This past week was a very good reminder that neighborhoods aren’t always what they seem, for people or dogs. It’s Saturday and I’m just now getting my baring back.
It’s easy to dismiss the minor foibles, not so easy when it involves your children or dogs.
While an idealistic concept for raising children, neighborhoods can also be a source of friction, aggravation, and even aggression. Some neighborhoods for sure function better than others, some are a bit Stepfordish (and frankly those are the creepiest in my book), and some border line the Hatfield & McCoy feud.
I’ll admit, we’re the odd family out in our neighborhood. We moved here from the middle of no place Wyoming and really had no plans other than to raise happy, healthy children and dogs. Conforming and being the same as everyone else has never been a goal of mine. That by the way, upsets people, unbeknownst to me.
My one neighbor and I have shared ten conversations in ten years, all unpleasant but thankfully short. He believes my first name to be Lady You’re A Piece Of Work, and my last name is apparently You People. Charming.
We don’t belong to the same church as everyone else, and in a cul de sac setting that can be a bit rough, although we have been invited numerous times because all sinners are welcome. I can over look that, it was the sand box religious beatings that my kids took that I found unforgivable. We all know where that comes from.
We garden, and have turned our yards into productive and beautiful spaces, I personally feel they are gorgeous but that’s just me. When they are in full bloom people actually drive down to look at our yard, our space makes people smile.
We apparently missed the memo that Chem Lawns were the only acceptable yard. The Chem Lawn drivers, and all have been nice, are use to me being out in the street on windy days and not allowing them to spray, phone in hand. My one neighbor grinding his teeth through his front windows is almost audible.
The rental house behind us, well I’ll just say the owner must post adds something to the affect of – ‘…House for rent in family neighborhood. It will accommodate four 19 year old boys, only if immature and irresponsible. Slight drinking and drug addictions preferred. Pets OK, only if left in yard unattended and uncared for. Inability to read social cues, like police coming to the front door repeatedly due to out of control parties is a must …’
My dogs play, train, and hang with us at home when they aren’t out for a run with my husband, or on a hike with me. Our space is uber dog friendly. We made it this way because our neighborhood was not. While we are out and about walking again, I take care to choose when and where. Both my dogs and I are over being barked at, chased, and verbally assaulted on walks. The path of least resistance and carrying a cell phone are my new M.O.
We have one neighbor that has adored my children, loved my dogs, and makes the most wonderful cookies. She is a gem. And we feel the same about her!
I am enjoying the snow today. It will eventually melt and make things fresh again.