Writer’s Workshop-My Neighbors

I’m pretty sure none of my neighbors will ever have access to my blog so for once I can talk about someone and feel pretty confident it won’t get back to them. I feel sure that none of my neighbors are up with the whole blogging scene. They are WAY too busy looking into or wandering around in my yard.

Here’s the thing.

We moved into a well established, older neighborhood where most of the home owners ARE the original owners. Their children are all long grown up and gone, and I sense they have a sort of proprietary feeling about the neigborhood.

On one hand, I’m glad. I feel SUPER safe here because we definitely have a built in neighborhood watch system. On the other hand, I’m having a hard time getting used to having neighbors in my yard, or looking into my yard when I didn’t invite them. It’s just weird.

When we first closed on the house, I can’t count on my two hands how many times I arrived here to work on the house and strangers would be wandering around the property, not realizing it was NO LONGER on the market. I thought that was odd.

Then one day the next door neighbor opened the side fence, walked on back and asked my husband when the new owners were moving in. Did I mention she interrupted him on the phone to do so? She thought he was a “worker”. Irritating.

When our pool was being remodeled another neighbor frequently let himself into our backyard to talk to our concrete guys. He wanted some work done too. He even brought his dog with him. I don’t know. I was under the impression that if you wanted to enter someone’s gated yard, you asked. You walked to the front door, rang the doorbell. Introduced yourself to the home owners. Told them you needed some concrete work done and could you have their business card please? Or better yet, could you talk to them in person? And you’d leave your dog home. Possibly?

Remember those pictures I showed you of the side of my house that we landscaped? Well, the area used to function as RV parking. So, there is a two sided opening fence behind a DRIVEWAY. Not the driveway we park in, but a driveway none-the-less. Let me illustrate:

(see there on the right? You can see where the side walk sort of T’s with the driveway?)

(That’s the gate I’m talking about.)

One has to walk the length of the driveway to get to the gates to enter the backyard. I just happen to have a sliding door that leads from my bedroom to the sideyard pretty near the fence. This morning I woke up because one of my neighbors was practically climbing the fence trying to see into the backyard. Again. I don’t get it. One can clearly see into my backyard from the street.

I just don’t get it.

Maybe they are just more interested in the yard than in us. Maybe I burned my bridges when one of said neighbors brought me a delicious cake and I didn’t invite her in (in my defense though, I was leaving).

Bottom line? I live in a neighborhood where the only kids are MY KIDS and the neighbors like to be in my yard more than I would like them to be. BUT, I still LOVE it.

And, I haven’t caught anyone skinny dipping. Yet.

For more Writer’s Workshop entries, be sure to visit Mama Kat.

Comments

  1. 2

    Son Tert says

    That's so odd. I have my mother-in-law living in a house on our property, and at times I get irritated with her always being on our doorstep – but strangers! Perhaps you & your husband should go skinny dipping – that might embarrass them off, but then again maybe not!

  2. 4

    Lolli says

    I couldn't help but laugh. We have an unfenced backyard that opens to common area, and we frequently have people (usually neighborhood kids) walking though. Once, another neighbor caught a guy walk right up to our garden and pick a tomato for himself. Grr. But the neighbors just snooping around? I guess you must be the most exciting thing to have happened to that neighborhood in years. Hopefully the newness will wear off for them and they'll leave you at peace.

  3. 5

    Janis says

    That would so annoy me. Knowing my husband and I, like I do so well, I think we would do something completely outrageous. I mean, if they are so interested in finding something to look at, I do believe I'd give them a shocker. Like, I don't know, skinny dipping myself (which we used to do all the time when we had a pool). Or maybe hang a sign for a week that said, "Private Property. Violators will be shot." Ok, so that's not very nice…. but they are pushing it.

  4. 6

    Alicia W. says

    WHAT? I am very big on privacy and this would really set me off. If I were you, I would post a sign basicly letting them know to stay off your property.. if that didn't work I would have to walk over and have a friendly little chat with them.. if that didn't work then I would just get the law involved..

  5. 7

    S Club Mama says

    that would tick me off!!! I would tell them that you appreciate that they enjoy your yard but if they want to talk to your workers (not your husband) or see the yard, they should ask beforehand because it's polite.

    Why is it that old people feel that old standards of manners don't apply to them but they will bark at a young person if they don't use manners???

  6. 10

    Christina says

    Visiting from Mama Kat's.

    I gotta say… your neighbors just aren't right. It's weird that they're in your yard so often… and climb your fence. Obviously, they've hit retirement age and have absolutely nothing better to do.

  7. 11

    Life with Kaishon says

    Maybe the other owners had buried treasure back there and they are trying to find the spot????? Maybe? Ok, yeah, that is too silly for words. Wierd : ) I hope they turn into friends though, because having nice neighbors really does make your home feel so much better : ) We just love ours. Except for the older lady next door who hates us. Besides her, we are as happy as can be : )

  8. 14

    Jamie says

    Sounds like you live in MY neighborhood! I definitely heard my husband talking to someone the other evening while BBQ'ing, and it was our neighbor lady (the one I wrote about:) She had let herself in our gate while he was grilling!! Just to chat. What the heck?!

