Courtesy of U-Haul

Courtesy of U-Haul

Our next door neighbors are moving in two weeks. They have lived here for nine years. We don’t see each other every day but we do get together for picnics, dinners or concerts. We are close in age and similar in interests. I like them a lot so I am sad.

I love change but not in my home life. Changing neighbors is like dating. Maybe you have something in common and maybe you don’t. It takes a while to learn those things. You can’t rush it or you seem like a horny teenager looking for love.

You have to figure out what annoys them too. Parking in front of their house? Letting the weeds grow? Leaving the garbage cans out in the street for days? Noisy kids? I have had those kinds of neighbors over the years. (I wasn’t the perpetrator! I am a delightful neighbor!)

Sometimes the people are nice but they make dumb decisions. Like my former neighbors who decided not to take down two trees that were hanging over my house. Yep, they both fell down – one narrowly missing my garage roof and the other smack dab on the beloved husband’s car. Lots of damage and no apologies.

Then there were the neighbors who put their kids’ colorful jungle gym on my property line so I would have to look at it every day while they had no view of it at all from their windows.

I had some great neighbors too. One neighbor was older than me and lived with her retired husband. He didn’t miss a trick so I never worried about anyone breaking into my house. Sometimes, if I was lucky, there would be a pie on my porch when I came home from work. Very nice neighbors. In fact, despite the age difference we picked strawberries together and drank lemonade on the back porch.

I had another neighbor who was similar in age but I always felt like her mother. When the family rabbit escaped from its hutch, I was called to rescue it. In an emergency I hemmed her daughter’s uniform for school. I was starting to feel like “The Help.” All that was missing was the cap and apron — oh yes, and a paycheck. Then I moved away.

It’s rare to find real friendship in neighbors. Most of my neighbors have been in the class of “people who lived next door.”

It’s unlikely we will have any relationship with the new neighbors. They are thirty years our junior and professionals. That means we won’t see them and they like different music. Bummer!

17 thoughts on “Neighbors

  1. Pingback: Empty nest syndrome? Or just plain melancholy? | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. The hard part about moving, for me, was our new neighbors and I had no shared history. That took time to develop.

    This month, one day before we were going to go on vacation, our roof developed a leak into our dining room. Our airline tickets were not refundable and I was panicked. But two of our neighbors kept an eye on our home to make sure the work got done. It was such a relief to know someone had our back if there was a problem.


    • That’s the best part about neighbors. They have your back when you’re not home. That just doesn’t work with casual neighbors. My neighbors keep an eye on the outside and I have a good cat sitter that keeps an eye on the inside so when I’m on vacation, I don’t worry too much.


  3. Aw! I totally get this! I had a wonderful neighbor for many, many years. Our kids grew up together and we were good friends. They moved away, and we always said we’d stay in touch…I’ve never really jelled with my other neighbors. 😦


  4. I should move in next door. I’d make a great neighbor.
    Sometimes though, when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night I like to open all my windows, turm up the speakers and rock out to bagpipe music. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind. 🙂


  5. I’ve never lived any place where the neighbors are friendly. Not that ours are unfriendly or rude– just indifferent. I like knowing that once in awhile old time neighborliness still exists. I’m sorry that your friends are leaving. Great topic.


  6. I love this. I have been so fortunate to have lovely neighbors for the past sixteen years. To the point of putting up with our squirrel deck and bridge for five years now. I guess maybe I’m the nuisance neighbor…


    • Squirrels, a nuisance? Oh my! I feed squirrels and birds (droppings all over) and anything else that wonders in the yard. Nah, we can’t be nuisance neighbors. We are delightful.


    • You are so lucky. I think it’s the times. People don’t have a lot of time meeting neighbors. Between work and planned activities people don’t get out and about. We rarely see kids playing outside. They are mostly in some uniform getting in the car to go somewhere.


  7. You never know. Over the years I’ve had neighbours a lot older (getting harder to do with each passing year) and some way younger with little kids. And we became good friends. You may be pleasantly surprised.


  8. Oh, this one hits home Kate. We just got new neighbors and I’m planning on bringing them a loaf of my famous banana bread as soon as I get up the nerve to knock on their door. I’m rather shy about befriending strangers but some of our best friends have lived next door. In fact one neighbor has been a friend for over 40 years! I hope this is another “keeper.” 🙂


    • Good luck. I always get a little nervous because a bad neighbor can be a real pain. I have never had a truly “bad” neighbor but a friend of mine has. He does things like mow the lawn or use noisy equipment when she has friends over and he is very overt about it. Sometimes I can’t figure people out.


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