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Thursday, June 9, 2016

NEIGHBORS


NEIGHBORS

There is a saying, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  No, I don’t think it came from Donald Trump. 

In my experience you don’t need a fence to have a good neighbor, but you do need to keep your distance.  I have lived in many places and the best neighbors were always the ones you could wave to when you pick up the paper, (that is a thing that used to be delivered at sunrise by a teenager on a bike that would give you the news for the day) smile and not see them for another day.  A good neighbor would take in your mail when you were away, and not ask you questions about a package sent from “Busty Beauty Inc.”

A good neighbor had your back if you needed, but would not invite you to dinner.  A good neighbor is a buffer between your little kingdom and the rest of the world.  He does not become part of your world.

This is particularly important if you live in an apartment or as we live in today, a town house.

At our townhouse we have two connecting neighbors; we have front door neighbors and backdoor neighbors.  I have no idea how this works, I just cannot figure out the configuration of the units.  We have an end unit so you would think we would only have one adjoining neighbor.

You would think wrong.

The front door neighbor is a young couple with a teenage daughter.  He plays jazz guitar and cleans his car.  Besides going to work during the week that is all it seems he does.  When I see him in the driveway I say, “Hey, how’s it going?”  He responds, “Good.”  His wife walks a large dog and from time to time we see her going in or out of the house.  She is very friendly frequently calling out, “Hey, how’s it going.”  We respond, “Good.” 

They are perfect neighbors.

The back door neighbors are also a young couple with a son in college.  They have a large relatively new SUV in their driveway that has two flat tires and has not moved in three years except they drove it across the street when the association repaved the driveways. 

I don’t ask.

I only see the backdoor neighbors when they are barbequing.  When I see the Dad, I say, “Yo dude, what’s happening?” (They are African American) He responds, “Good” and shakes his head. 

I probably shouldn’t say “Yo Dude,” just because he is black.

They are perfect neighbors.

The only time I ever talked for more than ten minutes to either neighbor was in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.  I met car cleaning man and flat tire dude out front and we talked about the power outage and swapped stories.  We ended the conversation agreeing that if anyone needed anything to just ask.

That was my last real conversation with either neighbor.

I have perfect neighbors.

25 comments:

  1. Perhaps I'm wrong but I expect more from my neighbours ... at least four sentences plus knowing I can call on them in an emergency.

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  2. Can I swap neighbours with you? I'm not real happy with some of mine (*~*)

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  3. Sounds perfect for next door neighbours. I don't see much of mine, in fact, in the year they have lived there I've NEVER seen their son (although I'm assured they do have one). I'm much more friendly with my neighbours who live down the road which is perfect because we don't see each other over the back fence but we do feed each others cats etc when either of us is on holiday.

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  4. Good neighbors for sure. I've been lucky, too. On one side I have a lady OB/GYN who works 25 hours a day, and on the other a Realtor who keeps to himself, probably glued to his computer. A polite "hello neighbor"is about all I ever hear from them, and that's when we step outside for our annual fire alarm drill.

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  5. Interesting. The girls and I are about to move to a place we will have neighbors. We're looking forward to it.

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  6. I agree with you that yours are perfect neighbors. Most of mine are like that, too. The one I avoid holds me hostage yakking about her gardening skills and the details of her vacations. Yawn. But I can't just walk away. What if we need her for something some day?

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  7. I would gladly swap neighbors with anyone here! I have to endure seeing my neighbors at least twice per week. My crappy neighbors

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  8. I think in the south good neighbors are supposed to have a little more contact. We really like most of ours; we chat about yard stuff sometimes, and exchange Christmas goodies, but no one is too up in anyone else's business.

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  9. I live in a retired/semi retirement community with only about 3-4 young families in our development. I am the one who is not really neighborly. Oh I wave when I'm outside but I'm more of a leave me the heck alone kinda neighbor. :/We live in between Mrs. Robinson and Barney Google and Loweezy. Snuffy Smith lives just across the street. Almost everyday I repeat the "Like a good neighbor State Farm is here"

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  10. I guess the days of leaning over the back fence for a neighborly chat are over. Two bad. I was very close with the neighbors while growing up.

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  11. Like you, I tend to like people that keep their distance because sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. But there are neighbors that are perfect and not just good and I do try to nurture those relationships.

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  12. We exchanged house keys with our neighbor to the north years ago--we don't even know our neighbor to the south!!

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  13. I once wrote a blog post about a particularly bad neighbor who constantly threw his cigarette butts in our yard. We still talk about how glad we are to have moved away from him.

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  14. Sometimes I miss having the *fun* neighbours of my college years, and then I remember that they're only fun because those stories are funny now that they are safely in the past.

    Everyone seems mellow in the new apartment building, I get a glimpse of the neighbours sometimes, but mostly I just hear their tv's when I'm going up and down the stairs.

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  15. I have perfect neighbors, too.

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  16. Joeh, just for fun, do a google search on the term, and what Frost meant by it in his poem. Pretty ironic, eh? It's probably the most 'misused' quote, if the writer is trying to make the point that people need distance and some isolation, in modern literature.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  17. you do. i agree - help in a pinch, but don't invade space. i have had help and have given help to my neighbor-across-the-road and my next-door-to-me widow. but we don't invade.

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  18. Grandpa would agree with your definition of perfect neighbors. Ours are pretty great, too.

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  19. We seem to have the same kind of neighbors. That's what neighbors are for...four word conversations. For the deep, involved stuff we have Facebook and blogging friends we haven't met in real life!

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  20. That is perfect.

    I live in a townhouse with two adjoining units as well.

    The only time I speak to the neighbors is when we are pulling the trash cans back up from the street on Monday afternoons.

    If one of them mugged me tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to identify them in a police line up.

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  21. We talk to our neighbors about once every five years, whether we need to or not. Of course, there are a couple of acres between us.

    Lucky for me, that chilly Saturday I locked myself out, the right-hand neighbor was working on a truck in the yard with his son-in-law. He heard me holler and ask to use the phone, and sent his wife over with her cell phone on a 4-wheeler.

    I see that as good karma for the time their teenage daughter almost burned our cedar house down by carelessly burning trash and starting a forest fire.

    We're even now.

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  22. We met 3 of our 4 neighbors shortly after we moved in since we were moving up a brick wall (replacing the old wooden one) and wanted to let them know our intents and made sure they had no objections (we didn't want them to pay their half unless they wanted to, we just wanted a brick wall). All three were nice but I'm glad we have the brick wall separating our backyards. Nice to know they are there if we need them (we exchanged phone numbers) but also don't really want them in my face and I'm sure they don't want me in their face.

    betty

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  23. They sound perfect. Ours are good too. In fact unfortunately I think WE are the bad neighbors with our barking dog and lacklustre lawn maintenance.

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