It Appears I am THAT Neighbor

We moved to a new subdivision, and we've been... getting to know our neighbors lately. I am used to neighbors who keep to themselves, are relatively quiet, and maybe wave slightly if you make eye contact with them. Also, the people in our old neighborhood? Snow birds... the elderly... drying out like prunes in the blazing sun and heat, waiting for death. But still, I had little to complain about.

The new digs? We have real neighbors- with children. Mostly older (7+) and teenagers. This has been a drastic change to our lifestyle. Like, the 4th of July... the fireworks and noise started at 2pm. TWO FREAKING O'CLOCK. Can you say... naptime?! I was fit to be tied. However, I am also very anti-confrontational.

There is always some sort of child mele going on in the streets during naptime. There's constantly a basketball game in the middle of the road. General kids stuff that bugs me- of younger children who mostly stay indoors and play with Duplos.

So neighbor #1 is, from what I can gather, a large family with kids ranging from 18-3. I have yet to see a real adult, like one that is old enough to HAVE an 18 year old. And they have at least four cars. The first two I have never seen leave the property so I assume do not work, and are parked in the driveway, collecting spiderwebs and leaves underneath. The other two they park on the street in front of the driveway. Sometimes a bit in front of our driveway. It makes it hard to back out of our house and spot any oncoming traffic when they do this... which is all the time. Did I mention the trash? It's everywhere. I found half a deck of playing cards alone in our bushes, not to mention the DIRTY SWIFFER WET PAD left in my driveway. Yes. It's that bad.

These people also love to toss stuff into our trashcans AFTER the garbage men have come. I know it is them because the same palate of Arrowhead water that is found in my cans are also found on their side of the curb come trash day. If I hear the garbage truck leave our street, I dash out to collect my cans from being re-filled. I should also mention, my cans have our house number spray painted unmistakably on the front. It is no mistake when errant garbage is thrown in them who it belongs to. Well that, and the neighbors don't OWN THEIR OWN trash bins, they just pile up bags on the sidewalk. So... color me peeved.

Then there is neighbor #2. The quiet couple residing there when we moved in promptly moved out a couple weeks ago. The couple was quiet, but yard maintenance? Not their forte. It looked like Vietnam up in there, and it spilled over onto our yard, choking out some plants and... it was hideous. But I couldn't be too judgy-Mc-Judgerston about it because the last remaining tree in our front yard was at a 90 degree angle right into their yard, and had been, for what I suspect was the past 7 years. I'd tried to right it, and it wouldn't budge. The landlords were planning on taking an axe to it at the end of the month.

So anyway, the house was vacant for a bit, and as I learned later, the FIREWORKS family from up the street's rental was going into foreclosure, and thus moved in right next door. The fireworks family is loud and boisterous. The kids are friendly, but as we soon found, they liked to start up making loud noises in the evening, right at Little Man's bedtime. Not to mention there are rusty monster trucks, an entire VAT of mud, (yes, a you read that right, a vat of mud) and wood planks of various sizes scattered around the front yard. My eyes practically rolled out of my head every time I drove past.

I was getting testy. The Husband was a little surprised at how irked both sides of neighbors were making me. I was pacing in front of the door, debating on if and how I should go bat crap crazy and yell at them.

That was until last weekend, when we pulled up and saw fireworks family all in the yard, armed with clippers, plastic trash bags, and a chainsaw. They were fixing the insane mess of branches, weeds and debris from their new yard. My heart lept, as I was genuinely thrilled to see that SOMEONE cared a stitch about the state of their dwelling.

I went over and told them how happy I was to see someone was taking care of that mess of a yard. The woman told me just what kind of state the previous tenants had left the house in (sharpie marker over every wall- apparently they had been none too happy to leave) and that it bugged her, so they were going to fix it up a bit. I apologized about our tree leaning right over into their yard and told them it would be fixed soon.

It was two hours later when we got a knock on the door. Fireworks family's mother asked us if it was ok that they propped our tree up. OK? I gasped in amazement. It was more than OK! Not only had they propped it up! They'd lobbed off all the branches that were cumbersome and ugly, nailed a 2x4 at a slant on the side to keep it afloat, and by gosh! It looked almost like a NORMAL TREE!

The effort that must have gone into that was staggering. Our entire yard looked clean and trimmed. I almost cried. Gave her a big hug and told her she would be seeing a large plate of cookies from us the next day.

As I closed the door, I felt properly guilty. I had been thinking such terrible things about these clearly wonderful and sweet people! I'm terribly glad I hadn't gotten up the nerve weeks ago and stormed out to yell. I'm so grateful my better side had taken control and kept me from squashing the lovely relationship we now have with our fireworks neighbors. The girls and I lovingly made them Rolo Cookies and delivered them with a big thank you note.

My faith in mankind restored, I ventured out to collect my trashcans this morning, and found them in the OTHER neighbor's (neighbor #1's) driveway filled to the brim with tree clippings. Apparently, annoying car-surplus-family had found the branches of their own tree getting in the way of their terminally parked cars and decided to rectify the situation this morning- a mere two hours after the garbage truck had come by.

Well, at least I like ONE of our neighbors!


  1. Can you please please please write a book! Your writing is my favorite! You freakin' crack me up. :) And you're insightful, too.

  2. OK right after I read this, I said to George, "She should seriously write a book." Looks like I'm not alone in thinking this. Let us know when you decide to do it. I'll buy a million of your books. Love ya!