I have a backyard, again.
I moved into a two-story house, divided into four apartments, sharing a common backyard. Even though there are no fences, and no one is considering putting them up, it is clear which part of the backyard belongs to whom.
One would not be able to describe it as luxurious, but for sure, it is neat. Tenants have plans on how to make it more beautiful, but most of them have just moved in recently. Some moved in a year ago, some six months ago. I am not saying that they were waiting for me, there just wasn’t enough time to do anything else but clean the space.
Both my neighbor and I have put up eaves. During the summer, all the tenants sit under the eave, one or the other. All of them raise money to have coffee, beer, and juice – for kids. Not all of them drink, not all of them have kids, but they all contribute. I just moved in, barely 10 days ago, so I don’t know firsthand, but I think they are having a good time.
Thirty years ago, I lived in a house with its own backyard. This way of living had its share of advantages and disadvantages as well.
A couple of days ago, my sewage overflowed. A pipe got blocked and everyone came together to help. My upstairs neighbor was afraid that it was somehow his fault, so he insisted that we both pay for the repairman and pipe unclogging machine services. Moreover, my next-door neighbor knows a guy who is a handyman, so he said that no fee is needed, because friends do not charge friends. We did pay, my upstairs neighbor and I, but not because we had to, we wanted to pay. We did not ask a guy to do us favors, but to do the job he lives off. If there were fences separating us, no one would even know what happened to me.
Not a single neighbor has said anything bad to me about other neighbors. All I heard was: this one is good at this, that one at that. The third one is strong as a bull, he keeps the thieves away. Those people have nice kids. They do jump around, but they sure are cute. I bought some sweets, to have when they come for a visit.
The day before yesterday it was fifteen degrees and sunny. I cleaned the table in front of my entrance. The big one, under the eaves. I have no chairs, but I presume the neighbors will bring their own. I was oiling the chain on my bike, so a little bit of oil leaked out. I washed it right away. If we didn’t share the backyard, I might had left it for tomorrow. I might had even forgotten all about it until it dried. It’s mine, I don’t care. This way, I can’t say I don’t care. My neighbor’s kid was standing beside me, observing. He thanked me for the chocolate and asked if I had any relatives. I have a granddaughter, she’s a bit older than you. But she’s okay, you’ll see.
I’ll have to get some chairs, at least two.

Europe is a backyard. Huge one, numerous times bigger than this one, but still, it is a backyard. Common one.  It is known which part belongs to whom, but no one is thinking about putting up the fences.
Except us.
We think the fence is theirs. They say it is theirs, but just as much as it is ours. They want us to tear it down together, we want them to tear it down. They are willing to do it, but it seems as if something is wrong with our part of the backyard. We have no idea what could be a problem, everything seems to be fine. Perhaps even better than the other parts of the backyard.
We put a scarecrow in front of the gate. This scarecrow is our representative and it negotiates the demolition of the fence on our behalf. They don’t seem to like it. I can’t say why, our scarecrow is so cute. And even if it’s not, it’s ours. We put it there. We even have holes in a fence, so we peek. They are aware of us peeking, but they don’t mind. They smile and wave while passing by, when they notice someone’s eyes from our side.
Starting the second half of April, I will be visiting those other parts of the backyard, to see what the problem is.  I’ve already been there, but for a short period of time and in a rush. This time I will take it slow, pay more attention. I know there are people living there, not so different from us.  I guess their habits are different.
I don’t know, but I will check and keep you posted.