Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our Law-Abiding Neighbor

Olaf, our neighbor across the road, waves and says "Hallo!" whenever we see him. He's also the self-appointed "enforcer" of German laws in our neighborhood (given that many of us rent our rowhouses, so haven't lived here long enough to memorize the entire canon of South Germany rules ...).

Mike, an American who lived next door to us for two years, had a feud going with Olaf. Mike's daughter liked to play her rock music loudly with the windows open on Sunday afternoon. You may not realize, but Baden-Wurttemberg has quiet hours during the week from 1-3:00 in the afternoon, and all day on Sunday and holidays. This means: no lawn-mowers revving up then, no screaming and shouting, no loud car engines, and of course, no stereos blasting. But Mike didn't take kindly to Olaf's reminders about needing to be quieter. In fact, he may have encouraged his daughter to continue playing her music at an even higher volume. Maybe it's just as well that they're no longer living kitty-corner to each other.

But I had to chuckle at what my husband, Jeff, described seeing this morning--the neighbor directly across from us owns a huge golden retriever that barks its head off at random moments. Olaf walked over to their patio and leaned close to the fence. He whispered to the dog, "shhh, shhh," and held his finger to his lips. For several minutes, Olaf stayed there, making sure the retriever understood the importance of quiet hours. After he left, all was silent.

Now, if I still had cranky toddlers? I'd hire Olaf in an instant. Then I'd let him work his magic during nap-time. This man has a gift.

1 comment:

Grace, Every Day said...

This was a GREAT story! Send Olaf to my house next.