Thursday, February 02, 2006

Neighbors

Here's a guy who doesn't get along with his neighbors, or maybe they don't get along with him? Maybe it's a little of both? The guy says he counted 960 barks in six minutes from the umpteen dogs in his neighborhood. I like dogs, but can sympathize. Problem is, he's saying he counted 166 barks in a minute. I don't know that it's physically possible to do that.

Neighbors can be good or bad. I wonder how well the neighbors of this guy get along with each other? If they all get along, maybe the problem lies with him. Hard to say as everyone would see the issue from a different perspective. Looks like he's leaving now so hopefully the other neighbors can live in peace now, assuming he was the problem.

I haven't had too many neighbor problems in the over thirty years I've lived up here. I think that's mostly cause we've mostly left each other alone. Of course, no way of knowing if the neighbors I thought were friendly enough actually thought I was a jerk and just never said anything.

Oh, I guess there was that one family back in the late '80s that cleared a lot, built a prefab house and moved in behind us when we lived out in Cutten. No bad words exchanged but, the looks from them were bad enough. I got the feeling they didn't like us "invading their space", or whatever, despite the fact that we were there first and it was their choice to buy the lot and cram themselves in next to us.

Other than that, it wasn't until I moved to my current home that there ended up being anything close to what I would call problems with neighbors and it took a long time for that to develop. When we first moved in everyone on all sides of us seemed friendly enough, although I'll admit to not being outgoing enough to know all of their names.

Our inlaws live across the street which has its good and bad points. Other than that everyone seemed amiable enough. With time, things changed:

The old lesbian couple that lived across the street next to the inlaws moved out. Actually, one died so the other one sold the house and moved. Now it's some kind of group home and they've really fixed the place up over the years. There were some problems with the rough crowd they took in at first but they seemed to have changed their clientele so it's pretty quiet there now, except for the vehicle traffic. The staff over there seem to completely ignore everyone else in the neighborhood.

A little ways up the street, some years ago, a house across the street changed hands and some real riff- raff moved in. Didn't notice much at first, but as more people moved in to the relatively small place, it got pretty noticeable with some of the younger crowd being quite a nuisance for a while at night. Looked like drugs were moving out of the place not long ago but that seems to have quited down as of late. Just glad I live here instead of next door to them. Never heard of peep out of that place from whoever lived there before.

We had some pretty steady next door neighbors on the north side of our house for quite a while. Nice family oriented couple rented the place. They were friendly enough but didn't mix with us much. I don't have a problem with that as we all need our space. They kept their place up real well, treating it as it was their own. Suddenly, they upped and moved without saying a word. I guess they abandoned the place as it sat vacant for quite some time. Never said a word to us about moving out.

Around that same time the owner of their house died. Family members came up to do all the estate business. I wondered what was going to happen to the house and was rather nervous as to who'd be moving in next. Then my worst nightmare: A Madsen Real Estate For Rent sign shows up in the front yard. Damn! As far as I'm concerned, if there's any one sign of a deteriorating neighborhood, it's when property management agencies start taking over homes.

Eventually a couple younger guys and a girl moved in. They were cordial enough but seemed to not want to have anything to do with us. Actually had a run- in with them not too long ago over their dogs, which I'll have to admit I got a bit carried away with. I apologized to them later. Didn't seem to mend any fences, though, as they still seemed to go out of their way not to have anything to do with us. I wondered if it was just the age gap- younger folk not wanting much to do with old farts like me?

I was concerned how long they'd be living there as it didn't make for a pleasant atmosphere. That and they were the type that left all the Eureka Reporter papers laying where they were thrown on the sidewalk or lawn and didn't seem to do any other upkeep on their place. Not that I'm all that judgemental about that as I'm a bit of a slob myself.

They finally moved a couple weeks ago without saying a word to us. I figured it out when I saw a U- Haul van out front of their house. I'll have to say I was glad to see them go, especially after they'd driven off for that last time abandoning a couple of goldfish in separate 4 inch bowls sitting on the retaining wall along the street. What a bunch of dicks! So they're the big animal lovers are they? Not to worry: the wife quickly phoned a friend who was more than willing to add the fish to her aquarium.

Now we have to wonder who'll move in next? It also begs the question of whether it's better to have neighbors who rent or neighbors who buy? No easy answer to that, I suppose.

I suspect we'll be dealing with Madsen Real Estate tenants for years to come next door. Not something I relish, but you never know who might move in. Before Madsen took over, the tenants were quite nice and lived there for years.

On the other hand, there's the place behind us: Years ago it used to be owned by the Nazarene Church. One couple, the names of whom I can't remember now, were particularly pleasant neighbors, although we didn't speak that often. A couple others cycled through that place and finally some years ago the church sold the house.

Once again I was concerned about who might move in. Turned out some guy, older than me, bought it for his son, or so I was told. They fixed the place up quite a bit, at least the father did, but he lives somewhere else. The son lives there to this day. He won't have anything to do with us. I don't know why.

I've tried being friendly. I suppose it could be the age difference although I'd guess him to be in his late thirties, so it's not that great a difference. Or maybe it's cause the back fence has deteriorated so much it's almost non- existent? He might well think I'm the one blighting the neighborhood. I actually heard him make a comment about me fixing the fence one day under his breath. He didn't know I was listening.

Well, you can fix it as well as I can, dude, so don't point fingers at me.

So what's gonna happen behind us? I suspect that guy will live there until the day I die, unless they decide to sell.

As cold as some of the neighbors over the last few years have treated us, I can't help wonder if I might be like the guy that wrote the letter that got me started with this subject: That guy blames all his neighbors for all the trouble when it might well be that he's the problem. Might I be the neighborhood nuisance at Trinity and E Streets? Nah...not a nice guy like me...right?

4 Comments:

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Madsen, dear lord, that guy is a slumlord and a half. And this is why I'm going to live on some land in the middle of nowhere, so I can run around nekkid wearing a tinfoil hat, sippin' whiskey, and shooting off my shotgun and nobody cares.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

What? No gun fights? How tame! If you lack excitement move to Weitchpec:o)

 
At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

AnonR, tin foil INCREASES your reception. I thought everyone knew that. :D


I haven't had too many problems with neighbors, but I do have a very intense dislike for loud barking dogs.

 
At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barking dogs? Try this - BARKER BREAKER - I tried it, figured it was worth a try, didn't expect it to work, but a week or so after putting it up I noticed that it was quiet. When the batteries went out, the barking started up, new batteries, it was quiet again.

Either type in Barker Breaker in a google search - or go to http://www.amtekpet.com/products.html

From the site: Now you will be so happy with your neighbor's well behaved dog. Automatically stops barking from up to 50 feet away! Good Neighbor Barker Breaker is Portable, Compact and Ready for use at Home or Away. Leading Pet behaviorists, Vets and many thousands of satisfied customers endorse barker breaker.

Special Features include:
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Mount Good Neighbor Barker Breaker on your property, near your neighbors barking dog. Its built in microphone listens for barks and emits a high audible pitched sound that automatically stops annoying barking and trains your neighbors dog even while you're away! Unlike ultrasonics which are ineffective and shock collars which are inhumane, the Good Neighbor Barker Breaker obtains immediate safe results.

 

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