When we moved into our home more than 25 years ago, both Richard and I were still busy with careers and kids, so we didn't really spend much time getting to know our neighbors. We wave to them when we see them outside. And occasionally, there will be a chat in the yard. But for the most part we don't know them.
|Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor|
There is an elderly lady who lives in the house directly behind us. We call her "Mrs. McGregor. I named her for the wife of Mr. McGregor, the gentleman who had a garden near Peter Rabbit's home. Peter's mother forbid him and his siblings from entering Mr. McGregor's garden due to the demise of their father at the hands of Mr. McGregor and made into a pie. Of course, Peter doesn't listen. It makes for a wild tale. I named this woman because she seems bent on having everything her way. Once, while Danny (my oldest son) was cutting down a tree, she came over and asked him to stop so that she could eat her lunch in peace, on her patio. Another time she came and told Richard that the barrels we had at the back of our property were unsuitable because of their blue color and she would appreciate their removable. Richard and Danny both did as the lady asked.
A few years ago, both Paige and Harley were young, we had gotten a fairly deep snow fall the night before. While they were out in the back they discovered a deer's footprints and proceeded to follow them into Mrs. McGregor's yard. Mrs. McGregor came out and shooed them right out of her back yard.
Needless to say we aren't neighborly! She is probably now in her 80's. I don't see her as much as usual. Imagine my surprise recently when I heard a chainsaw being used early one Saturday morning. And, even more so, imagine my surprise when I looked out to see an elderly man cutting down the Hawthorne bushes at the back of my property. These bushes provide a barrier between my house and hers. They are my bushes.
I went out and inquired "What's going on?" The man told me that Mrs. McGregor had hired him to take out the bushes. She came sauntering out of her house to join the conversation.
Me: You know these are my bushes, right?
Me: I don't want them taken down!
Her: Why not?
Me: Because I like the barrier they provide between my house and yours. And I like the shelter they provide for the birds, the rabbits and the squirrels.
Her: (turning to her hired man) Well, I guess that is that.
She then proceeded into her house, got a camera and came back to photograph the bushes. The hired man cleaned up what he had already done and left. I still have my bushes. But I bet I haven't heard the last of that!!
Do you think I should have stopped her?? Do you have neighbors who you might squabble with? What would you have said to her?