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    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Fenced in

We've owned two homes. In those homes we've shared property lines with just three neighbors. But our relationships with those neighbors have been defined by the fences.

In our first home, a 110-year-old Victorian, we had a darling wrought-iron fence surrounding our property when we moved in. The sellers warned us about the neighbor (the Wicked Witch to the West is what we ended up calling her) and her desire to put up a privacy fence. "Don't let her bully you. She wanted us to pay half the cost." We were warned. But we had no idea how quickly she would act on the matter.

It must have been just a couple weeks after we moved in (we are talking pre-kids days so the details are a little blurry as is all of life pre-girls) when we looked outside to see some folks removing our fence on the property line between the homes. Wait a minute, we said. What's going on? That's our fence. The guys digging it out said they were just doing what they were told to do. She said she was taking the fence down and was going to sell it so she could earn our half of the price of the privacy fence. Had she shared her sunny personality (read: witchy) we might have gladly paid to get a 6-foot fence between us. But her approach to act first and be a bitch later didn't go over so good. So we ended up in a note-writing, drag out with the Witch about whose property the fence was on. Luckily our sellers had all the documents we needed and the Witch put up the fence on her property with her own money.

Needless to say, three years living next to the Witch was three years of unpleasantness (read: hell).

Fast forward to us living in our new home for nearly six years. We really like our neighbors on both sides (yahoo!). And this weekend we were reminded how lucky we got in the neighbor draw this time. The gentleman to the south has a ride on mower (trust me, the lots here are not large enough to warrant such a machine) and once a month or so he hops on, with pipe in mouth, and makes about three circles around the yard, parks the mower until the next month.

We just laughed when we saw that our fence was broken where he must have run into it once. When my husband pointed it out in a good-natured jab, he said yes he ran into it but didn't realize he had split the wood. Fast forward a week to Sunday and we hear Bang! Bang! Bang! (make those hammers hitting nails and wood, not gunshots -- the gunshots would have been appropriate in the old 'hood). Brent goes out to see what's going on to find the neighbor rebuilding our broken fence. He went out -- without saying a word -- and bought the supplies and just went about fixing it. When a few of the posts he bought were the wrong size, he ran to Home Depot to get the right ones.

Two fences and two very different neighbors.

posted by Laura at 8:52 PM |

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