Friday, June 27, 2008

Neighbors...

I am angry, so I probably shouldn't be posting, but I need prayer for a good attitude, and I hope you can give me some. This is where I give an update on the barking dog neighbors...

After I talked to the woman of the house next door, she told me that she'd put the dogs up at night so they wouldn't bark and bother us. For several months, that's what she did. They were in the house at night, all night long. Things were pretty good. We'd trade babysitting favors back and forth, she'd come over to use the phone, I'd get her to air out our house for flea bombs. I asked her to go to a kid's singing time with me, and she came, and we had fun.

But now... one of the Wiemeraners had puppies. Not just a few puppies. Drum roll, please.... 12 puppies. That would be 14 dogs that are now living a few feet away from us. The puppies are still small, and they're in the house. They're trying to sell them for a whopping $600 a puppy... and I found out that they have no papers on the male dog. I'm concerned that they're not going to sell easily. =(

But... now that the puppies are inside, the male dog has been relegated to outside at night. That means that he's out all night long, and if he feels like barking, he does. I now have to sleep with earplugs.

Not only that, but the woman of the house started leaving the back door light on for the dog because she worried that he'd be lonely out there in the dark. That back door light is quite bright, and it shines directly into our bedroom window. All night long.

So, about a week ago, I told her about this in casual conversation, and she said she'd stop leaving the light on for him. But... that hasn't happened. Last night, someone came home late, and they deliberately cut the light on for the dog. I put beach towels over my window.

Tonight, just a few minutes ago, the man of the house came home, and he cut the light on. I saw the kitchen light on, and I saw the light in back go on. Since I knew he'd just come home, and he'd come home to an empty house, I went over to ask him to please cut off the light. I could see lights on in the basement and in the top of the house. I knocked three times. And then I left.

As soon as I got back here, I looked back to find out that he'd cut off the light on the front stoop where I'd just been standing. And now I am angry. I deduce from this that he heard me, he knew why I was there, and he decided not to answer the door. Because he is an extremely inconsiderate man, and I have to live beside him.

In order to fall asleep at night, I have to use ear plugs and beach towels over my window. I have bad neighbors. And I'm tired of it.

I feel like I've tried really hard to be a good neighbor. I don't get angry at them. I never go over just to complain. If I ask them to do something, its in passing, and I've asked for two things, just to put the dogs up and to cut the light off. I've invited her to numerous things, and we've have good conversations. We've never had a single angry conversation. She came over to talk to me when she was sad because her cat died. I want to be a Christlike witness, and I want to turn the other cheek. But it's getting harder to do. So please pray for my attitude.

I grew up on 20 acres. Our nearest neighbor was about 600 feet away, maybe more. I'm realizing how hard it is to live in a suburban neighborhood. You're at the mercy of people who occupy a house several feet away from you. If they want, they can make your life more difficult in tons of ways, not limited to just barking dogs. Living in community is something I'm struggling with right now. And I'm aware of how vulnerable peace and quiet really is. It's kinda scary...

1 comment:

Brandy said...

I have to say that my only comparable situation is that dratted killdeer living smack in the middle of my backyard. And because she's nesting, we have no recourse! We started sleeping with our bathroom's exhaust fan on during her worst nights, and that muffles a LOT of the sound (white noise in general does this). Would that help you? I am considering blackout curtains for the new house so that we don't have to worry about lights coming in, and maybe that would solve your light problems?

I don't know how to deal with the situation, since you have already asked them to change their behavior. That, by the way, is something I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do, so I admire you for it!

But yes...suburbia gets complicated when you have bad neighbors! Our new nextdoor neighbors have a little yappy dog, but thankfully all the bedrooms are on the opposite side of the house, so we shouldn't have it so bad...

How wonderful that you grew up on 20 acres! Sounds dreamy...Of course, I romanticize that sort o life. :)