Across The Back Fence

It's the end of another day....


Fred and I ....

Fred and I are going in. He to his place and I to mine.

Our evening's visit today covered the day's spectrum from the day's predicted rain we didn't get, to the latest political hogwash.

I don't know what it is about our frequent bull sessions that seems to wrap up a day and set the stage for tying it up in plain wrapper and chucking it in life's garbage to be figuratively hauled away, but it's comforting somehow. He's still Fred, and I'm still me. The world's still what it is beyond the walls of our homes, and life is somehow normal as another day ends.

Admittedly Fred's wife has cancer and is waiting to know which kind of lymphoma it is. My wife is into the season's cleaning projects and on the phone with the grandkids. But that's all part of what life is for us these days.

We used to go fishing and the conversations were longer then. Our two wives at home were huddled over coffee cake and tea with their own "girl talk."

There's nothing like a boat, a quiet lake, and an excuse to visit, but lately the back fence at sunset has had to do. It's two friends' habit, what's left when life's chaff has fallen away.

I don't know that we settle anything. We don't have "issues."

We exchange hellos during the day, but across the fence at sunset we speak from the heart of things deep and funny, even of things that give us joy or concern; two kindred minds that have endured much and hope to endure the rest.

I suppose there are neighbors who don't even know each other's middle names. But Fred and I go way back to when our families were young and our kids did some of the same stupid things.

That back fence is like a mountain top. We stand there, he on his side looking east, and me on my side looking west, but the view is within us. We interpret what we see there, and we try to make sense of it all.

He lost a son to war, and I lost one to estrangement. The losses hurt so that we know not to go there too often. That ground settled long ago and grass has returned.

We could close our visits with a prayer of benediction, but somehow we weren't alone there across the fence someone else originally built there for Fred and me.


© 2016 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

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FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

This is a nice reflective hub f I'm the heart. My neighbors move in and out as career mobile people do. I often don't know their first names let alone their middle names.

NMLady profile image

NMLady 7 months ago from New Mexico & Arizona

I can relate. Our neighborhood meets every Monday to Friday for a happy hour (not meaning booze although some do have a wine or beer.) We have gotten to know each other and have such nice times together. There is nothing like community. Blessings to you!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 months ago from The Caribbean

That a blessing having such neighbor intimacy. A good read too!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

It must be wonderful to have a neighbor like Fred. What a comforting relationship.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 7 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Sounds like a wonderful ending to a day to me. Two old friends catching up on the current chapter of their lives.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 7 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

aviannovice - From the comments, I guess I should have labeled this as fiction. It is not a real neighbor of mine, just something I whimsyed up.

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