Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor

Getting along with your neighbors can be a problem sometimes. I used to have a taxi driver living next door who would work on his cabs next to my parking spot and get grease and junk everywhere. My solution was to put palm trees in planters on the property line. The cab driver moved away a few months ago, and I was able to replant the trees in the ground this weekend. Not a day too soon either, because they looked like they were not doing so well in the pots.

I have always tried to get along with my neighbors, even when they weren't always the best. Like the time Garet and I bought a house, and the old coot next door wouldn't even talk to us. He wouldn't talk to us that is, until the day a rat popped up in his toilet. Then all of a sudden it was, "Oh! please help me, there's a rat in my toilet.". So Garet and I went over, and Garet grabbed the thing with a pair of thick gloves and removed it from the house. I would have killed the little beast right then and there, but Garet disposed of it humanely by releasing it in the park by the river, where all the little children play. That did seem to warm the old coot up to us a little, and I would get a short grunt "hello" once in a while from him after that.

My mom had a few problems with neighbors when I was a kid. When we lived in our first house on Ravinia Drive, we had a family next door that for some reason rubbed my mom the wrong way. When the couple next door would have a knock down brawl, we would sit in my mom and dads bedroom, in the dark, and watch them out the window like it was professional wrestling on television. Our worst encounter with the family next door, was when my sweet little sister and I sat on our swing set, throwing rocks into their yard and calling them names.

One thing about my mom is that you could never discipline, or speak badly to her children. That was her job. When the guy came over to complain to my mom, he didn't know what he was in for. He got only a few words out of his mouth, before my mom started swinging her broom at him and telling him to get out of her yard. My sister and I were awestruck at the sight of our little, five foot mother chasing the large, six foot man across our lawn, and over the hedges. I can't remember the consequences of our misbehaving, whether she turned the broom on us, or just bawled us out for being such little snots.

Yes, we were being horrible little brats, but isn't it reassuring when you are a little kid, to know that your mom isn't afraid of people twice her size?


  1. The old goat's wife, Mrs. Johnson, turned out to love us and would wait every afternoon with a cookie for Molly and Sophie during their walks. I think our little conversations were a big part of her day. Too bad she didn't like us enough to leave that cute house to us in her will.

  2. Oh my god!That is mom! Talkin' smack about the neighbors she knew she'd have to back us up! hahaha!

  3. Ok, for the record I did release that cute little rodent into vacant land overgrown with trees and shrubs, not a park where children play.

    Remember the time Mr. Johnson bought a exercise skiing machine and I think asked Alan to put it together. His wife I believe told him to send it back cause he'll fall off and break something.

  4. There never was any other side of the story when it came to the "Karr's". Mom was always against them, no matter how awful WE might have been! They hated living next to the large group of "gypsy" kids and we found out how easy it was to stir them up... and we knew that Mom would always have our backs!

  5. P.S. I now live next to a rotten neighbor whose first contact with us was to try and cut down all the trees on the property line! The war was on when we said NO, we like the trees..............

  6. Trees need to be removed when they are too near to your home. One tree limb thru your roof during a storm, and your love affair will be over.