‘Good fences make good neighbors‘. – Frost from “Mending Wall“
We are not good neighbors by most people’s standards. We’ve lived in our home 24 years and barely know the people around us. Most of them have lived here slightly longer than us and it’s not to say we’re not neighborly, we are. But my husband and I have always worked in jobs with lots of contact with the public and our home and family became our little cocoon. A place to hide away and just be together and thankfully the neighbors have always been that way, too.
We don’t borrow tools or sugar, though if asked we gladly would. We don’t have block parties, though a few times when we all had small children we’d have impromptu fire works shows in the road on the 4th of July. Writing this it sounds like a terrible place to live, but it’s exactly the opposite. For us it’s perfect. Could I ask any one of my neighbors for help? Sure. And they, us. But we generally just go about our daily lives with a hello wave and occasional chat over the fence.
So it was a little weird when the neighbor next door called us. We didn’t even realize she still knew our number, we haven’t had a call from her in 15 years, not since her kids needed to come home for dinner. But call she did to warn us that she was having a few trees removed today because of storm damage that happened this winter.
Now as often happens, I woke up with a migraine and shortly after the sounds of 4 or more chainsaws, a industrial shredder, and 4-5 loggers doing their thing. No longer do we have a privacy screen between us; it’s gone and so are most of the trees in the backyard.
Well, I guess we’ll have to learn how to become a new kind of neighbor, the kind that has no physical boundaries any more above the fence. Still, I’ll take my neighbors over the ones I read about in the newspaper any day. We’ve lived here 24 years, drama-free. You can’t put a price on that.
So, what kind of neighbor are you?