© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Over the Fence

I’m mowing my back yard. My neighbor is mowing his. We smile over the fence, mow a couple of more rows, and then we stop for a chat. I lean against the fence. He leans with a straight arm on the handle of his mower. We make idle small talk. You know, neighborly stuff. And then he says something that catches my attention. Something extraordinary.

Me: Any trips planned for the summer?

Neighbor: Yeah, we’re headed to Yellowstone for a week with the kids. Next week though, I’m headed out solo.

Me: Where are you going?

Neighbor: Starting on Memorial Day weekend, I’m going on a week-long church mission trip to the jungles of Peru.

Me: Wow. Awesome.

Neighbor: (with a nervous giggle) Yeah. I’m excited. My kids have me worried, though. The other night they were brainstorming all of the ways I might die.

Me: Ha!

Neighbor: Yep. Piranhas. Anacondas. Poison dart frogs. Lost in the jungle. Cannibals. Milaria. Food poisoning. Plane crash. Boat crash. Car crash….

Me: I suppose the options presented by the jungles of Peru are almost endless.

Neighbor: You’ve got that right. My money isn’t on any of that, though. My money is on the midnight crocodile hunt with spears flung from wooden canoes.

Me: Yikes what a trip! For what it’s worth, Laura and I are thinking of heading to her parent’s house over the holiday weekend.

Neighbor: Oh, nice. That sounds like fun.

Me: I’m sure it will be. They have a pool. Sometimes I dive in.



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