Friday, April 15, 2016

Not a Very Neighborly Neighbor

The A to Z Challenge takes us on a journey through the month of April. We write Monday through Saturday and take Sunday off. Hence, 26 days and 26 letters of the alphabet. Come in and see what snippet I'm sharing with you today.


                Neighbor


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?
Her: Yes
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? 


44 comments:

  1. How can she take out bushes that are on your property? Yikes. I think you said the right thing. She sounds like the type that needs to have control of everything. You might need to stick close to home or else someone else may show up and take your bushes while you're not looking.

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  2. Hi Paula - the same I think ... take care .. cheers Hilary

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  3. You certainly did the right thing. This woman does not recognize 'barriers' except her own.

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  4. There is nothing to say. We had such a neighbor as a child. Mean to the core. When she became an old lady, dying of cancer, the neighborhood rallied around to help her. She was stunned--"You mean it could have been like this all my life?" Sad.

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  5. Unbelievable! It's a good thing you were home to stop her. I can't ever recall having a bad neighbor issue to the degree that you have with that woman. Does she live alone? Any family?

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    1. Yes she is alone. But she has family that is there quite a lot!

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  6. I think you should have stopped her the very first time she was a bad neighbor and demanded your son stop cutting down a tree in his own yard during the middle of the day. You just can't make some people happy. I am so glad that when I had neighbors they were wonderful.

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    1. I thought so too. But Danny wasn't the kind to stir the pot! He just took a break and let her eat her lunch!

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  7. I think I've seen the "those are MY bushes being cut down" argument on Judge Judy about a million times. Good for you standing your ground!!!

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    1. Really! I should watch more of Judge Judy!! LOL

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  8. If they are on your property then she has no right to touch them and I can't believe that she thinks she can. You definitely did the right thing in stopping her.

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    1. I told her she was welcome to trim up the bushes on her side of the property but I didn't want them taken completely down!!

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  9. Check out my blog. I'm back :) http://www.highdeserttales.blogspot.com

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    1. I tried to check out your blog. But it says I need an invitation!!

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  10. You were definitely in the right to stop the bushes being taken down! Good thing you were home! We are getting a new fence so we went and talked to all the neighbors it affected (good way to meet them too). No one objected. We didn't ask that they pay their part, we just wanted a new fence; the old one is being held up with a wing and a prayer (original fence; house is almost 40 years old). Two sides offered to pay; one didn't, but that was okay. But I would never have started the project without talking to them first.

    Taking down trees that don't belong to her was a little "cheeky" for your neighbor.

    And you are right; I don't think you have heard the last of it.

    We had a neighbor when we lived in Montana. She was older, had been a widow for at least 10 years. Her first encounter with hubby was telling him we had a brown spot of grass in our yard (sprinklers had to be worked on). He thanked her and we kind of kept our distance. When winter came and the snow, I took upon myself to shovel her driveway and sidewalk.

    She would bring us cookies at the holidays.

    She actually seemed sad when we moved.

    I'm thinking you'll be glad when this one either passes or the house gets too much for her.

    betty

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    1. She really is just a nosy old lady. Not a daily pest thank goodness. The girls have tried befriending her. She's just not interested. I wish I could have a fence up there. That would be the end of it!

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  11. Yes, I would have said the same thing but be constantly worried about coming home one day and finding all of the bushes gone!

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  12. What a old be-otch! Yes, I said that outloud! Honestly, I don't know that I could have kept my tongue in check. Pity, she sounds like a truly miserable person.
    So, is building a fence back there a no-no?

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    1. I've said that!! No, it is not a no-no to build a fence. I just can't afford one!

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  13. You were definitely right to stand your ground and I would take photos of your bushes just in case this develops. Cheeky woman!

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  14. I hardly know what to say. The neighbor wasn't trying to be stealth about the bush removal. Not with a chainsaw on a Saturday in the early morning. She has something in mind to do with the photo, too, I think. And . . . what about the elderly man agreeing to do the work so early on Saturday? The whole thing is odd. Some folks just think they are the boss of things when they really aren't. What she hired someone to do is called Criminal Damage to Property and she could be charged. Damage of property up to $1000 is a class B nonperson offense and can be punishable by up to sx months in jail. She's in a bad situation because she did it wilfully, and admitted it to you, and also admitted that she knew the the bushes belong to you and not her. And if the elderly man knew they belonged to you, he's in troible, too.

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    1. I don't think the man had any idea. You could tell he felt very uncomfortable about the whole situation once I came to talk to him!

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    2. I don't think the man had any idea. You could tell he felt very uncomfortable about the whole situation once I came to talk to him!

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  15. You did absolutely the right thing and for all the right reasons, Paula it's just bad that your neighbour doesn't understand the right way to go about such things. Luckily for us we have always been blessed by good neighbours wherever we have been and they are just worth their weight in gold. That's what my main worry was when we moved here - what will the neighbours be like? But once again they are wonderful :) So sorry you don't have the same :(
    Pempi
    A Stormy Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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    1. I have decent neighbors; except for this one! Thank you Pempi!

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  16. She wants to get your attention! Cutting down your bushes probably so she can see in your yard...old women:(

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  17. Years ago I came home for lunch one day to find a workman cutting down my shrubs along my property line. I asked him what he was foing and he informed me that the new neighbors had hired him to put up a fence and he needed to remove the shrubs -ON MY PROPERTY. Actually, he had already put the posts in the ground on my property. I called the police over and they told him to stop. The neighbors were told by the township to remove the posts from my yard. They hired a lawyer who requested that I give them an easement so they would not have to remove the posts. I wasn't sure who was crazier, the neighbor or the lawyer. Anyway, they relocated their fence and we never ever spoke for the 5 or 6 years they lived here. I now have a new neighbor I do not speak to all because he refused to replace a fence that had blown down and I reported him. He has an in-ground pool. Sometimes I'd like to live on 50 acres in the middle of no where.

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    1. Did you write about that incident on your blog once. I think I remember reading something along those lines!! Very irritating, isn't it!

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  18. I have lived in my house one week. Last week on our 4th night ( Monday), we had our uhaul that we rented in the alley. It blocked the alley but only our driveway. We specifically did this at night to avoid people driving home after five from work. Our immediate neighbor drove down alley and pointed to todd that she was going to driveway next door. Now mind you, we have the sliding door up and the ramp pulled out and its close to 9 pm. Our block is also very small. She could have backed into the next driveway, turn around and drive around block opposite direction and pull into her driveway. Instead she made todd push up the ramp and close up the truck and drive around for her. I was LIVID!! Its not everyday that we have a uhaul in driveway. Cut us some slack. Bitch! I now could care less to meet her and she better not do anything else.

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    1. People can be so damn annoying. It is such a 'me' world we are now living in, isn't it?

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  19. Of course you were right to stop her (him) from cutting down your bushes. She sounds like a very nervy woman. I am very grateful that all of my neighbors are neighborly if not friendly. We wave and, like you, have the occasional chat with most of them, but everyone respects each other's boundaries (property and interpersonal) and everyone is very tolerant of everyone else's quirks. Reading this made me feel even more grateful for that.

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    1. She's pretty nervy, for sure. I would imagine she is used to pushing people around!

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!