Monday, October 5, 2009

Parenting the neighbor

The people who live in the house next door have two dogs who like to dig. So, they paved their yard in black and white gravel a few years back. The gravel was brought up to the bottom of our fence ( a foot into our yard from our joint lot line). This year they decided to use river rock in their yard. It was piled against the fence in anticipation of putting in a water feature. I noticed this change in July and went over to ask them to pile the rocks in a way that did not push against the fence. This followed my request that they not lean their canoe and paddle craft against the fence, earlier in the Summer.
The woman of the house did what every person who has parented a preteen girl has witnessed. It was the tsk, eye roll and hair toss as she told me the rocks would be moved. Later in the week her husband informed me the rocks would be moved that weekend.

September 19, I talked with the husband who told me the rocks would be moved. I told him I would move them if he did not by October 4. We had an interesting conversation that ended with me calling him a liar and him admitting it. The pictures of this posting were taken October 3, 2009.
October 4th there was activity that ended in a 2 X 12 (?) board barrier put up on the other side of the fence. I have not had an opportunity to investigate this further because there are irises to be split and raspberries to be tended to. So... more to come.
This over the fence tussle has brought out some responses born out by frustration leading to soul searching and prayer. I do not understand how someone would think it OK to encroach on a neighbor's property. I do not understand how someone would delay correcting encroachment once pointed out. Civilized people do not interact this way. When I stopped trying to interact with the people next door as an adult to another adult and asked God for help, it came. The goal was re- established to have the rocks moved so they were not touching the fence. This did not necessarily need to involve the people next door. The school yard dust kicking was stopped and I began to see the rocks as abandoned and now belonging to me. I would just add the relocation of the rocks to my list of yard work to do. At present, there may, or may not be rocks to move. There is no need for us to have landscaping touching the bottom of the fence. One of the projects on my list of yard work to do is to remove dirt from beneath the fence so the ground is no longer touching it. Problem completely solved.