a little perspective on neighbors

mmegaeraMarch 24, 2007

I love this forum. I don't *think* it's vicarious enjoyment of other people's problems. I hope it isn't.

At any rate, the neighbor threads just amaze me. Speaking as someone who once (about ten years ago) had a neighbor put a bullet through the common wall of our duplex, all the rest seems pretty petty in comparison. Nothing like coming home to find a bullet in your cat's water dish to give you a new insight on things.

No, I never found out what the deal was, although I did suspect stuff growing in his garage that probably wasn't legal (my suspicions were long before the bullet). When I called the sheriff, the guy insisted that he'd been cleaning his gun, and since, the sheriff said, nobody'd gotten hurt, he wasn't inclined to pursue the fact that emptying your gun before you clean it is only common sense.

It took me a year, but I finally sold that condo. I've never been so glad to move out of a place in my life.

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I, too, am amazed at how un-neighborly neighbors can be. We've been going through our own problems since moving in December - detailed in the "trespassing" thread in this forum. Kids on atv's. Sheesh. Still, not as bad as your bullet through the wall - but annoying. I wish we could pick our neighbors -- there are lots of people on gardenweb that I know I'd love living next to!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 5:19PM
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I think I am just amazed by people's lack of basic consideration skills. I mean did these people never heard the "do unto others..." saying? Just no consideration at all.

And they are so surprised when you get mad about it... you are the bad guy. but if the shoe was on the other foot and you did the same to them. They would come down like a ton of bricks on you.

I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone was so considerate and got along and was so nice. I always thought that was normal having grown up for the first 23 years of my life there.

I guess decent neighbors are a rare thing from what I am reading here on these forums.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 11:05AM
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I also grew up with neighbors who were pretty good for the most part; but we have had a couple of oddballs recently.

One neighbor lady is sweet as can be, but her husband is a nut case. Examples: told us he knows what time we go to bed at night because he can see our family room lights from his bathroom. Told us he patrolled our house by looking in our windows and opening our hot tub cover while we were on vacation "just to make sure everything was okay." (We have another neighbor check our house if we're gone and he knows they have our keys). I could go on and on. He's also kind of "grabby", he always wants to touch me or hug me if he can, which totally creeps me out.It's gotten so bad that we outright avoid him when we see him in the yard.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 12:19PM
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back in the late 70's and early 80's when i was a kid, our neighbors watched out for each other and you pretty much did as you pleased. they would come over to borrow something, if no one was home they simpley went around back, got what they wanted, and left you a note on the door saying they had it and to call them ASAP if you needed it right back.

they also watched out for the kids. i remmebr getting my butt whipped by neighbors and my parents for acting up. one guy down at the end of the street caught me going to the park when he knew i was supposed to be at home. he called my mom at work, she told him to whip me and take me home. by the time he got me home, she was there and SHE proceeded to whip me too. if i had waited just 15 mnutes more, i would have been free to go to the park, but the rule was come striaght home from school and do not go out of the yard until someone got home from work.

my current neighbor to the north of me will barely wave most of the time. he is friendly enough, but a strange guy. does not associate much with anyone but his daughter who lives next door to him. i will probably get a call from him soon though, this evening i am dumping a 55 gallon drum full of crawfish remains on the garden. since his backyard is next to the garden, i am sure the smell will be a little stout for a couple days!

my neighbor to the west of me stops by all the time to talk. he brings his tractor over to help out if he sees me doing something that a tractor could do easier. for instance, one day i was pulling up some old fence posts. i hooked my truck to them, got a running start and snatched them out of the ground. he saw me doing this, drove over on his Ford tractor, and MADE me get out of the way so he could pull them up. told me it was no sense in me tearing up my truck. he also gave my wife a black lab puppy when someone shot and killed our black lab. he had been selling the pups for 150, but refused to take money for this one.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 2:49PM
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What a great neighbor to give you that doggie. That is what good neighbors are like.

