Thursday, June 16, 2011

There Goes The Neighborhood

There is a house to our left, but not on the same street as ours. The original owner was an elderly man who was moved to a nursing home, then passed away. The house was sold to a contractor who "fixed it up" and sold it to a very nice couple.

There were constant problems with it - the big issue being that the basement would flood every time it rained. I think the 2nd owners got fed up and just walked away. It went into foreclosure and was purchased by another contractor. He told us he was going to "fix it up" and then rent it. "But don't worry - I won't rent to just anybody." Famous last words.

The house is still under construction, the yard is a mess and whatever they used to dig up the side yard also took a portion of our fence with it.

Currently, it's nothing but a mound of dirt with a classy rectangular blow up kiddy pool on top of the mound of dirt - in the front of the house.

Now, we don't know the people who have moved in. We weren't really sure if anyone was actually living there with the construction still in progress.

Well, yesterday, the Evil Twin came home from work and said three of the kids were in our yard, playing, and one ran up into our backyard....I guess he hopped our back fence and got back around to the House of Questionable Status.

Again, we DON'T KNOW these people. I let our children play in the yard unsupervised because I know they are safe on our little dead end street and we know everyone who lives on this street.

When I was growing up, my parents taught us that we were not to play in any yard that we were either: A. Not invited or B. Not given permission. In Georgia, our next door neighbors were childless. We would walk to the end of our property line, then step on the asphalt and go around to a friend's house. I never stepped on that lawn the entire 8 years we lived there.

I may be paranoid, but what if the Evil Twin and I were some sort of weirdos (well, we are, but I'm talking serious weirdos)? We could lure those children into our house and have them buried under the shed with quick lime, just like John Wayne Gacy in no time. Of course, we're not that kind of sickos, but ya never know.

OK, so I marched over there and told the kids to not play in our yard or tear up the grass (we have a beautiful yard, if I don't say so myself.). Suddenly, Momma Redneck comes out to confront me. She turns to one boy, asks a question I couldn't hear, then turns to me and says, "He says they weren't in your yard and he don't lie to me." I gave her my special wink that says "Oh, right, kids never lie."

Basically, if I get to know you and your children (there were a bunch - not sure how many were hers), then they're more than welcome to play here, as long as they don't cause trouble and are cautious (we have a swing set and hammock - that's just a lawsuit waiting to happen if someone else's kid gets hurt using them...And I do tell visiting children the hammock is off-limits).

So, am I a crazy old shrew? Or perhaps just a spiteful bitch? Did any of you grow up with the same "don't play in yards that aren't yours" rule? I'm dying to know!



  1. That is exactly how I was raised and how I raise my children. We ask permission to cross a neighbors yard in order to get to the bus stop safely. We call it RESPECT.

  2. you, my dear, are gonna have problems with those people....

    that is a horrible omen if that is the way they introduce themselves to you..

  3. I was taught to respect other people's property. I don't recall playing in (or walking in) any yards except those of my friends.

  4. I say get the BB gun out of the closet and wait for children on your lawn. A few well placed shots should teach them a bit about respect.

  5. "...he don't lie...", yeah, OK. Not a good sign. We didn't have a 'rule' back then, it was common courtesy and upbringin'. I hope it turns out better than it's started off.

  6. I have never had an issue like this. I have tons of kids in my neighborhood, but they all play together at one of their yards or at the park (we have a park at the end of the block). I would never allow anyone on my property to "play". You are 100% correct that only bad stuff can come from them on your property.

  7. You're bangon ETW. Even if I didn't consider that the people might be potential John Wayne Gacys(shudder), the manners are a really big deal. Respect for other peoples privacy and property is simply good manners. I'm unlikely, even under duress, to so much as use your driveway to turn around in. And if I really have to use it, I'll only go in as far as I figure the city "easement* exists. Anyone who's not teaching their kids respect and good manners probably IS teaching them a whole bunch of shit about the how the world owes them. What a drag to get neighbors like that.
    Thought the pool on the dirt mound does sound lovely. Ack.

  8. You could put up a sign "Every kid on the block can play on in our yard except the kids of the trailer trash at No ..."

    Alternatively, I suspect mom, whilst she might have defended her kids in front of you, will have had a quiet word with them about not upsetting the crazy old shrew across the road and warning them that kids have gone missing after messin' with you.

  9. OH Yeah, they'll be trouble. I hate inconsiderate neighbors and I'm not really fond of Other People's Children. Unless they are related to me. By blood.

    I would NEVER let my kids into someone else' yard. No way. And someone in mine would get my back up big time. I like my space and my privacy.

    Good luck. Don't give them an inch!