A Petrified Old Woman
Dorothy and her mother Mini came to the police department to report their neighbor, Mrs. Taylor, for glaring at them daily from her front window. They stated she sat in a chair facing outside and stared for hours. They told me they would make eye contact but Mrs. Taylor never acknowledged them. They also explained that anytime they left their house, Mrs. Taylor was sitting at the window.
My concern at this point was that the poor woman was dead and had been sitting in the same chair for weeks going un-noticed. I also wondered why these two busy bodies had not knocked on her door and asked if she was okay. Their answer, “She’s too scary.” Oookaaay!
I drove to the home and sure enough, an elderly woman was sitting at the front window. She didn’t move her head in my direction as I walked to her door. If she was dead, I figured her body was now petrified.
I knocked and Mrs. Taylor moved so quickly, I jumped. When she opened the door, I could hear a voice in the background.
I was invited inside. She explained she was almost completely blind and listened to books on tape, while sitting at her front window, enjoying the sun on her face. After being told to have a seat, I was informed of her feud with Dorothy and Mini.
Years ago, the mother and daughter had a fence built ten feet onto the Taylor’s property. After years of arguing, the dispute was put before the city council and the unhappy duo was told to take it down. When they refused, they were fined on their water bill, and when they continued to reject the order, their water was shut off until they complied.
Mrs. Taylor made me tea and told me her husband was alive then and he handled most of the city council appearances. She was not surprised the two women had gone to the police department and not checked on her welfare first.
One conversation led to another and we were soon talking about our favorite books. She’s a huge John Grisham fan. I turned her onto Robert Crais and waited while she called the library and ordered everything they had. I’ve since started her on Janet Evanovich and several more great audio books.
I know it was quite juvenile but we devised a plan to help pass the time as Mrs. Taylor sits at her front window. When her book starts a new chapter, she places her hands to the side of her head, wiggles her fingers, and sticks out her tongue.
Dorothy and Mini have made numerous complaints but our entire department knows the story and we finally threatened them with false reporting and harassment charges if they continued. Making friends with Mrs. Taylor far outweighs the dirty looks I get from the two malicious women.
When I’m on patrol, I drive by Mrs. Taylor’s house frequently. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch her several times making her goofy gesture. It always makes me laugh. At least once per shift, I give two short bursts on my horn. This is our code. Mrs. Taylor smiles and raises her hand to wave hello. Whenever I have free time and I’m off duty, I stop in and have a cup of tea and we talk books.
Thank you, Dorothy and Mini for your selfish, idiotic behavior. You made 2011 a great year to remember. Mrs. Taylor, I love you and yes, you gave me the perfect title for this post when I shared it with you.