Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Very Neighborly

So this is what I came home to yesterday afternoon...

I know they say fences make good neighbors...and this is a pretty nice fence...and we didn't have to pay for it...but I can't help but feel a bit insulted. I mean, this is down the property line...right between our driveways...as though we've been encroaching on our neighbors or something.

I think it hurts a little extra because we've been, in my opinion, pretty good neighbors.

It's not like our animals or our kids run loose on their property (except for the ONE time our horses were let out of their pasture when we weren't home). OK...maybe our cat runs loose and gets into their garage (but this fence isn't going to stop a CAT).

We generally haven't used their driveway at all outside of the six months last year when we had a giant dumpster parked on ours and no way to get around it. Even then, we only went around the dumpster and right back onto our driveway as quickly as possible so as not to tear up their driveway.

They haven't said anything...and to our knowledge, we've never had any "issues" with the neighbors (except for the damn cat...but really...we live in the country...get over it already). And our efforts to be quiet and respectful neighbors haven't always been reciprocated.

Up until last year, when we finally moved our bedroom upstairs and to the front of the house, we would be awakened at 4am as his eighteen wheeler would sit idling in that part of his driveway. But we never said a word...just closed our windows and slept with a fan on to block out the noise.

When he uses the industrial vehicle lift and very loud air wrench in his garage (literally ten feet on his side of the fence) at all hours of the day and night, we don't say anything.

When he tore down an adorable little red storage barn and replaced it with the trailer from one of his trucks, we didn't say anything.

When, each winter, he parks THREE trailers in the very back of the property, we don't say anything.

Up until he staked out the property line for this particular fence project, he was burning his barrel of trash ON OUR PROPERTY...and we never said a word.

This fence is also certainly going to cause snow removal problems for us...since we're talking large amounts of snow like this...

Yes, the snow last winter was deeper than I am tall (and that's 5'5" for those keeping track at home). At this point, it's doubtful we'll even be able to plow our driveway without knocking down our friendly neighbor's fence.

I don't know...maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. Steve did approach the neighbor about the fence and was told that the neighbor intends to have his Alzheimers-afflicted sister live with them...so they need a fence (to keep her in?).

If we put a gate at the end of our driveway, we'll have our own little compound and we'll be sure the horses will be contained if they ever get out of their pasture again. So I guess there is a bright side...even if I am a little insulted by the sudden appearance of the fence.

At least it's a nice fence.

***Edited because I always feel an irrational need to defend myself...

This is the country. Nobody has property line fences like "in the city." So it makes me feel...odd. Like we stand out. Like our neighbor is making a statement about us (even if it has nothing to do with us, it FEELS like it).

Also...as to the sister with Alzheimers...
We live on a state route...with HEAVY traffic. We also have a ravine to the back of both our properties. Unless the neighbors put a fence along the front of their property (with a locked gate) and a fence along the back of their property...the fence serves no real safety purpose. And that would essentially say to me, we would rather she have these life-threatening risks than the risk of wandering onto your property.

12 comments:

Kim said...

With the sister with Alzheimer's, the fence might serve for her as a visual reminder that those are her boundaries, that she doesn't need to go past the fence, particularly since she is living there and if she is a wanderer (and there are wanderers, sleepers, and whatnot - AD has it's own little brand of personalities). (My grandmother just died of AD, and she wandered just once, and it was scary enough that we took extra precautions to make sure it did not happen again.)The fence won't work for the sister in the long run, but while she's still somewhat lucid, it might.

I was going to say that perhaps they are getting some new animals or something? Or perhaps it was doctor recommended for the sister? I think that since it's such an open fence, it means that they don't want to create a huge wall between the two yards/families.

Maybe? :)

Suz said...

While it's never nice to see a fence spring up, my grandfather with Alzheimer's had a big problem with wandering. My parents had to take him out of two separate long term care facilities because they couldn't stop him from escaping and traipsing down the street. Once he got out, he couldn't remember how to get back. If they've made the decision to care for her at home, they might be facing a similar problem...but this is all conjecture, of course.

DD said...

It certainly could be much, much worse. They could have put up a chain link fence (ugly, ugly). They could have put up a solid fence that would blow over with a very stiff wind.

By the looks of it, they were definitely keeping the aesthetics of the property in mind with the split rail and I would also have to say with the openness they did want to make sure the boundary was there, but that you wouldn't feel like you were caged.

If you do happen to take out a few rails while removing snow, it'll be easy to fix as well.

niobe said...

For what it's worth, I was equally annoyed when our neighbors took down the fence between our properties. Now that it's gone, their children and guests feel free to play in, wander through, sunbathe in, my yard.

We looked into putting up a new fence, but those suckers cost more than I ever imagined.

sarahbobeara said...

it is a nice fence. i hope it doesn't mess with snow removal, but on the other hand, how could it NOT? it's right along both your driveways :/

i know i felt a little snubbed by our neighbors when they put up a wooden fence, but the idiots put it up wrong and gave us the nice side. they're living with the cross bars on the inside of their yard. and this way i don't have to see their eyesore of a pool.

imagine it hung with evergreen garland this christmas :) you could be an even better neighbor and decorate it. not like you'll have your own business to attend to or anything ;)

Kathy McC said...

It could very well be a fence for the AD sister. I don't blame you for feeling a little weird...like maybe they could have mentioned it BEFORE it went up. But seems to me like it definitely could be a lot worse...

Angel Mom said...

I think I would be offended, too, simply because it was such a shock. Seems like something they would mention to you. Is it just along your property line or does it go around their entire property?

pipsylou said...

When Myles is in your arms they could put up a fence made entirely of plastic flamingos and I'd doubt you'd care.

The fence looks nice - snow removal could be a problem. Could it be they just wanted a fence like on the Waltons (did they even have a fence like that?)

DD said...

I have to admit, that it's kind of odd that your drive ways are practically on top of each other (I see up on the picture that they almost touch) for being a more rural neighborhood. Some people like to have their boundaries definitive, even if that means not just marking theirs but yours as well....

Just a thought since we had to start our drive way right on the property line b/c of the traffic situation. However, we made sure to veer it as quickly into our property as possible to avoid anyone feeling like we were "encrouching" even though no one is currently living next to us.

kate said...

At least it's a nice fence....i agree that it is weird and they should've told you they were going to do it.

delphi said...

I dunno. I would be insulted, too. I would expect my neighbour to make mention of any fence installation *before* it was put in place. Discuss the possibility of sharing the expense, etc. It is weird to not mention something that will obviously have implications for both properties.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people in the world who live an existance such that they are totally oblivious to any implications of their own actions. It could be the case that your neighbour honestly never thought you would give it a second thought. He is a butthead if that is what he thinks. But it could be what is going on.

Our neighbours down the block just put up a 10' fence. They are the "bad" neighbours on the block - they are always doing things that no one likes and telling the rest of us how to care for our property. Why the 10' fence? So the neighbours' children on either side of them couldn't shout "hi" to each other across the middle property. Ummmm, they are KIDS, people. Let them shout!

Kendra's mom said...

Hi, totally off the topic here. First, thanks for your comment to my last post (new post up now). Secondly, I tried to go into Emma's Mum's site (http://missingspeedjr.blogspot.com/ ) recently and see that it is blocked. Do you have access? Does anyone? I have been dying to know what has been going on since she did not update for a long time and I was worried that it was bad news. Can you pass on my details to her if you do have access - vannessam@iafrica.com? Thanks