To be a good neighbor, you don't have to be friends - just asking people to be considerate and decent. Don't make loud disturbing noises at all hours. Control your animals . Dispose of your yard waste in the correct manner for your area. Don't store excessive junk in your yard. Keep your lawn mowed (if you have a lawn).

That's all.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:04PM
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i forgot to mention earlier that my neighboirs do look out for each other.

back during the fall i loaned my garden tractor to my wife's uncle so he could plant a food plot at his hunting club. he brought it back one day while i was at work. he was going to put it back in my shed since he did not want to leave it sitting outside. i have a double door on the shed, and even when locked you can pop it open if you know what you doing. he was trying to pop it open, next thing he knows there is a gun in his face telling him to stand up REAL slow. a neighbor from further down the road saw him trying to get in the shed, and since he is a deputy and was on duty at the time, he came by to see what was up. another neighbor had already called the SO! funny thing is, this uncle is the Assistant Chief of Police! he had to get the deputy to call me at work to verify it was ok, or he was going to jail just a couple hours before he had to go on duty himself! i started to let him get picked up just so i could hold it over his head.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:58PM
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It seems like neighbors can be a hit or miss thing. the neighborhood i grew up in was a suburban neighborhood of a small/med sized city and we lived on a dead end street. the neighbors all knew each other, all the kids hung out together. i wish my kids had that... unfortunatly they dont.

our current(actually they just moved) neighbors are liars, con artists and just plain old dirty! when they first were moving in this guy was trying to mow 8" of overgrown lawn with a rinky push mower, so i offered the services of my riding mower. we hit it off good. i was in the process of some major remodeling and he mentioned he was a carpenter so he spent every evening helping us out. we tried to pay him and he refused. i mowed his lawn, they watched our kids, it was turning out to be great! after they had been there 6 months or so one night they came to us to ask if they could borrow some money for some unforseen medical expenses. in return he would help me build the deck i was just starting free of charge (in addidion to paying us back). things were okay untill the wife kept going to jail, not sure why though. we found out they werent paying their bills (elec bill came in our mail by accident - $1800!!) slowly we stopped talking to them and after a few months of not being paid back yet we filed in small claims. when the time came to go to court, she was in jail AGAIN and he filed to have the hearing at a later date. when we went for the second date, he had been there an hour before court to file a counter claim for money we owed for him building a deck for us! that was on a thursday... sat morning there was a uhaul truck in their drive so i went to ask for our money and all i got was some vulgar language!!! by the third court date they did not show so we won our case and theirs was dropped and we havent heard from them since. but we talked to the people they were buying the house from on a land contract. they hadnt paid in 6 months, dug a hole in the back yard and filled it with trash, destroyed the inside of the house on their way out and alot of other stuff. i decided to do a little on line investigating and found out they both have extensive criminal records, already have SEVERAL judgements against them from various people/businesses, have moved 6 times in 2 years!!!!!

my wife told me if someone else moves in there i am not allowed to introduce myself!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 12:36PM
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WOW arichard21 ! After reading your post, I think you're lucky that all you lost was some cash.

".... they watched our kids, it was turning out to be great!"
".... found out they both have extensive criminal records..."

Kiss that money goodbye & count your blessings.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 11:18AM
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My daughter (25) often laughs and says our neighborhood is like a 50's sitcom.

It really is. We've got the loveliest neighbors. We're actually more like family than neighbors. We help each other out, do errands for each other, help with household tasks, socialize together, watch out for each other's kids, walk each other's dogs, hold each other's keys, lend and borrow (and return!). The list goes on and on. It truly is a wonderful block to live on.

But it wasn't always that way. There have been times and neighbors in the 34 years we've lived here that had me pulling out my hair and ready to move. Ones that didn't mind if their kids or pets destroyed the neighbors' lawns, houses and cars. The neighbor who was fighting with his wife in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night, holding a gun on her. The neighbor who was suspected of killing a police officer. The ones who were involved in drugs. We just got lucky, and the bad guys moved away, and were replaced with some absolutely lovely folks.

