2008.07.02 Sometimes a good neighbor is just one move away

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY
I was just reading about a website called RottenNeighbor.com which allows you to vent your spleen about bad neighbors and offer advice to others with the same plight. Postings can also be made about good neighbors, but the site’s name tells you what its specialty is.
If you can trust the postings, it might be a handy site to check out next time you’re thinking of moving. But sometimes, all you have to do is wait out a situation and things make a major improvement when your neighbors change.
 I once lived in a duplex in Adrian and the landlord’s son and daughter-in-law lived in the other half. They were nice people and I only had one complaint about them, but it was almost enough to drive me crazy.
The daughter-in-law had some exercise tape that she played for an hour or more every day. I don’t know what it sounded like on her side, but all I could hear was a constant loud THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP rhythm over and over again until she was done. And every day, it seemed like it took longer for her to finish.
I didn’t think I would have much luck complaining about it since they were the landlord’s family, they were there first, and besides, the husband was a lawyer. I just bided my time, and one day, I received my well-deserved reward.
Several months after I moved in, the couple decided to get their own house. When the new neighbors arrived, there were so many people going in and out, it was hard to tell who might actually be the tenants and who was just helping with the move.
Finally, a middle-aged gentlemen came over and introduced himself. It turned out my new neighbors were a pair of sisters in their early 20’s and he was their stepfather. He was wanting to see who was living on the other side before he left them alone. He also promised they wouldn’t cause me any problems. On that point, he was 100% right.
I soon learned that the sisters were the youngest of a large family and when their older sister came to visit, she recognized me as having been several years ahead of her in high school. That was the final seal of approval for the sisters.
Before long, they were asking for permission to sunbathe in the back yard. They really didn’t need my approval as it was their back yard, too, and since they asked so politely, how could I say no? Especially when their older sister sometimes came over, too. It was the first summer ever that I prayed for hot weather.
And don’t go getting any ideas that I was spying on them. Our back doors were side by side and they were right outside our respective kitchen windows. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some of nature’s beauty while you cook or do dishes. They could hear and see me as easily as I could them; I just had the better part of the deal.
Fall weather brought with it an end to the back yard beautification, and  soon it was winter. I wasn’t looking forward to it as I was responsible for my own snow removal, but the sisters helped to make that task an easy one.
There often seemed to be a young guy or two visiting next door, and when the snows came, it almost became a contest among a few of them to see who could come to the ladies’ rescue first and plow the driveway. Since most of the drive was a shared one, after the sisters were plowed out my side could be finished in another minute, if the plow boy was so inclined.
Not only did all of them go ahead and plow my side, too, one of them even knocked on my door one day. He introduced himself, and asked if there were any more cars needing space on my side or if I wanted him to plow out room for visitors. I made sure to make a favorable mention of him to the sisters.
Unfortunately, after a few years, the good times came to an end. First, one sister moved out to make room for the other’s fiancé, then, finally, the couple found their own house. I was back to fending for my own entertainment (and snow plowing).
That, of course, was quite some time ago as I later moved to Blissfield and have been living in Fayette for nearly four years now. As current neighbors go, the apartment next to mine has been empty for about a year. If anyone would like to live next to me, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to an attractive, single female filling the vacancy. And if it’s not too much trouble, don’t forget to bring a snow shovel.
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