Make Some Noise About Them Making Some Noise

, , , , | Friendly | December 2, 2018

(One of my neighbours comes home at four am with at least five people. They stand on the balcony, making a lot of noise, waking up my eighteen-month-old and three-year-old.)

Me: *from my balcony* “Excuse me. Do you know what the time is?

Neighbor: “Umm… About four o’clock.”

Me: “Oh, you do know what time it is. So, you’re just an insensitive jerk, waking everyone up, then. Good to know.”

(They all go quiet and can hear my kids crying with my husband trying to get them back to sleep.)

Neighbor: “Sorry about that.”

(They all went inside, then left. The next day, my neighbour knocked on my door with a six-pack of beer for my husband, a box of chocolates for me, a teddy bear each for my kids, and an apology for all of us.)

Coyote Ugly Parenting

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2018

(My mail arrives late on this summer day, somewhere around 6:00 pm. I haven’t taken more than three steps when I hear an unfamiliar sound. Part of it reminds me of a tree snapping, but it sounds too metallic. Also, there is something like a patter mixed in, along with something like heavy breathing. Curiosity gets the better of me, so I follow it next door. Less than a second after I walk past my fence, I am looking straight into the answer’s eyes, and I run back to my door. The tree and metal snapping sounds are my neighbor’s fence being torn away. The patter is digging. And the heavy breathing is coming from the coyote doing it. However, I probably look like a fool, since that thing decides to ignore me as soon as I am gone, and goes back to digging. Once I am back inside and have ensured that my dog is, as well, I go to the back of my house to try and figure out why the coyote is so determined to get in my neighbor’s backyard. That takes all of two seconds. The moment I peek out the blinds, I see my neighbor sticking her head out the window, checking on her five-year-old daughter playing in the backyard. I quickly stick my head out the window, too.)

Me: “[Neighbor]! Bring your kid in! There’s a coyote trying to get into your yard!”

Neighbor: “No, no. It’s just someone’s dog. It’s fine. We don’t have vicious dogs around here.”

Me: “Lady, I looked right at it! It’s a coyote! Get your kid out of there before it tears down your fence!”

Neighbor: “It’s not going to hurt anyone! It just wants to play nice!”

Me: “Tell that to your fence!”

Neighbor: *sighs* “Fine! [DAUGHTER]! COME INSIDE AND WASH UP!”

(Thankfully, her daughter comes right in. A few minutes later, the noises stop. I poke my head out again and see the coyote running around her backyard.)

Neighbor: “THAT’S A F****** COYOTE!”

(It went away before the police or animal control could arrive. Neither my dog nor my neighbor’s daughter were left outside unattended for a long while after that, though we’ve yet to see another coyote or any evidence of one.)

Human Goes Missing: No One Notices. Dog Goes Missing: Search And Rescue!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 17, 2018

The dog we had growing up was the sweetest, friendliest dog you could imagine. He loved people, and all of our neighbours knew him and loved him back. They didn’t know our names, but they knew our dog.

At one point we needed to move to another state temporarily for my dad’s work, and took the dog with us. Six months later my mum, sister, and I returned home to spend Christmas with our family and ran into one of our neighbours.

He came up to us and said he hadn’t seen our dog for a while, had he died? Mum had to inform him that no, the dog was very much alive, we’d just been living on the other side of the country for the last few months.

They had noticed our dog was no longer around and coming to visit, but none of them had noticed that our house was empty and my family wasn’t living there or going about our daily business.

Homeowners Rejoice, As Method For Dealing With Nosy Neighbors Is A Logger-Rhythm

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 7, 2018

(I’ve had several gum trees removed from my property at different times over the past few years, each by different companies. Every company I’ve dealt with has charged a fee to remove the logs. You obviously also have to pay for logs that you want to purchase from the shops… so if you have a use for them yourself, it would be insane to pay to remove them then pay to replace them when you want them. Some people don’t understand this, and like everything, people always want something for nothing. I work from home with my one-year-old. It gets pretty hectic, but she and I manage to have a pretty good time out of it. It does mean that sometimes it takes a while to get outdoorsy jobs done, though. We had a tree pulled down a few weeks back, and carting the loads from the front to back has taken some time as they’re massive and I just move a bit during my child’s nap. My husband is guiltless in this one, as he’s been absolutely swamped with work, so I have no problem doing it on my own, slowly. I get a knock on the door one day.)

Woman: “Are you using those logs?”

Me: “Um, hello! I will be, yes.”

Woman: “But they’ve been there weeks.”

Me: “Yes, they have.”

Woman: “Will you use them all? I want them.”

Me: “Sorry, but I will be using them all.”

Woman: “Do you have a fire? I have a fire. I need them.”

Me: “Sorry, but tough. I will be using them.”

Woman: “You could buy more.”

Me: “So could you.”

Woman: “What about that pile?”

Me: “They’re accounted for, too.”

Woman: “For your fire?”

Me: “For my friend. Look, sorry, but we’re going in circles here.”

Woman: “So, if they’re still there in a while, can I take them?”

Me: *thinking it’ll shut her up* “Yep, sounds good.”

(She promptly left, looking satisfied. And that’s the story of how I called in a favour for some babysitting so I could move around fifteen wheelbarrow loads around the back in one day. The muscles I’ve surely improved, not to mention the look I imagine on her face, made it totally worth it.)

Kindness Doesn’t Take Half-Days

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2018

When I was seven, my family moved to a new house, which was the first house of a new development. By the time school started, a few other families had moved into other houses, but we hadn’t gotten the chance to meet them yet.

One day our school had a half-day, and we were all sent home early. The school bus dropped me off and I happily skipped home, ready to enjoy my extra time off. When I reached my house, I suddenly realized no one was home to greet me. I was always losing things, so my parents never gave me a key. I was scared and cold, and had no way of getting inside, so I did the only thing I could think of: I hid behind a bush in the garden and cried.

I don’t know how long I was there, but it was long enough that I couldn’t cry anymore and my hands were numb. That’s when a strange man approached me. He started asking me questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are your parents?” “Do you need help?” I didn’t answer any of his questions; I just kept shaking my head no, since I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. He walked away, and I started to cry again. I was even more scared because I thought someone was going to take me.

A while later the man came back, and I was scared stiff. I thought for sure he was going to take me away. Instead, he silently and slowly handed me a cell phone; cells weren’t too common back then. When I answered the phone, I heard my dad’s voice on the other side. We exchanged our “secret passcode,” and he told me the man was our neighbor. He was a good person, and was going to take me to a demo house where I could wait until my dad could get me.

Once I hung up and handed the phone back, my neighbor smiled at me and took me over to his house. We spent a few minutes there as he warmed me up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a few cookies. Once I was warm and happy, he took me to the demo house where a woman greeted me. She sat with me for an hour and taught me how to use a Rubik’s cube until my dad finally came and picked me up.

Years later, I found out everything that happened. The school had never informed the parents that there was a half-day, and they were sued for neglect. My neighbor, who was on his way to work, happened to notice my little pink coat poking out from behind the bush. When he talked to me and I denied his help, he was planning on letting it go and leaving for work, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave me. He called up the Homeowner’s Association and let them know what was going on, and they’re the ones who called my dad. My dad told them I’d never leave to answer the phone, so the neighbor drove over, picked up the cell phone, and brought it to me to answer. He ended up being an hour late to work that day. The nice lady who stayed with me kept the house open two hours later than she was supposed to so she could be sure I was safe and warm while I waited for my parents.

Those people are still a part of my life to this day, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful and kind people as my neighbors. I honestly don’t know what would have happened that day without them.

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