought the house was the placement of our vegetable garden. The best, and only, spot for a garden is in the backyard by the back fence. Already you can see the problem. The idea of eating tomatoes that have been pushed up and fertilized all season by Uncle Bob lacked appeal. However, after receiving reassurance that caskets are encased in concrete I felt better, but not much.
Every summer someone comments on how much bigger the vegetables grow that are closest to the cemetery, as compared to those nearest the house. I just load up a bag of the biggest veggies for the commenter and say, “Here ya go. Enjoy, and don‘t worry about pesticides. We only grow organic.”