Our house is on a corner lot. No, not the corner of Heartbreak and Loneliness, wise guys. No, we live at the corner of Bayshore Dr and Bayshore Circle. Mostly we like living on a corner. There is only a direct neighbor on one side. And in our case, while she is very nice, she is also very rarely there. Also corner lots tend to be larger which is also a nice little bonus.
In our particular situation, in addition to the street signs on the corner, there is also a stop sign. You know that big red octagonal thing that is just so demanding. It looks like this.
You might think it would be annoying to live that close to a stop sign. All that stop'n'go traffic, the possibility of a traffic slow down making it hard to get out of our driveway, stop sign corner lurkers, things of that nature. You would be wrong. It's not a problem at all. And for several reasons.
First of all, Venice Island is relatively small. We don't get a lot of traffic. Even at primo tourist season there isn't a great deal of traffic on our street because we are kind of out of the way of the normal route to the things that tourists like to do. And for the second reason, because people tend to ignore the stop sign. If they do anything at all it's the broadway stop. You know the one, even if it's by a different name. The driver slows down a little bit while looking around, sees nobody else coming and changes over to acceleration. There is no actual stop. And then there is the third group of people who just blow through the sign as if it weren't there at all.
Saw it happen again very recently. Just car after car cruising (at the mighty pace of 25 mph because that is indeed the speed limit here) on down our street without so much as a pause at the corner. I believe I even made some sort of snotty comment about it out loud to myself.
And then today I was going to run some errands, one of which required that I first go down Bayshore Circle, the street we are on the corner of. As I was leaving the circle I realized that I could barely see if the road was clear because the trees on that corner were so overgrown . "So inconsiderate" I muttered. "The owners should do something about that!"
And as I finally inched out onto Bayshore proper and passed my own driveway I realized something kind of important. Those trees that were overgrown are actually on our property. Those overgrown trees that were in my way are my doggone trees!~ Dang.
And they not only obscured the view from the Circle onto Bayshore coming from the North, they also completely obliterated the view of the stop sign coming from the South. Double Dang!
Have you ever heard the expression, " Can't see the forest for the trees."? It's something that my Nana used to say with terrifying frequency about me. (Imagine it being said with a strong Maine accent and a look of absolute dismay) Sadly, while I may be improved in that department, it's obvious that it still occasionally applies.
I'm surprised that I haven't been getting anonymous nastygrams from my neighbors in the mailbox! I would not blame them one single bit.
So when I finished running my errands today, I grabbed a saw and my giant chonkers and went to work. I clippered and chopped and sawed and then clippered and chopped and sawed some more. I worked until I could see the view from the Circle and the Stop sign from the road. Finally! Whew!
I gathered up my tools, cleaned them and put them away. I picked up all of the branches and put them in a pile for the lawn guys to take away on Wednesday. Then I stood them smiling, admiring a job well done. And watched two cars, one right after the other, zoom right past the stop sign without so much as a tap on the brakes. Dang!
After they passed, I stood in the street to be absolutely certain that the stop sign was visible. It is Very Visible. The stop sign is totally entirely and completely clear as a bell right there, entirely unobscured and utterly ignored.
I shook my head in disblief at the human animal in general and those two drivers in particular. I dusted myself off and mentally washed my hands of responsibility and then came in the house and literally washed the dirt and sap off my hands. And by the way, there is a great trick to getting sap off your hands if you care to know. Coat your hands in cooking oil before washing, then coat your hands in dish soap, thoroughly working it in. Then rinse. All traces of sap should be gone :)
I will keep an eye on any tree overgrowth from now on but there's nothing I can do to force people to obey the sign. I can only make sure that they see it. After that, it's up to them.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.