Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor - Or NOT!

Neighbors can be really important in your life, except that sometimes you don't know it until the moment is upon you and you have to ask their help. Our neighborhood is laid out kind of different, heavily wooded with the houses far apart. In the summer, when the trees are full, you can't even see any of their houses, but in the fall when the leaves disappear it always amazes us how close they are! LOL

My neighbor Cindy was the one who helped me last spring when I shattered my wrist. She braved the ice that I'd fallen on, and got me to the best place I could possibly go to have my arm repaired. And, I know that when Dean's wife Fae was sick and dying, they often brought meals over. I can see Cindy's house and yard during the winter, but during the summer there is only a hole through the trees just big enough to see their front door.

We have two other sets of neighbors who, although we don't know them well, I have no doubt would jump at a moments notice to help in an emergency. Like Cindy's house, during the summer I can't see their houses from ours, even though one of them is right on the street.

And of course, Dean and I would help any of our neighbors if need be. With anything!

And then there are the nutty neighbors....There are two sets of them. The first couple we have only met twice. I don't even remember their names. Well..yesterday I thought I did, but today I'm not so sure. Anyway, I think the guy has OCD. We can't see their house at all during the summer, but several times per week, for a couple hours at a time, you can hear his shop vac going as he (I think?) vacuums out his garage. When you drive by, if their garage is open and you can see inside, it's IMMACULATE! They often open their garage door, and put up a big screen instead so their cats can play "outside". I think he must be vacuuming up the cat hair or something. It's very strange, but I'd like to bring my truck down there and say, "Hey, if you really want to see progress, you can vacuum out my truck!"

And then there's the other guy on the other side of us. He's retired, and sadly his wife passed away a couple years ago. (We didn't even know she'd been sick, and felt really bad when we found out she'd passed away!) He travels a lot, so has started renting out his basement to a guy who's probably in his late 30's-early 40's.

We didn't know anyone else was living there until one day Angela was laying on her bed watching out the window. "What are you watching?" I asked, thinking it was a bird or rabbit. "The boy. The boy outside." WHAT BOY? I looked out my front window to see a kid of about 10 riding up and down our VERY STEEP driveway on some kind of scooter thing. Keep in mind, our house sits about 100 feet off the street, and he was way up at the top of our hill by the garage, then would turn and ZOOM down the driveway, right into the street. Our driveway is a blind approach. I went out and said, "Umm...hello? Whatchya do'in?" He replied in a "oh my gosh you're dumb lady" tone of voice, "Umm...riding my scooter." I then told him most people don't go into other people's yards unless they needed something, or were looking for someone to play with, etc. "No, just riding my scooter." and he left.

The next day, Dean and I were on a motorcycle ride and came back after dark. We'd just put the bikes away in the garage and unloaded everything when this voice comes out of the pitch darkness, "So, you guys ride?" I almost needed a clean set of clothes after that! It was a woman, and she was clearly intoxicated. She wanted to tell us of a biker event coming up the following weekend that we should be sure to attend, the staggered her drunken self back down the driveway. Kinda creeped me out, really.

In July or so, we were woken up at 3:30 on a Monday morning to drunken laughing as the renter and his girlfriend sat on their front porch enjoying a fire. Except that, their front porch is about 50 ft from our bedroom window! They may not have known that though, since they can't see our house AT ALL because the trees are so thick. Their laughter turned to drunken arguing, and I debated calling the police and complaining, but decided to let it go instead. After all, there's never been one thing to complain about with that neighbor, so why cause problems when they're having ONE night of fun...even if it was the workweek for the rest of the world. Dean was a bit irritated though, as he was woken up just an hour before he had to get up for work.

The following week the exact same thing happened, again, in the wee hours of Monday morning. I was just going to call the police when, in the midst of their very loud argument, there was a SLAM of the door as they moved the activity inside the house. My clock said 3:45, and Dean's alarm went off 20 minutes later.

The next week the exact same thing happened. This time I DID call, and it was soon quiet over there. But, Dean and I wondered of D. (the man who owns the home) even knew what was going on. He travels for several weeks at a time, and we never know when he's there or not. We suspected these events happened when he was gone. As it turns out, the renter and his girlfriend are bartenders, and so would come home from work ready to tie one on. Lovely.

Fast forward to today...I ordered some products from an online store last week and expected them to arrive today. I checked the tracking code and was surprised to see "delivered 10/24" listed. I never got them, so I assumed they were delivered to neighbor instead. Well, the owner was out of town, so the renter got the package. And...guess what??? HE OPENED IT!!!! Can you BELIEVE THAT? It has my name, it has my address. Isn't federal offense or something? Not only that, but he had it for THREE DAYS! So he says to me, "Yeah, we got a package. It's videos, right?" and I'm thinking, how did he know that? Then he handed me the open package. OMG...what if, it was like...something really personal or something?

I kind of feel violated, and am tempted to report it to...someone. I probably won't though, but man, I never ever ever want to order anything by mail again!


kari said...

I would contact the place you ordered them from and officially complain. Then, they will do their own investigation and they will complain to the delivery company (sadly it holds more weight if the company does it rather than just a customer). Then, if there were any laws broken the delivery company will have to deal with it and you won't be responsible for it.

Just a thought...

Courtney said...

OMG Leah, that is CRAZY! I am lucky that I don't have neighbors...sorta. The house next to on the right is for Sale, and has been for over a year. The house on the right has seasonal residents, who are an older couple we only see like 3 weeks a year. THe houses across the street are for Sale too...and also have been for a year or more. I would LOVE to have good neighbors, but then I think about your stories and think....NAHHH I am good!