Roger was Cuban.
Roger was not a racist.
Not at all.
But he told me when we moved into our new house that he thought our neighbors were Mexican.
And then he joked that he bet they were landscapers.
Yes, they have two big trucks so it made sense.
But, "Dear, you do not know that."
And I have never really talked to them.
I tried once.
When Roger was still alive on our first July 4th in this house.
We were walking back from the fireworks show and they were outside.
We both tried to make conversation.
Only the toddlers would respond.
We went inside a little disheartened.
I was longing for that neighborly accord from the movies.
When Roger died, I waited on someone.
Any neighbor to offer food.
Or their condolences.
They had to see the huge funeral flowers sitting on my porch.
But no one came besides my friends and family.
In the last fourteen months, I still have not really socialized with them.
Partly my fault I am sure.
But I wanted them to make the first move.
Silly I know.
But it did not happen.
In July, my landscaper due to economic reasons had to leave town.
I was disappointed.
He said he had sold my account to a friend who would be doing my lawn from now on.
I loved my landscaper.
He was awesome.
He always took care of us.
Now, I would have to find someone else.
It would seem in this town where I see a different landscaping crew in front of every house on the block, it would be easy to replace.
But here is the thing, in Orlando, the landscapers are not great at customer service.
I would call.
I would email.
I would ask for recommendations.
No one would call me back.
Or email me back.
So I stuck with the one that inherited me.
I promised myself by the end of September I would find a new one.
October 1 was last week.
No new landscaper.
Then I remembered Roger's prediction.
His stereotyping of our neighbors.
And finally last night, I walked over to my neighbor.
I could hear him in the garage.
It sounded like he was cutting tile.
Something he did about once a week for the last two years.
As I got close, he walked out carrying blades.
He was sharpening them.
Not cutting tile.
And low and behold, he is a landscaper.
Yep, Roger was right.
I am not sure if he is Mexican but he does own a landscaping business.
So tonight I hired my neighbor as my landscaper.
And laughed when I realized he was right.
Even in death he is right.