Thursday, April 12, 2012


The writing prompt from Mama Kat that I chose for this week…neighbors.  I have some – some okay, some not.  And, I have had some – some okay, some not.  But write about them?  What could I say that would be worth reading?  There might be some stories I could tell, but I wasn’t sure they would be interesting.  I could write about the back-door neighbor who, when my son was installing a fence at my previous home, sat with her garden hose trained on the fence, and as soon as they took down a portion of the old fence, squirted them with a water hose.  The police had to be called so we could finish installing the fence. 

 Or I could tell about the time she pulled over a section of the fence by hanging so much of her stuff on it…then walked through my back yard in the dark to tap on my window, scaring me half to death, to tell me the fence had crushed some of her stuff (the same stuff she had hung on MY fence!).  I could tell about the time she called the city and told them my pine tree was endangering her house because the roots were “heaving up out of the ground”.  I was given a notice by the city that I had to have the tree removed within 7 days or they would remove it and charge me $1100.  When I called the city and had the arborist come out and actually look at the tree, they discovered that the roots were not heaving up out of the ground, and there was nothing wrong with the tree.  The order was rescinded.

I could tell about the conversation she had with my daughter-in-law when they bought the house from me and moved in…she immediately went over to tell her all about the troubles she had experienced with the “crazy lady and her son” who lived in the house.  Imagine her surprise when the DIL told her who she was!

I guess I could tell those stories, but instead, I decided to define the word “neighbor”. says the following:

Neighbor: noun
1.      A person who lives near another
2.      A person or thing that is near another
3.      One’s fellow human being
4.      A person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans
5.      Used as a term of address, as a friendly greeting adds this:

“Neighbor” is a compound word, formed from the words meaning “near” and “dweller, especially a farmer”.  So, originally a neighbor was a “near dweller”. 

So, here is the story I will tell you about neighbors.

When I was growing up out in the country, neighbors were important.  You knew that if you needed anything, the neighbors could be counted on to help.  If someone was sick, neighbors brought food and helped with work around the house, or farm.  

If someone died, neighbors brought food and helped with the children, or housework, or laundry.

If someone needed help building a barn, or harvesting crops, the neighbors were there. 

 It is sad that we no longer feel related to our neighbors in that way.  And sad that sometimes we have crazy people for neighbors!


eileeninmd said...

Oh wow, what a neighbor. I feel sorry for your DIL now. Some people seem to just want to look for trouble and should mind their own business. So glad you did not have to cut down your tree. Great post,Linda! said...

Wow! Two blogs!! You are energetic!
Yes, neighbors can go either way. Would love to have seen the neighbor's face when your DIL told them who they were!
We have some neighbors now who think our vacant lot is their own private doggy park....

CaJoh said...

Sorry to hear about your Crazy neighbor. One would think that living in a Townhouse would mean you would know your neighbors. Unfortunately, we do not.

Haddock said...

I understand this.
Not getting connected with our neighbours leaves a deep void.

Alison said...

Wow, your crazy neighbor sounds just as bad as some of mine. And it's so true that neighbors no longer help each other out, and that's sad.

Stacey said...

Man, she was crazy! I had some crazy neighbors in our last neighborhood. One of which scared my toddler to death and ran over her tricycle. Thankfully, we moved.

Megilon said...

Crazy neighbors are so much fun! It's sad that she would behave that way.

Tiffany said...

What a psycho!!! I bet she pooped her pants a little when she found out that not only did she have NEW neighbors to harass, they were family of yours as well! We still live in an area where neighbors are helpful and are more of a community than a nuisance. We keep to ourselves, but keep tabs on each other too. I did have some pretty bad ones in my past though.

RedWriter said...

Oh to have been a little devil sat on your daughter in laws shoulder when the crazy neighbour felt the need to spout. I bet you were torn between the hilarity and the pure cheek of it. :) xx

Faye said...

Thankfully, I'm in a live and let live neighborhood. We don't socialize but we chat in the driveway and look out for each other, in bad weather, etc. Fences I do know don't always make good neighbors! :-)

Gina Gao said...

What a neighbor. I really enjoyed reading this post.

Carletta said...

I'm thankful I that I do have good neighbors that would help if I needed it.
I have had some like yours. One who lived behind me sprayed her weeks like she was watering and ended up killing some of my photina bushes that seperated her yard from mine. Swore she didn't do it. It takes all kinds.

NixBlog said...

Great post, Linda. We all have had bad and good neighbours and increasingly nowadays, more and more that verge on the indifferent... As they say, good fences make for good neighbours!

Kimberly said...

I wish that it was easier to bond with our neighbors now. Sadly I only know 1 of mine and I live in a huge complex. It should be easier to make friends here.

heyBJK said...

Good grief! What a bad situation to have a neighbor like that. That can make things so difficult.

Roslyn said...

There are many horror stories of crazy neighbors Linda, I have a couple!
And just imagine, multiply that by all the others with similar stories & you have a terrifying number of crazy people out there!

Carole said...

We've had our share of good and bad neighbors too.

I grew up rural (though only for a short portion of my life), and neighbors were the heart of living. You moved in, you were welcomed. You needed help, someone came. Neighbors got to know neighbors and became friends.

People kept to themselves and tried to be as self sufficient as possible, but no one was ever truly alone. My mother had her neighbor friends and couldn't have gotten by without them (morning coffee visits, etc). Not one kid could have gotten in to trouble because all of the parents kept an eye on us, and they had a great networking system. lol

During the summer (kids and adults alike) pitched in and helped each other with haying season.

When my mother passed away (I was fifteen) the neighbors brought food and comfort, especially to a scared, hurting, lonely teenager.

When hubby and I bought our first house I went in expecting (and hoping) to eventually have my own 'back door' friend. The first surprise came when no one welcomed us. The second, when we went to introduce ourselves to one neighbor and the door was slammed in our faces.

I went home and cried. I realized at that moment that times (and perhaps people) had changed greatly since I was a teenager.

We've had good and bad experiences, but have never formed lasting friendships with any neighbors. People prefer to stay neutral, to keep to themselves. We have some good neighbors now, but no great bonds of friendship. We know each other, we wave as we drive by. And a couple of us have come to each others aid a time or two. More than anywhere else we've lived we feel that people would be there if needed. We would do the same. So, I guess we've made progress. lol

When I hear people complain about not knowing their neighbors or what's going on in their neighborhoods I think, we've done this to ourselves, all of us. We've cut ourselves off from one another. We're too busy (in our high tech worlds), we can't be bothered, whatever the excuses are.

I like to imagine that there are still places out there where neighbors are close knit. They must exist, somewhere.

Sorry this response got so long, but this post really hit home for me.