Friday, July 9, 2010


We have lived in the same neighborhood for the past 16 years.  In that time pretty much all of the people that were here when we moved in, have moved on to other places, greener pastures.  Only one neighbor who lives across the street remains the same.  We know his name and that of his wife and dog.  We know they like to camp and don't have children, and keep a very nice yard. 

The house directly across the street has been vacant since November.  No signs, no people, nothing.  Someone shows up every now and then to mow the lawn and that's it!  We live in a development and pay the homeowners dues and abide by the rules and yet this vacant house sits there mocking me day in and day out. 

We don't know our neighbors very well.  There is a fireman across the street, a high school teacher that was my daughter's favorite teacher of all time (in fact she took some of the class on a trip to Europe) and a cat hater who we suspect took one of our cats a few years back since he was always complaining about cat poop (like we have the only cat in the neighborhood AND our cat likes to walk down a block before pooping!) and once (we suspect it was him) left a bag of cat poop ( i think it was cat poop, I hope it was!) on our steps!


This side of the street we have a family with a daughter who is a couple years older than my son, they have a cat who visits us and plays with our two cats, and a nice, quiet dog.
 The man and wife behind us own two dogs.  The dogs are seldom out and when they are in the yard are very quiet.  A couple years ago, shortly after these neighbors moved in, we started noticing trash appearing in our backyard.  We weren't sure what was happening but thought maybe it was kids.  Tequila bottles, beer bottles, and other assorted stuff kept coming and we kept picking it up.  One day we heard some shouting at Max when he was barking and saw the neighbor throw something over the fence at him.  So we knew... this man gets very upset when Max barks and yells and cusses at him.  He has threatened us recently that he will kill Max if he ever gets close to him.  Max absolutely HATES this man.                                                                                                 

As much as a dog can hate a person, Max hates this guy!  If he sees him in his yard, he growls and runs outside to bark at him now.  I think they can sense when people are mean to animals, or maybe just the experience of being yelled at and having things thrown at him did the trick. 
This guy refused my husband's offer to meet Max and see that he isn't vicious at all, and would probably stop barking once he knew the guy was ok.  Or maybe not?  I should tell you that Max is a mutt.  Probably part Lab and part German Shephard.  Wouldn't hurt anyone.  But a good barker...Hence the gazebo with privacy curtain mentioned in the previous post! 

Saving the best for last I want to tell you about our disabled neighbor.  He is mentally and physically disabled and will frequently come over asking for help with various things.  He lives with his mother and she is a single parent that works so he is often left alone.  He is of adult age and quite capable in many ways, but still childlike in others.  He has come over to ask us things like:  if we can help him go through the boxes in his garage to find a certain game, if we can help him win a video game, or fix his glasses.  He has also come to show his drawings and ask what to do about his computer or phone connections, or to ask us to read something for him. 

The other day, he shows up at the door, for the 4th time that day, with a large wad of papertowels in his hand.  After waiting for him to tell me what he needs he says, " I don't want this dog poop in my yard or in my garbage!"  He tries to hand me the wad of tissue that I now realize contains poop!  I say something to the effect, "I don't want it, it isn't my dog, he poops in the back yard!"  So, now he asks me, "Who's dog is it then?"  I tell him there is no way to know.  He repeats, "I don't WANT this dog poop in my yard or in my garbage!" He thrusts the foul wad of paper towards me.  I use all my training in special education, and my background and knowlege of people with his disability and say intelligently, "I'm NOT taking it! Go put it in your outside garbage can!"  We look each other in the eye, silence ensues, but finally, he decides to leave and take the wad with him! 
In reading back over this post, I see that I have made our neighborhood sound like a nightmare!  It really is a nice neighborhood and most everyone is great.  It is a quiet, family type development, people mostly keep to themselves which works for us since we aren't friendly...not antisocial, just shy... So, if you discount the cat hater, which is no longer a problem since we now have indoor cats who only go out occasionally and don't venture far, and the dog killer wanna-be, and the poop in a paper towel, it's a pretty nice place...

So.  What are your neighbors like?

1 comment:

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