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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Good Fences, Good Neighbors

The Robert Frost quote, “Good fences make good neighbors” resonates with those who live in any proximity to others.  Not that physical fences always help.

At one property, we have a fairly stable and tall wooden fence, matched by similar ones erected by neighbors on their property lines only a centimeter away.  At our other house, we have a block and stucco wall, definitely more substantial, yet still not enough when it comes to noise abatement or protecting those parts of the property where walls are prohibited.

Covenants and restrictions, those nasty little laws that tell a property-owner what he can and cannot do on his own property, generally have a fair amount to say about fences.  But, as anyone who has ever resided in a picturesque farming village abroad knows, you can be miles away from a neighbor and still hear his noisy farm machinery grinding before the crack of dawn.

Sounds like one of our neighbors who insists on undertaking some sort of building project involving lots of hammering, usually on weekends or holidays, usually carried on in his garage… which is on the other side of our wall… shielding our master bedroom.  BANG! BANG! BANG! is what I want to hear for hours on end during my precious few moments of free time.

He’s the same neighbor who has three or four of his grown children who have moved back in with them, not to mention their double-that-number extra cars and dogs.  Namely, dogs who are allowed to run free and poop on our back yard, exactly where the Berlin Wall is mandated to stop.  We know that these calling cards are not Misha’s and Grisha’s because the poop piles are the size of a small Volkswagen.

So, just to be nice and neighborly in return, my husband finds a shovel and flings them back onto their property in the middle of the night.  He figures the piles will be lost among the high dandelions, compared with sticking out like a sore thumb on our well-manicured and lush yard.  Benedetto has not yet taken to hammering, but I’m almost on the verge, myself.

We have similar poop problems (that I know you want to read about) at our other home.  Misha and Grisha do their business within the confines of our back yard, but every other dog in the ‘hood utilizes our front yard to the fullest extent.  Why these people cannot bring themselves to walk their dogs on the leash is beyond me.  Why they can’t pick up after their dogs is really beyond me, as well.

Now it turns out that our tulips are disappearing:  nice, neat cut lines, as though snipped off with scissors (!) or a pocket knife, which absolutely stuns me due to its premeditated nature.  Maybe we should put a refrigerator case out there so passers-by can help themselves to sodas and ice cream?  Or, perhaps a port-a-potty so they might do their business while their dog does his?

Cameras, security cameras would help, accompanied by alarms that sound whenever anything or anyone comes near the perimeter.  I wonder if we made it a do-it-yourself project, how much hammering might be involved, as well?

A number of our neighbors are very nice, but the few oddballs bring the stats down…. Do you have neighbors who make you nuts?




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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    I’m amused & occasionally annoyed by our retired neighbors who choose Saturday and Sunday to use their leaf-blowers and other obnoxious noise making devices to manicure their lawns in the woods (where we live)…. during the only time my husband has available to enjoy our woods. He’s a musician: you can be sure that he doesn’t like the music of these machines!

    We also have had trouble with neighbors who were more concerned with appearances than with being neighborly, or even human. Occasionally they need to be reminded that other people have lives with problems in them, even if THEY don’t.

    OTOH ALL of our neighbors carry doggie poop bags and clean up after their dogs. Amazing, huh? And only the deer carry away our flowers. They are especially partial to tulips, which we call ‘deer lollipops.’ Really, if it’s tulips that are missing, you might consider those hoofed hunters of greenery! They can be quite neat and incisive!

    We, too, find the noise coming from the other side of our bedroom wall intolerable sometimes: older DD singing at full voice, tunelessly, with earbuds in. So I have investigated sound-proofing. If you have the space, I would invest in sound-proofing. The classic approach is to build a second wall where none of the structural elements touches the original wall. Another approach (found in Home Depot) is to install a layer of very, very heavy sound-deadening material, and then to put a new sheetrock wall on top of that. If the corners of our walls were square (each is either 45 deg or 135 deg), I’d have done that already!

    • avatar admin says:

      I think you’ve hit upon something as a solution, Gwendolyn: me living in a padded cell! Never knew I could go to Home Depot and do it myself…. 🙂

  2. Used to have weird neighbors, but now I am blessed with the most kind neighbors ever, who come and snowblow my driveway in the dead of winter while I am either at work or at my mother’s house helping to clear HER driveway. And they never complain if my pumpkin vines stray onto their side of the property line to their garden on the other side. They planted some forsythias on the property line behind the houses a couple years ago for a bit of a privacy screen. But snowblowing buys a LOT of noise tolerance. It was kind of funny a few years ago when we had a family from NJ move into the neighborhood, whose teenagers would run through any green space at random before they figured out that the green spaces were private yards, and not public parks.

  3. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    BTW, if I overlook the leaf-blowing, all of our current neighbors are wonderful!

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