From the Back Nine: The grinch next door

Most of us try to plan for retirement. Assuming your employer doesn’t boot you out the door mere seconds before your pension comes through, you may have put away a few nickels. It’s time to do what you would really like to do.

My neighbor, for instance. He loves to garden. When he retired, his yard burst into a flora fest, pristinely-maintained with tweezers. As his knees and back have aged, he does less in large patches and more in containers. I believe this is the art form known as growing old gracefully.

I know a political activist who now has the time for the meetings and marches. Sis curls up with all the words she cares to read. I write. All affordable pastimes scaled to life on the Back Nine.

And then there is Neighborhood Grinch. She retired to a life of complaining. Nothing gets past this whiner. When she sees an infraction of the rules, she thunders to her computer to erupt in steam and venom. Not an infraction of neighborhood rules, mind you … an infraction of her rules.

Everyone is a target. Take the house painter who parks his van in front of his house overnight. Neighborhood Grinch dubbed it an eyesore that will not be tolerated. She’s trying to rally neighbors to the cause. My advice to the painter? Move the van before sugar finds its way under the gas cap or a potato up its tailpipe. Or park an M1A2 SEP battle tank out front next to it. It’s good to have options.

We have a street gang of designer dogs on our block. They all look like dust bunnies or the fluff balls of expended dandelions. A new neighbor is desperately trying to teach her minimultichon not to yap at the shihpoms and poochiranians in surrounding yards. Short of stepping on them all, this will take a while, and she is clearly trying. However, Neighborhood Grinch launched her assault just minutes after the move in.

Now don’t get me wrong. We all get miffed. I would prefer people’s kitties not stop by to nibble the birds on my feeder. I’m sure something makes you want to fly off the handle. But to Neighborhood Grinch, all life is war. She lectures online without end about our deviant behavior. I’m betting she looks like a female Barney Fife with a very tight perm.

What do you suppose happened in her younger years to make her such a moaner now? What land mind will I trip that will start her on the war path? As soon as I think of it, I will be sure to poke this particular bear.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors and author of the PI Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her newest novel, “The Slightly Altered History of Cascadia: A Fantasy for Grown Ups,” is now available at Contact her at