  9. 15

    Amy says

    I would just die if I had that going on. I am with you I ask unless I have know the people for a long time then I still ask. How strange.

  10. 16

    THE Stephanie says

    Wow! That would totally freak me out. I'm not much on confrontation though, so I'm not sure what I'd do either…

    Good times, good times… LOL

  11. 17

    Bonnie the Boss says

    I can so see myself as one of those old people, so thanks for the heads up. But seriously, they need to realize it isn't their yard and house.

  12. 18

    Jennifer says

    How odd. Maybe you need a no tresspassing sign. I'd be like, "um, excuse me, please get out of my yard. Can I help you."

    Weird.

  13. 20

    robin says

    Wow. That does seem crazy-intrusive! But I happen to live in one of the unfriendliest parts of the country (NY) so I don't really have good perspective on this one! I am impressed with your patience!

  14. 21

    Jen says

    Wow, old people are just rude. I don't get it b/c they have lived like forever they think they can just walking like the own the place. You are OLD not the OWNER.

    Shesh.

  15. 23

    Jeanette says

    Crazy! We bought our house from people who moved two doors down so we've had a little weirdness when they seem to forget that it's not their house anymore. But it is getting better.

  16. 24

    Anonymous says

    We live in a neighborhood much like this. Not many other kids, mostly retired folks with grown kids. I think the easiest course is to make friends with them. Then you can set your boundaries on a more friendly level. You can joke with a neighbor you become friends with about how everyone seems anxious to see what's going on at your house. Then they'll say – "oh, that's Bob. He talks to everyone. And his best friend Lou lived at your house for 30 years. He really misses him."
    Lots of times older people who are home all the time are bored. Or they are used to coming over because they knew the people who lived there before and they want to see what you're doing to the place.
    One place we lived I could get the whole history of our house and exactly when all work was done or when things were put in from the neighbor across the street. In some ways it was really cool. When did they put in the patio or the new roof? Just ask the neighbors.

  17. 25

    Stacy Dean says

    Just wanted to introduce myself as another Oregon blogger/designer! I love your blogs, very cute. ANyways, just wanted to say hi! I'm going to have to dive into your blog later and catch up on all the awesomeness 🙂

  18. 27

    Susie says

    You know…I just think that is a generational thing. We live in an old neighborhood that is starting to turnover. As the older owners move on, new families with kids move in. You just got there early.

  19. 28

    Are You Serious! says

    ♥ That would be a little weird just having people wandering around the yard… but I like what the annoymous person said… kind of makes sense…

    Love your YARD and I'm so jealous!! 🙂 I have yard envy! 🙂

  20. 29

    Mariah says

    I have geriatric neighbors on one side that our exhibitionists and on the other side I have a grumpy old man that come into our yard to pick our peaches and lemons. Weird.

  21. 30

    Dan says

    One nice thing about living with geriatric neighbors is that we know them all and they know us. And they do keep an eye on kids and other things. I loved that the Son could roam the neighborhood and I didn't have to worry – I would get a call if anything out of the ordinary went on.

  22. 31

    Kristin says

    Old people are a hoot. you get used to them. Just have a big open house/backyard BBQ, so they can all get their fill of your pad, then I bet they'll leave you alone. They have nothing better to do than be curious…

  23. 33

    Leslie says

    We've given more tours than I can count of our place during the remodel years (and after). Some were weird. I would try to come up with some kind of clever sign to post on your side fences until people "get it." I realize you risk alienating some people, but perhaps if they feel that way, they weren't worth cozying up to in the first place.

  24. 34

    Mom Taxi Julie says

    Old people think they rule the world. We'll be there some day soon too!

    A house down across the street from us was empty for like 14 years that we lived here. Someone finally bought it and moved in and OMG I think my dogs had the hardest time adjusting. I had to be retrained that I couldn't just let them out because they INSTANTLY go over there.

  25. 36

    DysFUNctional Mom says

    I think I'd be ok with the no kids part (that could be a good thing, ya know!) but the nosiness and proprietary sense would drive me over the edge.

  26. 37

    Kathy B! says

    The day you find a skinny dipper is the day you go for the electric fence! I bet a little jolt would clear things right up 🙂

  27. 38

    heidi says

    I totally just flashed on that movie Cocoon where the old people snuck into that pool and swam because it rejuvinated them. Maybe that's your place?

  28. 39

    scrappysue says

    well, you can't say the neighbours aren't friendly! maybe u should have a bbq and invite them ALL in so they can have a good look around once and for all!!!

  29. 40

    Jenners says

    That is very weird … sounds like they have a sense of ownership about your property or something. On the one hand, I guess you'll never get robbed and your children will be well protected … on the other hand, it is annoying and skinny dipping is out of the question.

  30. 41

    Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) says

    That would drive me insane….they say fences make good neighbors – that should be qualified with the additional statement that it is true only if neighbors respect the meaning of fences…..

    Oh…and now I have a very Coccoon like image in my head of geriatrics skinny dipping in your pool!!

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