Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ashamed, in my own neighborhood...

A few months ago a new neighbor moved in next door. At first I have to admit that I wondered about these people. Since then, we have gotten to know the woman and her child pretty well...and my opinion has changed. And as usual, I am learning to notice that my first impression is not always a good one and that I need to be more careful of the opinions I form before knowing everything. I am writing this today, because of something that happened to my new neighbor this week and it makes me embarrassed of my neighborhood.

My neighbor, Kathy (name changed to convey anonymity) is a single mother of a teenage daughter with a baby. She is running the household by herself while still raising her youngest child, and helping her child with the grandchild. In previous posts, I wrote about the neighbor's dog who dug up my grapevines and other garden items...and would bound across my yard after a butterfly and so forth. This dog can scale his backyard fence in a matter of minutes...and for some reason he still seems to like my front yard grass more than his own at times. But, he has also learned to respect the boundaries of the electric fence and recognizes that my dog is the queen of her premises.

More so than the part of raising her child and grandchild alone, she is a very Godly woman. I would not have gotten to know this if it were not for my youngest child who agreed to watch her dog and feed it one weekend while she was out of town. As he had to go on a scout outing for one day of that weekend, his agreement to feed and tend came to rest on the shoulders of the mother who birthed him. I went with him to Kathy's house the night before his scouting adventures and he showed me the food and water bowl and the routine. Before we entered the house, I paused...checking the air to see what vibe I felt. My son turned to look at me pausing before entering, and stated two things. 1. The house is clear and clean. 2. She is like you, she has those Bible sayings stuck all over the place.

Explanations: 1. Clear and clean does not mean clutter and dust free. Not even in my own home. It means spiritually clear and clean. My child had already prayer walked the house in a matter of speaking and proclaimed it to be clear and clean. 2. Scripture postings were found in most entryways and in other conspicuous spots. Like at our own home, he had found a likeness he recognized of placement of the Word throughout the home in varying spots.

Friday, I had to take my child to the orthopaedic surgeon for a surgery consult. I was already nervous and on edge, fully engulfed in thought of self and child and the future implications of this doctor visit. A phone call from my neighbor, upset neighbor, brought me back to reality. She had received an ugly letter in the mail...supposedly from a fellow neighbor on the street. As, she read the letter to me (or tried to) it was obvious she was in shock at the meanness and the UNneighborliness of the letter.

A few weeks ago, Kathy cleared out her garage of unneeded baby items to take to the good will location. She placed these and other items in front of the garage on the driveway. That afternoon and night it poured down rain for hours. Alas, the items and boxes became wet. The next thought was to let them dry out. Then it rained. And thus, the cycle continued, though it was never originally meant to be the thoughtfor theitems to be left outside that long or to do it to anger anyone...apparently it they were and they do.

Rather than stopping by to ask if she needed help with the items or with other things or tell her it bothered neighbors to have her items in the driveway, a neighbor chose to be nasty and mean. She received an anonymous letter from a 'concerned neighbor' calling her names, using rude comparisons, and telling her to 'go back from where you came from.' Threats to do things to her property and her daughter's property were also made in the letter.

I see nothing neighborly in this type of behavior and must admit, it bothers me anyone on my road could write something so heated and mean to another individual in his/her immediate living environment. What happened to if you have a problem with someone or think they did something to you that you do not like, to come and speak with them face to face about it? How does it help neighborly conditions to make threats and call names? 

I am embarrassed that a road I was so proud to live on due to the way people treated one another and pulled together as friends/neighbors is now a place where others make threats and call names of their neighbors...even if you do not like how she lives or keeps her yard, what right gives anyone authority to threaten the property of another or to call them names or tell them to leave the property they own?



  1. WELCOME to Cottesmore Lane.... My neighbors are the SAME way! And we live in the country where NO one can even see other houses. Some people are JUST MEAN!

  2. it used to not be like this - i know of other neighbors who've notes or letters YEARS ago, but none in a long time...i thought people were more hubby thinks she should file a police would be one thing if it were just mean and name calling, but the person is threatening her property...that changes just don't treat people like that.