Crazy Neighbors


The house was in COMPLETE shambles. It smelled, had termites, blue and pink paint as well as pink and black tile in the main bathroom. The bathrooms were so awful, with mold and mildew and black sooty tub, we thought that was to be our first job: remodel the bath. However, after 6 hours of scrubbing the tub, I found perfectly white porcelain. Another 4 hours, and the tile and grout were shiny and sanitized. The toilet, and the area around the toilet- spotless. I spent a total of 12 hours cleaning and ‘finding’ a usable bathroom.

Fast forward a few months later and the kitchen was totally torn out, a few walls knocked down, then new sheet rock and painting. After the termites were ruthlessly killed by a local exterminator, we got to work on the floors and ceilings. It has been a big job; and now, with a new kitchen, newly tiled floors and spiffy refurbished wood floors, the house is looking really nice on the inside. The bathroom need a good gutting, and that is on the list for this year. It is nice to see the house take on a sexy new look and re-enter the neighborhood with some pride.

We knew what we were getting into with the house, but we had no idea who our neighbors were… we still don’t, but unlike a pink and black bathroom, you cannot remodel your neighbors.

Christmas time is a good time for me- I work in education, so my pay is low, but vacation time is priceless. My first night off I heard loud music rumbling through my home. I opened a few windows looking for the source, but really, I couldn’t figure it out. I thought maybe there was a concert in town; something regional, entertaining and innocent; afterall, the music was Christmas music, with a load of base.

The next evening, it was country music, the next country mixed with Tejano. Okay- I found the source- my next door neighbor likes to get toasted in his man-garage and play music so loud, my whole house rumbles and there is no peace and quiet in any room. My backyard neighbor works at my school; he is a police officer. I asked him what was up and was given the scoop on the music madness. He told me he was ready to call the police or put his uniform on and handle it himself. I totally agreed he should- I hate dealing with crazy neighbors; and I really hate being the crazy neighbor.

My grandson was coming over with his mother to spend the night. Would the music be blasting? Oh yes- and it blasted the entire week of Christmas UNTIL we called to make a complaint. There had been several calls about the music just that day (Christmas) and it seems all of the neighbors were fed up.

The music stopped for a couple of days.

I knew there may be a problem with the neighbors when I was asked if I wanted to take more of their sprinklers. “What?” I asked, “Take more of your sprinklers? We never took any of your sprinklers!” Uh Oh! They think we are stealing from them… I tried to set the record straight and tell the woman of the house that I would never take another person’s property, and that indeed, all of my sprinklers were, well, they were mine. Her husband works as a landscaper, and he has these really cool homemade sprinklers made from PVC pipe. We made one ourselves when we saw them- hence the supposition we were thieves.

I tried being friendly with them. I talked with them one day and even paid their son to help me with the leaves. The man of the house has 2 teeth MAYBE- would not look me in the eye, and did not have the proper laugh responses I seek in a ‘get to know you’ conversation.

Maybe he will sober up now that the New Year is here and life will go back to life. I hope so.

We lucked out with our back yard neighbor, our other side neighbors- pretty cool family that seems typical; always coming and going to work, and always a wave hello. Across the street is a very large Mormon church. I am so not Mormon, nor would I even consider the thought of even visiting the church- but I like having that church, as well as the Lutheran Church, Episcopal Church AND a Catholic Church within the same block. Awesome- they usually don’t have wild parties with loud music and drive-bys!

In the meantime, I guess I will still try to wave at the crazy neighbors (they never wave back) and I will still call the cops when my walls shake from the bass of their Bose. We hope to fix this house up and move on to another in a year or so- I am putting my prayer request in now for good neighbors, block parties, well manicured lawns with owners who wave back.

Or maybe we will just move way out in the country so I can finally have outside naked time! I want to be the crazy neighbor; the talk of all the fauna in the woods!

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