Monday, January 25, 2010

Mayberry aka my Grandfather should have lived here

So I stopped home at lunch today and as I was getting out of the car, I heard my name being called. I looked around wondering where it was coming from (sort of took me by surprise) and saw my neighbor standing by her car in the street in front of our house (her car had been parked there when I pulled in). She was calling over to ask me if it was "ok" for her to park their car in front of our house. Apparently they wind up juggling cars in the driveway quite a bit because they really only have a single entrance to their double driveway and have the extra truck, etc. She said that normally they park in front of their own house, but the snow really isn't cleared there, so it's been too difficult to do that and she just wanted to make sure it was OK with us. For her to park in front of our house. On the public street. That's not even a shared private drive, but totally common property.

It made me think of a complaint my grandfather had for years after my Grandma died. The neighbors across from him used to park in front of his house and apparently one time some ladies from church told them that they didn’t stop by because they thought he had company. (Whether that’s really why or not, who knows? Certainly, it should have only stopped them one time as he explained it was a neighbor’s car, but he always said it was an all the time thing). Anyway, my Dad always used to sort of chuckle about this complaint – I mean, you don’t own the street! And Grandpa would get more and more annoyed over the years (as senility increased). He’d threaten that he was going to call his younger brother, Bud, to take care of the guy (let’s see, Grandpa was 90 when he died, so “young” Bud was probably well into his 70s at the very least). Then one day Grandpa started insisting that he had, in fact, called Bud who had, if I remember right… stepped on the guy’s neck. OK, but ... his car was still there. Some people are so hard to intimidate… But I digress.

Our other neighbor has apologized for putting her recycling out on the side of the house that we see and mentioned that she's thinking about getting some curtains to block off her sunroom (which they essentially use as storage / a garage, as they don't have a garage) and asked how I felt about a certain pattern. I must have looked nonplussed when I said - well, it's your house. You should do whatever you like / whatever you want. She said - yeah, but you have to look at it from your kitchen window.

It makes me wonder whether the prior people to own the house were really horribly super picky or whether I'm just possibly the worst neighbor ever - as I would never think to get my neighbor's opinion on my drapery because they have to see it. It's SO nice it almost makes me wonder if I'm already doing something super offensive that hasn't occurred to me yet and they want me to make this type of offer back so they can tell me that I need to change things (like the trees that overhang our neighbor's yard!).


  1. Wow. I've never lived around people who did that, nor have I ever done the same. Weird. I guess it could be common curtesy but I guess I've never thought about it.

    One thing that drives me nuts is that we live on a small street and all of our neighbors have plenty of parking in front of their houses and we have merely ONE parking space in front of our house (for guests). We'll get the occasional person who will park in our ONE parking space when there is NO ONE parking in front of the neighboring houses. If you're going to visit someone, wouldn't you park in front of their house instead of their neighbors? So now we try to pull our cars as forward as possible in our driveway that way we can squeeze a visitor behind our vehicles, if needed.

    Oh we also have a HUGE empty roundabout or coldesac at the end of our street (on the right side of me) so extra parking could be done there but no.. how about we just take up the neighbors parking even when I'm not visiting them. Good gracious.

  2. Crotchety old men are possibly one of my all time favorite species. Don't talk smack, that car isn't there right NOW I bet. Bwahahahaha.

    You KNOW you're totally doing something normal and stepping all OVER your neighbors' toes. Those overly considerate types are trouble. My mom is one. Polite gestures from nowhere must automatically be repaid, or else the claws come out.

    PS...transportation via ladybug is available at The small wheelybug is useless, the large can be used up to the age of 4 (i think). It's very cute.

  3. That is almost cute. I try to be cautious of what the house looks like to the neighbors, but not enough to ASK and certainly not enough to ask about curtains! I can't imagine what my neighborhood would be like if all my neighbors were that sensitive!
    Stopping by from SITS

  4. I love it...I love our Mayberry-ish neighborhood as well. Everyone waves at each other, stops to say hi when on walks and the best part...bakes for each other! I think being neighborly is a lost art. Now, about asking a neighbor for their approval on drapes...that may be taking a bit too far, but it does make me smile.

    Found ya via SITS...your blog is great!


  5. So nice that you have neighbors who care about how they impact you...that's downright refreshing! I agree with Melody, being neighborly is becoming a lost art. Hopefully, that will be an increasing trend... Found you on SITS....very nice blog!


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