I have told my husband, when we do move in a few years (although, just yesterday, the young fellow next door told me we weren't allowed to go anywhere--LOL), I'm planning on knocking on all the doors, up and down the street to meet (and evaluate) the neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 9:04AM
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My neighbor to the north of us is a nosey, old guy, with really weird behavior (like watching us all the time, and constantly making a point to tell me that he was on my property). He is bitter that we put up a fence, so he has sprayed grass killer along the perimeter of my fence because he doesn't want to have to trim where the mower doesn't reach, and in the process of spraying the grass killer, he has destroyed some of my plants on the opposite side of the fence.

My neighbor behind us - her in-laws that speak little English harrass me everytime I go in the back of my garage by my woodpile. I have gotten into a screaming match with the mother-in-laws daughter simply because I threw one of the neigbor's kid's toys back on their own property. I was simply giving them back their belongings - nothing malicious. Next time any toys that are on my property are going in the garbage. It's not worth the effort to give them back.

The people next to them steal my firewood (he happens to be an attorney), and brag about it to the people behind us who have the crazy in-laws. I have had to post a "no trespassing, Private Property" sign over my woodpile and put a tarp with stakes in the ground to prevent them from taking my property.

This is an upscale neighborhood, so I think it's safe to say that "trailer trash" comes in all colors, shapes, sizes and income levels.

We are looking for a home with lots of land, out of the city. I don't ever want neighbors again this close (we are on less than 1/4 acre). It's insane to not have any privacy from peering eyes and kooky neighbors.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 7:06PM
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Don't penalize the children (the toy thing) because of what their families do.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 7:59PM
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Anyone stealing firewood off my woodpile, would soon find some pieces that (unknown to them) contained several of the most interesting/noisy/smoky/stinky fireworks I could lay my hands on.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 4:32PM
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elec bill came in our mail by accident - $1800!!

Hmm, well, they may be petty criminals, but opening their mail makes you a felon.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 1:00PM
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I suppose that it is all a matter of perspective. For example, to a worm, digging in the dirt is more relaxing than going fishing. In my rural area, I know most of the people for about 6 miles around. And I know their vehicles. Seldom would a thief in this area travel except by car or truck. So if I see their vehicle(s) gone and a strange one there, I jot down the license number, call them and ask if all is OK. If all is OK, I do not discuss the license number. Rarely does anyone resent it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 5:02PM
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Lucy, we aren't penalizing the children. The problem is when I throw the toys back on their property, believe it or not, the in-laws throw them back on our property and scream at me telling me that I have to prove it's their children's toys. The toy that I was referring to above was literally thrown back on my property at my garage by the sister-in-law. The little girl was standing next to her asking for the toy, but sister-in-law wouldn't give it to her. I cannot be responsible for how they choose to raise their children, nor can I be responsible for toys that they REFUSE to take back. The fact is when people start acting violently, it's a different matter altogether. We don't have kids, and I don't have kids at my house. None of my other surrounding neighbors have children who are old enough or are even capable of throwing a toy in my yard. So again, toys have to go in the garbage. It's the in-laws and family who are punishing the kids, not us.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Airqual guy,

I love the idea about the fireworks in the woodpile. My dad comes up with some doozy's too. Thankfully, I think they got the hint when we posted the sign and put the tarp over the woodpile.

The thing is, if they had just ASKED us for some wood, we would have gladly given them some. Problem is, some people just don't understand the concept of being neighborly.

The neighbors to the south of us, thank goodness, are actually normal and pleasant.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 11:07PM
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>>Hmm, well, they may be petty criminals,
>>but opening their mail makes you a felon.

Our electric bill is a postcard. It is inadvisable to assume.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:14AM
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