Peering Over the Fence

While visiting my mother-in-law near Denver, CO this past week, Hal spent considerable time looking over the fence at the neighbor’s yard. He could do this from the raised porch or by climbing the fence and peering over the top like Wilson, the friendly neighbor in Tim Allen’s sit-com, Home Improvement.

He told us, just as he has on previous visits, how much he wished that house was his, pointing out all of the cool toys in the yard, including a fairly large trampoline.

“But you realize that those toys belong to the people, not the house. If it were our house, those toys wouldn’t be there.”

“Well, I wish I had that house with all the toys.”

After a couple of days pining over the toys, he finally met the young residents: a little girl about Hal’s age and her mobile, but still-in-diapers, little brother. He quickly climbed the fence and struck up a conversation. He talked incessantly and the little girl seemed to enjoy talking back.


At one point, he took to dropping down below the top of the fence and then bouncing up, yelling “Boo!”

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Eventually, as the sky clouded up, the children went back inside. As the little girl left, Hal called out, “Hey! Where are you going?”

I couldn’t hear the response, if any. Indeed, I never could hear her part of the conversations, only his.

“Are you afraid of the thunder?”

I’m not afraid of the thunder.” Oh, really?

“I’m just afraid of the really loud thunder.” Oh, I see.

There was another pause and then Hal turned away from the fence, “I just rolled my eyes at her. Every time she walks back into her house, I roll my eyes at her. Like this.” And then he demonstrated.

The next morning, I found him back at the fence, calling for his friend.

“Hal, get down off the fence. She’ll come out when she’s ready. I don’t want you yelling.”

“But her mom said that she’d be back out in the morning and she’s not there. She might be in the house so I want to yell to her.”

“No, just wait.”

“I wish this fence wasn’t here. If the fence wasn’t here then I could just go over there and show her how well I can jump on that jumping thing. And I could go knock on her door.”

I’m sure her parents would just love that, my little Wilson.

{Note: It was a friend on Facebook who first pointed out his similarity to Wilson. I found the resemblance remarkable and was glad she made the comment.}