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!